Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Guardians (2017)

During the Cold War, an organization called "Patriot" created a super-hero squad, which includes members of multiple soviet republics. For years, the heroes had to hide their identities, but in hard times they must show themselves again.

First of all I cut the Russians a lot of slack. They are hardly used to producing these kinds of superhero movies so this film is a unique artifact. They just have no history of these kind of characters in their popular culture. I thought any super powered characters would just be copies of heroes we already know in the West but they resisted that urge. These four are unique and I was interested watching them in action because the stunt work was impressive. I especially loved Arsus the Bear guy in action and how each hero gets the chance to show off their impressive powers. I have been following this one for a few years now so I was happy to get the chance to see the finished product.

The version that I watched was in Russian with English subtitles that were often poorly done by someone who didn't have English as their first language and that makes some of the subtitles unintentionally hilarious and some of the story difficult to follow. But I imagined what I was reading in a Russian accent so that helped a lot.
The movie is extra impressive when you realize it was made for only five million dollars. Any similar film in America would cost 20 times as much and at that low price the effects are impressive. If you don't expect it to be the X-Men or the Avengers then you will enjoy the movie a lot more and enjoy it I did. The trailer tells you most everything you need to know.

Apparently none of these heroes age and have been hiding in secret for 40 years. The film gets to their unification as a team quickly so that there is more action than talking or the usual kind of superhero ennui we are used to. We don't get a lot of time to learn about these characters or develop the kind of affection for them that would make us root for them. Often I felt like I had come into the middle of the story and that large parts of the story were cut out but for some reason that was okay with me. No further explanations are needed because the story tells itself. It's good against evil with a giant bear guy. Again, I cut this film more slack than I would a Hollywood production and at 90 minutes it did not feel like a waste of my time. I have seen better superhero movies but I have also seen a lot worse. I would watch a sequel in a second or read a comic book about these characters.



Debra She Who Seeks said...

The only thing that makes a superhero movie better than just another action flic is precisely the superhero angst! Without it, what's the point?

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

But not too much angst...this has a little bit but not so much to make me roll my eyes. YOU HAVE SUPERPOWERS, STOP BEING SO SAD!!

Konsumterra said...

i think russia has own superheroism and art traditions and fairy tales, will check it out

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

They do have fairy tales but superheroes like the X-men are unknown to them unless through western comic books. There are Russian heroes from Marvel and DC but they are American creations.