“Rise of the Guardians” is a story about Jack Frost, a young immortal being, who comes about with no recollection of his past nor of his purpose. Isn’t that one of the worst feelings one can ever have? Not having a sense of purpose.
So there is a heinous crime arising upon the children of the world that is affecting the heart of what it is to be a child: belief. Sound like a familiar story? It has been told in better films but I won’t compare. Was this film entertaining? Yes. It was exciting and the colors were beautiful. The animation was crisp; the characters were wonderful; their magic was pretty neat. This a film everyone can enjoy even if it does follow a very predictable story line. Some of the twists may have some parents wondering a bit, such as Santa Clause having tattoos, but aside from that, the film is harmless. It wasn’t fearless at all but it definitely is simple and safe.
What was my problem with this film? Why can’t I recommend it to the fullest of extents? I think that there was something wrong with the core of this movie. The villain, Pitch, who is the bringer of nightmares, the Boogie Man if you will, is essentially in charge of fear, and fear is something the Guardians must always combat. Fear is what destroys childhood, it seems. I would consider doubt to be the true killer of our childhood but that’s besides the point. There are strong similarities between Jack Frost and Pitch, that was evident. I just felt that the resolve resolve was all wrong — why is fear evil? Fear is scary, sure, but doesn’t fear save lives at times? Fear helps us grow and overcome obstacles, we otherwise wouldn’t have matured. Is fear really that threatening? At the end of the film, I found myself asking, “Didn’t fear bring out the heroes in everyone involved?”
This film also reminded me of “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012). The villain in that film was also misguided and resembled Batman, the only difference was their resolutions. While Batman searched to find the heroes among our hearts, Bane chose to bring heroes to us. Both were seeking a better tomorrow. Jack Frost and Pitch were alike as they are both seeking a better tomorrow, but they came to different conclusions as to what that future looks like. The caper here is something that may spoil “The Dark Knight Rises” if you haven’t watched it: both villains are not true villains. This film is exactly the same. Pitch was given a job, a reason to be an immortal by a mysterious being: The Moon. The Moon gave the story to both the villains and the heroes. How does that make any sense? The final “Dark Knight” film had that same problem giving us a villain that was actually controlled by another. Although one can make sense out of this, you also have to agree that it takes away from the evil nature of the villain: the villain becomes a mere puppet. The puppet master is to blame much more than the puppet.
Is this film worth it? It will entertain you well enough if that is all that matters, but it is not something I would recommend.