Starring: Chris Pine (Star Trek), Alec Baldwin (Beetlejuice), Hugh Jackman (X-Men), Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers), Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes)
Director: Peter Ramsey
Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire (Oz: The Great and Powerful)
Runtime: 1 hour 37 minutes
Release Date: November 21 (US), November 30 (UK)
Dreamworks’ latest creation slams together the characters of our childhood into one movie to do battle against evil. Is it The Avengers of animated movies, or does quantity ruin the quality?
The story of Rise of the Guardians is pretty standard fare. You’ve got your newcomer introduced to a new world that he wants no part of until he realises his true calling so he can come back and save the day. Sound familiar? This wouldn’t be so noticeable if the main character of Jack Frost was made more interesting, but he isn’t. They hint at this lost backstory of his throughout the entire movie, which is intriguing at first, but then they tell you and you’re left wondering, “That’s it?” The film has all the standard messages to kids about believing and standing up to fear, but doesn’t put an interesting enough twist on them. The movie does at least move at a fast pace and I was never really bored.
The characters of the film are varied and distract enough from the bland story. Chris Pine does a decent job at playing Jack Frost, but it’s the writing that really fails him. Alec Baldwin and Hugh Jackman are great as Santa and the Easter Bunny, providing interesting and funny twists on these well-known icons, whilst the silent Sandman provides some good visual gags. Jude Law’s Boogeyman is also visually interesting with his powers, but his shtick feels like it came straight out of Loki’s pocket. Law can play bad guy well, but he really could have come up with own way of doing it here.
What Rise of the Guardians lacks in story, it makes up for in visuals. The film has some really great designs, making these familiar characters and environments feel fresh and new again. The film is full of colour and magic, which is sure to entertain the kids it’s aimed at. The music is suitably fantastically, and the 3-D is actually well used here to augment the action.
Ultimately, Rise of the Guardians has some great concepts but ultimately needed a much more original story to make it seem more like the fresh idea it genuinely is. It is by no means bad and will be sure to entertain the family, but it probably won’t end up an animated classic in the vein of Toy Story or Shrek.
FINAL VERDICT: 7.5/10