Tuesday, April 25, 2017

‘The Guardians’ Is a Ludicrous, Muddled, Cheesy Superhero Movie that I Found Enjoyable

The Guardians (also known as simply Guardians; Zaschitniki in Russian) is the first Russian movie I’ve ever watched.  And it’s objectively terrible.  However, it has some very enjoyable elements.  For starters, it has a badass bear-man wielding a badass Gatling gun.

The plot is simple (but muddled in its execution).  To stop August Kuratov – a mad scientist that has super strength and can control electricity and machines – from taking over the world, Major Elena Larina is asked to find and assemble the former subjects of Kuratov’s old Soviet experiments: Ler, who can “magnetically” control rocks and create small tremors; Khan, a super fast Strider Hiryu-esque warrior that can slice opponents in a blink of an eye; Ursa, a werebear; and Xenia, who has superhuman abilities when surrounded by water, including turning invisible.  Together, the four of them are given the name “Guardians.”
I was looking forward to this movie ever since I saw its trailers.  I knew it was going to be bad.  But I was hoping it was going to be the “good” kind of bad.  Most importantly, when I saw footage of the badass bear-man wielding a badass Gatling gun, I just had to watch it.

Indeed, it’s bad.  The CGI is distractingly third-rate.  The editing is poor.  The script is laughably stupid and corny.  The storytelling revels in cheesy scenes, forced angst, clichés, and plot holes.  But it can be a fun watch.  Really.  If you go into this movie expecting Russia’s answer to The Avengers, you will certainly be frustrated with it.  It’s not spectacular and thrilling.  But if you treat it like one of those knock-offs that The Asylum usually makes, you might have a blast with it, as I did.
It has some cool aspects (like the spider-bots that reminded me of RoboCop’s ED-209).  But its main entertainment value isn’t due to these.  If it’s entertaining, it’s because of being, like The Asylum’s films, innately ludicrous and unintentionally hilarious.  It’s an excellent it’s-so-bad-that-it’s-good movie.

Oh, did I mention that it has a badass bear-man wielding a badass Gatling gun?
Ursa is awesome.   He’s my favorite thing in the entire movie.  What the Hulk did for The Avengers, Ursa did for The Guardians.  The bad CGI only adds to the delightful insanity that the character’s presence provides.

For being one of the worst I’ve watched this year so far, The Guardians could ironically turn out being one of my most favorite movies of 2017.  I’m genuinely excited for the sequel!

Now, let’s have more of that badass Gatling gun-wielding bear-man, please...

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