Rise of the Guardians

He looks like kind of a creeper to me.
"Legends unite."

Hi everyone! How was your Christmas? Today I'm going to talk about the seasonably appropriate Rise of the Guardians, which does prominently feature Santa Claus (Only a big sword wielding Santa, voiced by Alec Baldwin). Mostly it is a movie about Jack Frost (Chris Pine, aka Kirk in the recent Star Trek movie) though, a young (appearing) spirit who likes to freeze stuff and be a dick to everyone by freezing their stuff. Jack is depressed because no one can see or believes in him, and he doesn't know why he was dragged out of a frozen lake by the man in the moon (who never like... talks he just sort of... shines at people.) Meanwhile, the scary mean spirit Pitch Black (aka the Boogie Man, voiced by Jude Law, who's good at sounding evil) sets out to wipe out all the good dreams and hopes of children and replace them with fear and nightmares, because he is a real jerk-off. To do this, Pitch plans to knock off the four guardians, who include Santa, the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher, who I really liked as that psycho in Wedding Crashers) The Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman, the australian bunny, who recently appeared when I reviewed Real Steel) and the Sandman (who has no actor attached to him, he's weird and animated and never talks). Around the time Pitch begins his attack, a new guardian is chosen by the moon to protect all the lil' chilren of the world: Jack Frost. Not everyone is on board (especially the Easter Bunny, he's a contentious sort) but Jack goes along with it, in the hopes that he will find out who he is, and why he was chosen.

It's like The Avengers for elementary schoolers.
I went to see this movie not expecting much out of it. The premise is a little silly even by my generous standards, being aimed at a decidedly much younger set, but I still figured it would be worth checking out. While it was a little young for me, I would say that this film did a pretty admirable job as a like... I don't know, children's fantasy film that isn't graphically violent or inappropriate. They still manage to fit in some measure of drama and action. Honestly I think that this movie plays a little bit too nice, and could probably have played it a little less safe in the drama department. Aside from some scary shadow horses, and mean old Pitch, the movie is a little short in the danger department, even as kid's movies go. For instance I found there to be a lot more pathos in Wreck-it Ralph than in Rise of the Guardians.

Look how mean and stylish he is! Noooooooooo!
Visually the movie looks pretty great. That's to be expected of any movie being produced by DreamWorks of course. Certainly the voice cast assembled is impressive as well, and everyone delivers an admirable performance. I found the dialogue to generally be the most amusing part of the movie (there was certainly more than one moment that had me laughing in the theater). As far as plots go, the movie generally conforms to the typical "good guys stop the bad guys by working together like a TEAM" scenario. 

Rise of the Guardians was released on the 21st of November, and has since grossed something around 230 million dollars worldwide. It opened at 4th, hedged out of the top three by Skyfall, Breaking Dawn Part II, and Lincoln. As those movies rotated out of theaters Rise eventually clawed its way to 2nd in the box office for a week, before dropping back down. As this movie is generally limited in appeal to people who have children, people who are children, and people who see as many movies as they can (me) it isn't surprising that it couldn't quite make it to the number one spot.

Look at this mute midget. He gives you good dreams.
My final judgement? If you like kids movies, or if you have kids and want to go to the movies, you could do worse with 90 minutes than to go see Rise of the Guardians. Otherwise, you probably don't need to see this movie. Speaking of final judgement, join me on Tuesday when I will end the year the way we all should: by watching the devil fight Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

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