Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole - 1/2*

Crises pop up everywhere in Legend of the Guardians, crises that are solved almost immediately. It's actually astonishing that the film made it to feature length. Honestly it's surprising. There is about three minutes of character introduction and development: two young owl brothers who can't fly yet practice floating between a few branches. One can do it, the other can't. Guess who the jealous one is... bingo. One night he pushes his brother out of the tree and they land on the ground and are swept up by mean owls bent on owl-world domination and flown to a mountain where a "pure" army is being assembled and slaves are being "moon-blinked" into a zombie-like state after staring at the moon before they go to sleep. Or something like that. Bad Brother betrays Good Brother and joins the evil army, while Good Brother avoids a moon-blinking and vows in a rousing inspirational monologue to spend every unwatched minute learning to fly, even if it takes him the rest of his life, so that he can escape and bring help to the others. Luckily this happens the next day.

Nonsense this pure and narrative convenience this extreme are rare, especially in combination, but poorly thought-out easy plot resolutions permeate the entirety of Clumsily-Titled Owl Movie. In addition, the human expressions put on the owls' faces are creepy, the movie is pretty ugly to look at, all of the voices sound exactly the same, and the soundtrack is obnoxious to its core.

And when I wasn't preoccupied with any of that, all I could do was wonder why this story was told with owls. There is no reason I can come up with to explain it. I don't even understand the world in which it is set. There are no natural predators of owls, just other owls, who have somehow fashioned helmets and sword-claws for themselves. It lacks creativity of any kind, not to mention cinematic craftsmanship, coherence, and fun. It's an epic adventure story that completely skips over the journey, or characters bonding, or even characters at all. And other than talking animals, there's really nothing in it that even a kid would enjoy. Anything positive that I may have taken from this film I have already forgotten. Hopefully I can do the same for the rest of this bullshit.

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