Should have been the bleep test tonight, however our teacher was showing me the presentation for the Herbalife shakes and so it was put back another week. So with my pre-planned topic out of the window, here’s another movie review. This time, its my favourite movie of the year – having been the kick-starter for renewing my Cineworld card and having viewed it no less than 8 times.
Based on the books by William Joyce, ROTG bands together childhood icons Santa, the Easter Bunny, Sandman and the Tooth Fairy as a team of Guardians who protect the children of the world – chosen by the never seen Man-in-the-Moon. Unfortunately, after centuries of hiding, the Boogeyman, Pitch Black, has reappeared, and begins a plan to make children stop believing in anyone other than him. Deciding his team might need a little backup, MIM chooses a new Guardian to join the team.
This new recruit happens to be Jack Frost – a winter spirit who has never been believed in (and thus, cannot be seen by anyone), has been left along for the whole 300 years he’s been around, and isn’t too big on the whole idea of teaming up with anyone.
Rise of The Guardians pretty much confirms my belief that Dreamworks do their best work when adapting literature. Pixar might come up with the original Oscar-bait, and Disney will always rule the Nostalgia crowd with an iron fist, but Dreamworks are quite happy to take an original story and take it in another direction. The plot itself is hardly original – especially when you realise it came out the same year as Avengers – which basically tells the same story with a lot more explosions and Robert Downey Jr, but its cast (both physically and vocally) are strong, and it tells the story well.
I’ve read reviews and opinions through Tumblr that claim the character art is hideous, or they’ve completely mutilated childhood icons. I completely disagree – I find the character art in ROTG to be incredible. Admittedly, Tooth’s design does grate on the eyes a bit, but I adore these versions of Santa and the Easter Bunny. Santa (or North, as he’s known in the film), isn’t completely disjointed from the jolly old man with a child’s heart that we all know, he just also happens to a very protective and skilled warrior at the same time. As for the Easter Bunny…although I love the character (and Hugh Jackman plays him so wonderfully well), I do find it hard to picture him with a basket of eggs, even in the one scene where he’s doing just that. To be fair though, how many other times has the Easter Bunny been on the big screen?
Yeah…are you really going to say this isn’t an improvement?
The main character is of course the audience stand in Jack – who is voiced by Chris Pine and does a pretty great job of it. I’m not exactly a fan of his work, but Jack’s “He sees me!” scene is about as great a scene as a voice actor can make it.
Though the star of the show vocally is Jude Law by a mile. Voicing the villain Pitch, one can’t help but feel Jude was loving every single second of it. He gives the Boogeyman surprising depth, and I would say makes Pitch a more formidable enemy than Loki in Avengers (sorry, but the comparison was gonna have to show up somewhere).
Talking about design again. If the character art isn’t your cup of tea, find me someone who doesn’t love the scenery and I’ll show you a liar. Between Bunny’s Warren and the Tooth Palace and even the town of Burgess, the set designers earned their wage. I personally found the scenery porn superior to Pixar’s Brave – which will not be a popular opinion but hey, my blog, my rules.
And as an added bonus, Dreamworks has finally, finally realised that they shouldn’t overdo the 3D gimmick. After the cringeworthy effects in Monsters vs Aliens and the handful of oddities in How to Train Your Dragon, they’ve created a movie that does 3D right. The scenes pop out, but its never in your face – so you can enjoy the film in 2D just as much. Maybe not what the cinema wants to hear, but when it finally arrives on DVD, you can watch without feeling the need to buy a stupidly-expensive-and-I-really-hope-it’s-never-really-takes-off-3D-tv.
May be aimed at kids and be forced into inevitable comparisons with a certain summer blockbuster, but its fun, the cast is great and the story is strong enough to survive multiple viewings. A lot of them.