The Gustavian Weekly

DreamWorks presents:… | The Gustavian Weekly

By Aaron Albani Copy Editor | February 22, 2013 | Variety

…slightly above average Rise of the Guardians

Aaron?Needless to say, my expectations were low. I’d heard very little of this movie, for one thing; for another, the premise just screamed mediocrity. However, as I found myself somewhat invested in the plot halfway in, I realized Rise of the Guardians worth was greater than anticipated.

Try to soak this in and not yawn, as I did—it’s tough not to, I’ll warrant. The idea is that all the “imaginary” characters from your childhood—Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost—are all the guardians of childhood, innocence, hope, etc. When the children believe in them, the guardians can fulfill their happiness by giving them presents and subsequently keeping them safe from the Boogie Man.

You remember the Sand Man: the guy that casts you into wonderful slumber and comforts your every fleeting moment of sleeping bliss with spectacular dreams. Well, the enemy of the Guardians, the Boogie Man (Jude Law, Sherlock Holmes), the embodiment of fear and all things terrible, has been infiltrating children’s dreams and systematically shattering all of the guardians’ holidays.

If there is no Christmas, the children don’t believe in Santa; if they can’t find any Easter eggs, then the Easter Bunny must not be real. You get the idea. When the kids stop believing, the guardians cease to exist.

Enter our esteemed and identity-seeking protagonist. Jack Frost (Chris Pine, Star Trek), with no knowledge of who he was before the Man In The Moon dubbed him as Jack Frost, is called upon to join forces and become a guardian. Alongside Santa (Alec Baldwin with a Russian accent), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher, Confessions of a Shopaholic), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman, X-Men), and the Sandman (doesn’t actually say anything, so he’s purely imagination/merriment/all things good), Jack Frost will hunt down and defeat the Boogie Man and fear itself, therefore restoring peace and happiness to all children everywhere—spoiler alert.

I know. There’s all manner of cliché-ridden nonsense about this setup, but it really turned out to be rather entertaining. The animations are fun and once the plot got moving and Jude Law’s Boogie Man started to wreak a little havoc and spark a little tension, the movie picks up and isn’t so bad.

If you don’t like anything else, you’ll want to chill with the Sandman who wins the Undoubtedly-The-Best-Character Award. I think this movie is worthy of three and a half stars out of five.

STAR 3.5 2