MOVIE REVIEW: Legend of the Guardians (The Owls of Ga’Hoole)
The Right: This movie has pretty graphics.
The Wrong: I paid money to see it.
The Ridiculous: Everything else.
Uhhh, let’s be serious here for a minute. The plot of this movie is so contrived that it’s ludicrous. And any summary I create cannot do this movie justice, as it packs four novels worth of content into 80 minutes and as such even when watching it you still have no idea what’s happening exactly or why. But for the sake of keeping any of you from repeating my mistake, I’ll try to summarize this movie so none of you pay money to see it. Beware–there will be mountains of spoilers ahead. But it’s okay if you see them and then not see this movie. You’ll thank me later!
Okay, so there are these two owlings: naive, optimistic, young Soren and his clumsy, oafish elder brother Kludd. Kludd pathologically hates Soren because Soren can fly slightly better than him on his first day learning to fly. Kludd also hates that Soren is obsessed with the tales and books about the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, legendary owl heroes who fought for freedom and peace and justice.
Anyway, the two fall out of the nest and onto the forest floor, where they’re attacked by some sort of rat-wolverine-devil-bear-beast-thing. I really have no idea what the hell it was, and with all the other problems with this film, it’s not one I’m going to stress about.
So these two adult owls sweep in and “save” the owlings, but fly away with them to an evil mountain sanctuary in Mordor. No, seriously–it’s Mordor. The rocky, mountainy terrain is treacherous and the sky is red with evil. And Sauron’s there. Really. Except he’s an owl now.
So Soren and Kludd arrive in Mordor, which is guarded by evil owls with Darth Vader helmets. What? Yeah, that’s right. Soren befriends an “inferior” elf owl and is banished to “picker” status for being a tyto owl that’s corsorting with an inferior and thus not one of “The Pure Ones”. Uhh. Okay. Kludd betrays Soren and says he has no brother so he won’t be demoted as well.
Here in Mordor, the inferior baby owls are forced to sit under the moon and stare at it overnight, wherein they become zombie babies who will obey orders unquestioningly. I’m not lying. Really. Anyway, Soren and his friend outsmart their oppressors by not looking atthe moon and then just pretending to be zombies. And then one of the guards takes them back to his room to teach them to fly and escape, because he secretly hates The Pure Ones and has been biding his time for years waiting to betray them.
Unfortunately, Grimble’s treachery is immediately discovered and he tells Soren and company to fly away to safety. Soren sees Kludd betray and murder Grimble, but even so Soren nonsensically insists that his beloved brother needs to be “saved”. With five minutes of teaching from Grimble, the two baby owls fly out of the castle and outmaneuver the superior-trained Darth Vader owls to escape.
Soren and elf owl run into Comic Relief Owl and Poor-Singing Big Owl and the four become friends for some reason and decide to find the Guardians of Ga’Hoole of the legends and plead for help in kicking The Pure Ones’ asses.
The four owls begin their no-doubt epic journey to find the Guardians. They fly for a few minutes before encountering their first obstacle–a snowstorm. Comic Relief Owl’s wings freeze and he plummets to his death. BUT WAIT!! He survives because he’s saved from the fatal fall by–ONE OF THE GUARDIANS OF GA’HOOLE! That’s right–the legendary Guardians that no one has ever been able to find can apparently be found by flying east forhalf an hour. Apparently, no one ever tried very hard to find them before.
So Soren and his peeps all return to Rivendale, which is forestry and lush and green just like it appeared in Lord of the Rings, where they meet up with all of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole. Yes, that’s right, the LEGENDARY Guardians of Ga’Hoole of the LEGENDS passed down from owl generation to owl generation are all still alive and vital. I didn’t realize recent history could already be a “legend”. It’s kind of like the “Legend” of Barack Obama or something. Not only that, but the author owl who wrote the legendary books about the Guardians is in fact the retired leader of the Guardians!
Anyway, the owls of Ga’Hoole find out about Sauron and The Pure Ones, and after half an hour of filler they fly into a trap in Mordor where they’re saved by Soren and company. Author owl goes to fight Sauron and is hopelessly outmatched.
Meanwhile, psychopathic Kludd sees Soren is wounded and decides to drag him into a blazing inferno forest of death to kill him. Obviously Kludd is still pissed about Soren being a better flier than him. Yes, if a family member does something better than you, you should turn evil and obsess over viciously murdering them. That’s one to grow on, kids.
So Kludd still can’t fly very well and is going to fall to his fiery death. But Soren, being an idiot, grabs him and tries to haul him to safety. But Kludd hates Soren SO MUCH because of his freaky flight-inferiority complex, that Kludd tries to pull Soren down into the flames instead and ends up falling to his death alone instead. And Soren, being as pathetic as he is, cries over his dear brother’s death. You know, the dear brother who betrayed and tried to kill him again and again and again.
Soren goes to help Author Owl, ends up killing Sauron himself, the kingdom of owls is saved, and they all join the Guardians and live happily forever YAY!!!
If this sounds crappy, it’s because it is. And while I usually like bad movies, the 15 bucks per 3-D ticket takes a lot of the wind out of my wings. And yes, that’s a terrible pun, and quite fitting for a terrible movie. I’m not going to fail this movie, because I’ve seen much, much worse computer-animated films. But this is no Toy Story 3–hell, it’s not even Happy Feet.