Friday, December 24, 2010

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

From the studio that brought you Happy Feet comes an epic tale of adventure, bravery, and friendship.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, based on the first three books in the popular Guardians of Ga’Hoole series written by Kathryn Lasky, follows the adventures of Soren, Gylfie, Digger, and Twilight, a ragtag group of friends on their way to find the legendary Guardians of Ga’Hoole. 
But a dark power is rising. The villainous Metal Beak, leader of the Pure Ones, is preparing to strike and rule those he deems worthy of life and destroy those he doesn’t.
Legend of the Guardians is directed by Zack Snyder, well known for directing violent adult films such as Watchmen and 300, but the limitation of a PG rating may have been just what he needed. As he was on a rating leash with Legend of the Guardians, Snyder takes more time to make us care about the characters and to develop the story and it shows that he can actually be a pretty good director when he doesn’t get distracted by all the things he can put into an R rated movie.  
The main cast is made up of Across the Universe’s Jim Sturgess as Soren, the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy’s Geoffrey Rush as Ezylryb, In My Father’s Den’s Emily Barclay as Gylfie, Frasier’s Anthony LaPaglia as Twilight, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy’s David Wenham as Digger. Completing the ensemble are True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten as Kludd, The Queen’s Helen Mirren as Nyra, Jurassic Park’s Sam Neill as Allomere, and V for Vendetta’s Hugo Weaving as both Noctus and Grimble. Overall, the cast is very good, but the standout performance is Kwanten’s as Kludd, Soren’s jealous brother, who makes the character feel very real.

Visually, Legend of the Guardians is brilliant. The computer animation is very realistic and intricate which makes it simple to miss something small while soaking in some other details. The animation also lends itself well to the 3D presented in the film, proving that Legend of the Guardians is far from one of the many movies to just jump onto the bandwagon.
Despite the fact that the film is about talking animals, I wouldn’t call Legend of the Guardians a film for young children. Though its mentions of racial supremacy and implied genocide may go over youngsters’ heads, certain sequences involving a technique called “moon-blinking” could be upsetting for some. As well, the action in the film is very fluid and engrossing, though Zack Snyder’s trademark of random slow motion outbursts may be distracting.
In conclusion, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is a good animated movie and a step in the right direction for Snyder.


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