I once dated this broad: pretty on outside, empty on the inside. Now, typically this isn’t a problem for me, I’ll fuck anything pretty. Hell, I’ll fuck anything mildly attractive. Who am I kidding? I’ll even hog it some nights and fuck ugly chicks. But I only date chicks who are rad on the inside as well as outside. Anyway, this broad was really ugly outside, said stupid shit, would never shut up, and just didn’t seem to understand what life expected from her. She was like this adorable zombie that traveled the world without purpose.
Anyway, a few years back Dreamworks decided to stop producing cynical joke-fests like Megamind and focus on heartfelt films like How To Train Your Dragon. It took a while but Rise of The Guardians is one of these new crop of soulful films aimed to mimic Pixar. Rise Of The Guardians is that chick I dated: pretty on the outside and emotionally dead inside.
The film follows Jack Frost as he meets up with a hulked-out Santa and Easter bunny, and rather impressively rendered Sandman and Tooth Fairy. All together these guys kick some ass for children all around the world, Avengers style. And when the Boogie Man shows up and starts fucking with little kids (Get your mind out of the fucking gutter. He just gives them nightmares and shit.), they jump into action, Avengers style. Too back the end product lacks the Avenger’s actual style.
Right out the gate, this film is fucking gorgeous. The Sandman alone is a feat of technical wonder that real life films, in this day and age, can’t match. The first shot even, Jack Frost sinking into a moon lit pond, is startling in its beauty. The film is so pretty, in fact, that I found myself counting the hairs in Santa’s beard. Or trying to understand how they created the Tooth Fairy’s iridescent feathers. As a self proclaimed Team Pixar fan, I’ve never seen Disney’s company create anything that looks this good.
But what good is a lovely picture if it doesn’t move you? And, it tries. Lord does it try. It does a fairly good job establishing characters and giving them clear goals to aim for. Typically that’s all most movies need to do. But, while I understand where who these characters are, they never made me care about them. I mean, Santa was pretty boss but toward the end he kinda becomes a one note joke. And The Boogie Man should be an interesting scary villain, but his plot is so contrived it’s hard to take him seriously.
While I wish Dreamworks nothing but the best, How To Train Your Dragon is one of my favorite films, Rise of The Guardians missed its intended mark. They get points for trying but the animation company has yet to figure out Pixar’s secret sauce. (Psst… it’s marinara.)