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Visually Stunning, Narratively Shunning
on 5 December 2011
With his recent foray into perverse 12 certificate films, Zack Snyder is not my favourite director. However, a CGI film about a group of owls could not be further removed from a bunch of young women prancing around an asylum, so I watched `Legend of the Guardians' with an open mind. It is clear from the outset that Snyder's stylistic eye has transferred well from live action into CGI - `Guardians' is one of the most stunning cartoons ever. The use of colour and scale is brilliant and the owls themselves look wonderfully realistic (if it wasn't for the fact that they talk).
The issues with `Guardians' do not lie with the visual effects, but the lack of a coherent story. There is a lot of swooping and fighting going on, but for the life of me I was unable to truly comprehend what most of the characters' motivations were. However, to over criticise the film for a lack of narrative depth is a little severe as the action, whilst it happens, is exhilarating. The good birds and the bad birds are painted clearly enough so that at least you know who you are meant to be rooting for.
In terms of voice acting there are a range of Australian actors, plus Jim Sturgess doing a strange Australian impression, that gives the film an exotic feel different from other CGI outings. The visuals impress so much that anyone with Blu-ray should watch the film in that format for maximum immersion. The making ofs are a little generic, but it is always fun to match the voice to the face. Overall, an impressive package let down by a lack of story, meaning the film will never be more than average, but still a fun watch.