May 122012
 

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Directed by:
Written by: ,
Starring: , , ,

 

Soren, a young barn owl, lives in the Tyto Forest with his family: his father Noctus; his mother Marella; his older brotherKludd; his younger sister, Eglantine; and Mrs. Plithiver aka Mrs. P, the family’s nest maid, a kindly snake]. Soren enjoys listening to the ‘Legends of Ga’Hoole,’ which are mythical tales of warrior owls. One day, Sorn and Kludd are attacked by a Tasmanian Devil, but are saved by Jatt and Jutt, two owls who then kidnap them and take them to St. Aegolious, the canyonland home of the Pure Ones, where young owls are enslaved and brainwashed……

Despite being entirely populated by [mostly one kind of] CG animals who talk, Legend Of The Guardians is not really a kid’s movie at all.  Rather, it’s a Tolkien-esque fantasy actioner, and this may go some way to explaining why the film flopped at the box office.  It’s a fairly solid adventure whch is at times very exciting. The story seems rushed and it’s obvious that a series of books has been severely truncated, with many events rushing by and not being emphasised, while the mostly rocky backgrounds become a bit repetitive. It’s also largely unoriginal, which leads me to believe that only the most generic bits made their way on to the screen.  There’s even blatant stealing from Star Wars including a bit where, towards the final action scene, our hero hear a voice telling him to “use the Gizzard”, the Gizzard being the equivalent of the Force.   Still, technically the film is a marvel, with the filmmakers allowing us to easily tell one owl from another with every single charcter looking different, and the level of detail is simply astonishing.   Director Zach Snyder, who seems quite at home here and may on the evidence of this actually make a fine job of Man Of Steel, relies a bit too much on slow motion but at least this allows us to actually see what is going on, a miracle these days, and the action is convincingly brutal and even a bit bloody.  Not great, but better than you might think.

Rating: ★★★★★★½☆☆☆

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