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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Directors
Peter Ramsey.
Screenwriters
David Lindsay-Abaire.
Running Time
97 minutes

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Rise Of The Guardians
Nowt to do with cartoon owls...


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Plot
When the dastardly Pitch Black returns to the world and threatens to stop children believing in them, the mystical Guardians have to unite to thwart him. But Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny et al are about to find a new member, impish Jack Frost (Pine).


Review
Rise Of The Guardians
The beginning of Rise Of The Guardians is disconcertingly like the beginning of The Bourne Identity. A limp young man floats up through the water and, on gaining consciousness, has no idea who he is, nor how he got there. The difference here is that Jack Frost (Chris Pine) has the power to fly and turn everything icy, rather than the ability to kill people with a rolled-up Angler’s Mail.

Jack’s journey is to learn how he became who he is and why he has been chosen to be a member of the Guardians, a group of ‘mythical’ beings — Father Christmas (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and the (silent) Sandman — who delight kids and protect them from fear in the form of Pitch Black (Jude Law). But these Guardians all have defined reasons for being. How does Jack, with no holiday to call his own, offer a reason to believe in him?

Based on a series of books by William Joyce, a children’s author with the air of a crackpot uncle, who’s had a hand in films from Toy Story to Robots, Rise Of The Guardians inhabits a hugely detailed, beautifully designed world. It’s sparing with the cutesy stuff and more redolent of the sinister edge you might find in an old edition of the Grimm fairy tales.

The mark of a well-considered fantasy universe is that you can imagine it continuing even outside of the story and this feels like a world, not just a setting. Screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire and first time feature director Peter Ramsey seem to have considered everything, even down to international variations of the heroes (did you know France has a tooth mouse rather than a fairy?).

For a family film it’s surprisingly dense with plot. That’s not to say it’s slow moving — quite the opposite. It squeezes in a quest for a purpose, a death, a child invading a fantasy world, an almost apocalypse and at least three big chase scenes. The only thing it doesn’t do — a near crime when Santa is right there — is make time for Christmas. For packing so much else in, that is forgiven.


Verdict
It’s gorgeously designed, deftly written and frequently laugh-out-loud funny. For child or adult, this is a fantasy to get lost in.


Reviewed by Olly Richards


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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Rise Of The Guardians
Empire Star Rating

Strange accents aside, this was an excellent family film and a film that pushed the need for traditional beliefs in the modern world. Nicely animated (with del Toro's artistic touch being felt in places) and action packed. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JJB888 at 23:06, 29 March 2013 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

The spirit of winter, Jack Frost, is frustrated by children’s disbelief in him. At the North Pole, North, better known as Santa Claus, is alerted that Pitch Black, the Bogeyman, has returned and is threatening childhood with fear. He summons fellow Guardians the Tooth Fairy (Tooth), the Easter Bunny (Bunnymund) and the Sandman (Sandy). Their job is to safeguard the well being of children. North learns from the Man in the Moon, who chooses all the Guardians, that they are to induct Jack ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 08:39, 04 March 2013 | Report This Post


RE:

of the Guardians (2012) Another children's storybook is adapted for the movies, I never knew there were so many popular children's books! one after another every year. I have never heard of the author and I've never heard of the book/s but I was intrigued by the 'Avengers' like team up of well known fabled holiday characters. It sounded a bit whimsical and babyish at first but the animation looked so good I gave it a go. First impressions were uzz Lightyear!!'isuals in this film are fud... More

Posted by Phubbs at 04:55, 04 March 2013 | Report This Post


I think that the whole idea is not very original and I’d say rather poor. Growing up outside America nobody knows most of these silly characters. Maybe Santa (why Russian? Shouldn’t they name him Nicolas then?) and maybe tooth fairy but Easter Bunny? Isn’t Easter for Jesus’ resurrection and all? Who is Jack Frost? I always thought it was that horrible looking 97 movie or an ice giant. The character looks are rather disturbing for youngsters (my niece had a nightmare of th... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by smakris04 at 18:18, 18 February 2013 | Report This Post


Rise of the Guardians

A less emotionally pulling story line but stunning animation !! Detailed Review Here: http://www.filmwaves.in/2012/12/rise-of-gaurdians.html ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ajm1991 at 10:20, 23 December 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Don't bother, worst animated film I ever seen

L: Magicbigp What's wrong is that it confused my 6 year old and didn't make her laugh once, changing kids perception about santa into a big swordfighting brute with tattoos didnt work on any level and it was really boring . So from my experience it did miss the target audience because it didn't know what audience to aim for. As an example of how to do a fun animated film we watched Madagascar 3 the other week and the whole audience had a great time. Rotg was a real chore to sit t... More

Posted by musht at 12:47, 03 December 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Don't bother, worst animated film I ever seen

What's wrong is that it confused my 6 year old and didn't make her laugh once, changing kids perception about santa into a big swordfighting brute with tattoos didnt work on any level and it was really boring . So from my experience it did miss the target audience because it didn't know what audience to aim for. As an example of how to do a fun animated film we watched Madagascar 3 the other week and the whole audience had a great time. Rotg was a real chore to sit through, Peter Pan is a... More

Posted by Magicbigp at 07:30, 03 December 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Don't bother, worst animated film I ever seen

L: Magicbigp This film was really poor and the empire review is way off the mark! Really boring with no laughs anywhere in this mess of a movie. an sounding father Xmas with swords ?? Is this what we want our kids to think ? A wise cracking Australian Easter bunny ? Really ....whoever thought of these ideas need sacking . film doesn't know if its for adults or children and ends up too dark for children to enjoy and is honestly the worst film I've seen in years . Avoid avoid avoid ... More

Posted by musht at 23:39, 02 December 2012 | Report This Post


Don't bother, worst animated film I ever seen

This film was really poor and the empire review is way off the mark! Really boring with no laughs anywhere in this mess of a movie. A Russian sounding father Xmas with swords ?? Is this what we want our kids to think ? A wise cracking Australian Easter bunny ? Really ....whoever thought of these ideas need sacking . This film doesn't know if its for adults or children and ends up too dark for children to enjoy and is honestly the worst film I've seen in years . Avoid avoid avoid The only ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Magicbigp at 19:24, 02 December 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Visually impressive. Narratively comatose.

Saw this last night and was bowled over.... it has some of the best animation I've seen in years but not at the expense of a superb plot and some fantastic characters, plus top voicework from Baldwin, Jackman and Law as well as Fisher and Pine. I can see this becoming a future Christmas classic, I really do ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DJ Rob C: Mark II! at 13:13, 02 December 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Visually impressive. Narratively comatose.

This was a great film; touching, exciting, it has a really good story that moves along at a great pace (never drags) with some brilliant characters and all work fantastically on screen. Jack Frost is clearly the star but none of the other characters get short changed. I'm not familiar with the original material but I look forward to future installments. ... More

Posted by musht at 01:27, 02 December 2012 | Report This Post


Visually impressive. Narratively comatose.

If there was ever a film that was ideal for depositing the kids at on a Saturday while you get some shopping done: this is it. They'll be distracted by the bright colours and flying things, and you won't have to sit and weep over how much you've paid to sit and be sedated in three dimensions. It's as if an animation showreel that was intended for the investors made it through the production process untouched. Technically impressive, but monumentally dull to the point of offensiveness. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 19:17, 01 December 2012 | Report This Post


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