Friday, February 11, 2011

"Legend of the Guardians" was chock full of people I didn't know were Australian

Some of you may be asking "Why did you watch a movie about armored owls?"  My answer would be "why would you NOT watch a movie about armored owls?!"  First of all, who knew that Zach Snyder of "300" and "Watchmen" fame made this animated movie?  And furthermore, who knew Anthony LaPaglia was from Australia?!  Or even Ryan Kwanten from True Blood?!  Ok I'll stop now.

The full title of "legend of the Gaurdians: The Owls of  Ga"hoole" sounds like a title that Tolkien could have written.  But in fact it is based off a series of young adult novels by Kathryn Lasky, who wrote so many books I stopped counting.  There are a dozen in the Guardians series alone.  Who knows how dark and scary the books are but Snyder does a pretty good job on making this far more dark than most "kids" movies out there.  There isn't a snowballs chance in hell I would have wanted my kids to see this movie.  The plot involves large scary owls capturing young owls to turn into slaves.  These slaves make a device that will help them take over the world.  The sole fact that they are owls livens the mood slightly.  There are many comic elements involved, of course, but this is a hard core adventure movie that just so happens to be animated and have...well owls.

You can tell almost instantly that it is a Zach Snyder movie.  Even his computer animated movies have the slow motion we have come to expect in EVERYTHING he does.  What we also get is absolutely gorgeous visuals.  This is hands down one of the most beautiful computer animated films I have ever seen.  The attention to detail rivals Pixar.  The way the owls move and the way you can see every feather shift and flutter is really a sight to behold.  The battles are intense, which is something else Snyder does well at.  Even the scenes about simple things like flying seem to take on way more visual eye candy than is completely necessary.  It is ALL welcome and it should be said that I would recommend this movie strictly to watch how pretty it is.

The voice acting and the story do what they need to.  Much of the acting is great, some is just so-so and I felt the same way about the story.  It isn't anything mind blowing and it certainly won't win any major awards, but it is passable.  It accomplishes what it needs to and moves on.  Like many of Snyder's films, the story is there, but takes a back seat to the visuals.  It more than kept me interested, however.  Since you know it is a series, you know they may make more and I would go see the next story that needs to be told.  It just isn't anything to write home about.  It IS however, a great fantasy story.  You could insert any animal with slight changes and it would have worked.  There is something majestic about owls, though.  And some of these owls were way more scary than the one in "The Fourth Kind".

Hugo Weaving is from Nigeria, huh?  Interesting....

8 out of 10 stars


Gretchen said...

Uh yeah, this is not a kid's movie like they make it out to be. Good though and entertaining.

Peter Noss said...

Anthony Lapaglia is SO Australian. See him in Lantana. A fine Aussie flick with a great cast. No mistaking his heritage.