Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole | Review
Who would have thought a movie with talking animated owls would be so awesomely badass.
So we got Zack Snyder director of 300 and Watchmen doing one of the most shocking career shifts I have ever seen, doing animation and a fantasy animated film at that. And I have had my problems with his overuse of slow-mo's in the past but Snyder has finally found a way to use that slow-mo to great effect. I fucking love this movie.
So the movie is an adaptation of a series of books that follows an owlet, Soren who gets kidnapped along with his brother, Kludd to live in an evil brainwashing clan where he is forced to mine a magnetic element which will be used by the so-called 'Pure Ones" to defeat the Guardians of Ga'Hoole, legendary owl warriors on the scale of King Arthur where everyone has heard of them but no one knows if they exist. Soren escapes the clan and goes on a journey with his new found friends to find the Guardians.
A few months ago I was discussing in a post my predictions for Best Animated Feature for the Oscas, and think Legend of the Guardians has a strong chance of getting nominated just based on the film's spectacular visuals. The company that animated Legends did Happy Feet and the visual effects of the film was so detailed and beautiful. These guys really know how to make birds man.
The visuals alone are so gorgeous who cares how limited the story was, I was mesmerized watching this on the big screen and even better in 3-D. I think if there is any flying whatsoever in a film, it's gonna look amazing in 3-D. The biggest compliment I can give the film is that these owls look real. The feathers, the postures even down to the smallest movements seem realistic, you almost forget this is an animated film.
The voice cast in this was great. We had Hellen Mirren, Hugo Weaving, Jim Strugess, Geoffrey Rush and David Wenham in this. All giving great voice work which I think is the better formula for animated films to have voices that suite characters instead of just throwing in celebrity voices that are so easily recognizable that it throws the audience away from the main focus of the film, which is the story.
But the writing of Legends leave much to be desired. One being the villains of the film which were poorly undeveloped. I mean they really didn't have much motivations to be evil and go kidnap children and force labor them. They weren't filling their bank accounts being evil, they were just bad because it was a plot convenience I never like seeing in the film. But that's one of the very few complaints I have about Guardians.
Another movie reviewer also pointed out how similar the storyline and characters of Guardians relate almost coherently with that of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. And I do see where they are coming from when they make that criticism and to some extent I believe they are right but I felt that the story was more of coming from the same source as the other two instead of a blind rip-off.
The biggest complaint though was a montage scene they did in the middle of the film where the owls were training for a fight and they have a song played in the background that was sung by no one other than Owl City. I mean..... C'mon!!
Amidst the flaws, this is one magical film for the holidays.