“Legend of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” in short is action/fantasy done right. A wonderful, enthralling, robust adventure with breath taking spectacular visuals. A Must see!
The story, based on Kathryn Lasky’s acclaimed young adult novels: Young owl Soren (voice of Jim Sturgess) is enthralled by his father’s epic stories of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a mythic band of winged warriors who had fought a great battle to save all of owl kind from the evil Pure Ones. While Soren dreams of someday joining his heroes, his older brother, Kludd (Ryan Kwanten), scoffs at the notion, and yearns to hunt, fly and steal his father’s favor from his younger sibling. But Kludd’s jealousy has terrible consequences-causing both owlets to fall from their treetop home and right into the talons of the Pure Ones. Now it is up to Soren to make a daring escape with the help of other brave young owls. Together they soar across the sea and through the mist to find the Great Tree, home of the legendary Guardians-Soren’s only hope of defeating the Pure Ones and saving the owl kingdoms.
Child slavery, child soldiers, owls wearing spartan like helmets fighting with sharpened talons. The darkness is relentless and perhaps not for your wee ones, but it’s savageness plays into the mythology and idealism. It is reminiscent of similar fantasy tales, but that’s only because of one and true formula set by Joseph’s Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey”. Only difference is Legend of the Guardians does it right. A classic heroic Odyssey that can boast with the best of them. An imaginative world that centers itself of moral absolutes and spirits itself on over coming great challenges.
We warm to Soren the brave young owl fascinated by his father’s tales about the mythical Guardians of Ga’Hoole. Ryan Kwanten voices Kludd, Soren’s misguided, ambitious brother, who is tempted to the dark side by the inaptly named Pure Ones. Helen Mirren strikes terror as the evil seductive Nyra, whose multi-coloured eyes are as multi-faceted as her evil character. Geoffrey Rush is also excellent as the heroic Ezylryb. He is beyond bad-ass and there’s is nothing cooler than watching slow-motion shots of him sharpening his claws for battle.
The animation itself is all around, startlingly realistic and beautiful. Everything about the owls from their fur to their eyes was stunning. Regardless it’s 3-D element offers the most stirring entertainment. Slow motion flights through frozen rain and fire. Climatic and violent aerial battles . Anytime the movie delved into slow-motion mode for the battle sequences, it was jaw droppingly brilliant . Not since James Cameron’s Avatar has 3-D offered such dimension and wonderment. It’s a 3-D eyegasm.
It’s dark, and maybe inherently confusing (primarily with insanely confusing character names) but Legend of the Guardians offers genuine moments of exhilaration, and danger. Good versus evil, brother against brother, lots of fighting and stunts galore. A splendid adventure that sure thrill children and maybe bring the child out in you.