Wow! Awesome! A film called “Legend of the Guardians,” obviously about some mystical warriors protecting and fighting for their people. With epic battles as they take on their evil nemesis in a fight to the bitter end. What? It’s about owls? Oh.
To be fair all of the above is right, it’s just … it’s about owls. The story follows a young Barn Owl called Soren (Jim Sturgess) who is enthralled by his father’s tales of a mythical band of warriors called the Guardians of Ga’Hoole (hands up if you, like an owl, said “Ga’Hoooooole” when you read that) who fought in a great battle with the evil Pure Ones to protect all owlkind. Seriously — owlkind. Soren plans to one day join up with his heroes but he is soon accidentally separated from his family and high adventure ensues! Probably.
It’s got the usual big names that flock to these “easy payday” sort of films: Helen Mirren, Sam Neill, Hugo Weaving and Geoffrey Rush — voice talent that will surely add to the considerable gravitas that an owl would automatically bring to the epic speeches on display here. The trailer does stir a sense of excitement in you as you watch it, but I’m pretty sure that is down to the awesome 30 Seconds To Mars track playing in the background. I think though that when sat in the cinema watching it and getting taken away into the “owl-world” you could really get into the story. The biggest mystery about this film is that it’s directed by Zack Snyder. I can imagine how an interviewer must have coped with being told this news:
Reporter: So Zack, you’ve brought athletic zombies, oiled-up Spartans and morally ambiguous superheroes to the screen for us. What can we look forward to next?
Reporter: Back to you in the studio.
“Legend of the Guardians” comes from the same animation studio as 2006’s “Happy Feet,” and you can see the similarities between them too; in style and story. I have a long history with owls, though (that I won’t go into here!), so maybe my perspective is a little jaded or overly-cynical for this film. Undoubtedly, my kids will want to see it and it is a given that the filmmakers want to make a franchise out of it. Especially since of the 15 books by Kathryn Lasky set in the “Guardians of Ga’Hoole” universe, this film covers just the first three. So there are plenty of stories left to mine from for future films. But obviously those future films all depend on whether, come September, Soren and his friends can take flight and soar high in the box office.
“Legend of the Guardians” is due for release on Sept. 24.
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