Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: "The Guardians" is Russian superhero mayhem

The Guardians Review

For better or for worse, the superhero movie bug has been caught. Every year when we look at the new slate of movies in January, a big part of planning for each year is finding out when the superhero movies come out. It always seems like something is happening during every season, at every turn, a new superhero movie is coming out. I guess the love for superhero movies is everywhere now, though I am not surprised. International dollars have been a big part of any blockbusters diet, and unfortunately, many needless franchises have kept a life due to international dollars. But what would happen if another country took a stab at superhero filmmaking?

In the year 2017, we finally have our answer. A group of Russian filmmakers and actors have come together to give us a big bundle of superheroic awesome. Apparently this movie was met with negative reviews from Russian media and it quickly became a box office bomb. That's too bad, because I had a hell of a time with it. Anybody who has enjoyed this surplus of superhero movies should at least check this out in some capacity.

Imagine if during the Cold War, Russian scientists performed several different experiments on animals and humans alike in order to make a superhero team. Imagine if those experiments went incredibly wrong and one of the scientist that conducted those experiments lost his mind. Imagine if this scientist gained the power to control technology and went on a global terror spree. Imagine if the Russian government hid the subjects that survived the experiments gained powers themselves and the government brought them together to bring the mad scientist down. That's essentially "The Guardians." Like any good superhero movie, its pretty simple story, loaded with exposition just so we don't get lost. It's loads of fun all throughout.

The Guardians team consists of Ler (Sebastian Sisak) aka Landman; who has the ability to manipulate the Earth. There is Ursus (Anton Pampusnyy) aka Bearman, who can turn himself into a gigantic bear. There is Khan (Sanzhar Madiyev); a Asian-Russian who can teleport and uses massive hooked swords that can cut a jeep in half. Finally, there is Xenia (Alina Lanina) aka Waterwoman; agile, and can control the temperature of her body, water can make her invisible too. Oh, and the possession of these super powers have given them the ability to live young. This is the team that is brought together to stop the mad scientist. 

"The Guardians" does not revolutionize superhero movies. The team gets together, they are smacked down pretty hard by the bad guys, they regroup, they save the day. Its everything like we've seen before, but that doesn't make it bad. The special effects are pretty terrible, but I don't know if Russia has the same technology America does, so it really didn't bother me. The dialogue is pretty standard. But the film is confident in its storytelling that its hard not give yourself over to it. The cast does good work and they really get the most out of their characters. There is a juicy set up for sequel that I hope we get, someday. In this never ending superhero machine continues to move along, its fun to see something fresh.


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