Thursday, 6 December 2012

Film Review - Rise of the Guardians

In a display of spontaneous parenting (and because I wanted to see it) we took the boys (10 and 5) to see Rise of the Guardians (PG) on Tuesday night. We normally try and see a film as a family around Christmas because I think it's a nice family activity and it's more enjoyable than standing around freezing in the park, pushing the youngest on the swings while the oldest does his best to break his neck flinging himself around on his scooter. So, Tuesday night I felt all Nice-Mum and surprised them with a trip to the flicks.

As with all great kids films Rise of the Guardians is about a battle between good and evil and includes a voyage of self discovery. It has an exciting plot that progresses well. It was enough to keep both kids interested, and even though it was a late night for the youngest he didn't get bored or (too) fidgety. It's not always easy to find a film they both enjoy but this is one of them. It's just over an hour and a half long, although I'm going to voice my normal complaint about Vue's overkill with the whole ads, preview, Edith Bowman bit where they just show clips from all the films they've just showed the preview for. Adding half an hour of bumpf before a kids movie is pushing their patience somewhat.

Rise of the Guardians is by Dreamworks (who brought us the likes of Shrek, Puss in Boots, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda) and it lives up to its family film pedigree providing entertainment for children and adults. The characters and sets are well drawn and gorgeous to look at with beautiful colours and detail. Each of the main characters has their own unique personalities and quirks and is totally believable. I could quite happily suspend my disbelief in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, et all for the duration of this movie. The plot is a little wooly at times but not in an annoying way. I loved the casting - Hugh Jackman as the Easter Bunny was funny without being cheesy, Isla Fisher was perfect as the Tooth Fairy in raptures over Jack Frost's white teeth, I loved Alec Baldwin's Santa Claus and Jude Law's husky voice added just the right amount of threat to the Boogeyman.

It was a little scary at times for the five year old who spent the second half cuddled up on my lap. In the spirit of all great children's films it has an uplifting finish and he's suffered no repercussions with the portrayal of nightmares and fears. It is definitely PG rather than a U. It's not about Christmas as such, but the inclusion of Santa and plenty of snow provided courtesy of Jack Frost (the leading character) make it nice and festive. I recommend you go and see it and if you go to Vue, take advantage of their Cheap Tuesday where adults get in for the same price as kids and it's much quieter than on a weekend. Rise of the Guardians is out in both 3D and 2D. We saw it in 2D because I'm not a massive fan of 3D films and the youngest drives me crackers by forever losing his glasses because they don't sit on his face properly. Some of the flying scenes are probably great in 3D, but I don't think I lost anything by seeing it in 2D.