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Review The Guardians a.k.a. Zashchitniki (2017): Russia's answer to Marvel is a sad affair!

genre: action, adventure, science fiction, super hero







For me it doesn't matter where a film is made. If it is good it's good. And especially if it is a genre film I can't get enough of. However that does not mean I will be accepting and forgiving towards all of them. Because I don't know what they were going for here but The Guardians is bad in so many ways. And not the so bad it's good kind.

This film is plagued with some major issues. First and foremost the plot. Or lack of. It couldn't get any simpler. A bad guy wants to become the most powerful being on the planet and has no trouble destroying and killing any obstacle on his path. Enter The Guardians who are super powered people with unique abilities. From their introduction they seem very capable and effective but nothing is further from the truth. They are easily the worst super heroes you could imagine. But they are the ones who have to put a stop to the main baddie whose name escapes me and I don't really care for much. Although he did look like an upgraded version of The Humungus from Mad Max 2. The simple plot is not the problem. But how it was constructed is a big problem. It takes the film forever to get warmed up for the super heroes and what they stand for. And it makes the fatal mistake to talk you to death instead of us showing the viewer the events they talk about. But even then the dialogue is so cringe worthy that it is not always clear what emotion they are trying to evoke. If it weren't for the music that is. Thanks to the music you know what you should be feeling. The result is unintentionally hilarious. However the film discourages you to laugh because it takes itself far too seriously. Besides before you can let yourself get overwhelmed by it's badness you will be bored to death. BTW these are the only so bad it's good moments. So don't get your hopes up. 

We never get to know our heroes that well. They could not get any flatter. Instead we get to see Major Elena Larina (Valeriya Shkirando) interacting with these chosen ones where basically they confide and preach to her about the main problems they are dealing with. Normally this is one of those things I appreciate in the genre since those scenes make you relate to the characters and make you care about them. Unfortunately not in this film. Major Elena probably means well but is easily the worst pep talk giver ever. Where she should have been motivating the characters she makes them feel worse than before she talked to them. Actually now I think about it that makes it a bit funny. 

Worst issue of the film is the pacing though. It's all over the place. Just when you expect things to move in lightning speed they slow down events by pointless dialogue. Every action in the film starts with a good dose of excitement and fun but then gets broken down to a point you don't care anymore. Most of the special effects were good or at least good enough to convince me that they were trying real hard to make a good movie. Now there were some moments that made me smile and I found entertaining. Which was the training sequence before the final and the first few minutes of that finale. But was it enough to make me overlook the many flaws and issues this film has? NO NO NO. Had I known that this film was directed by Sarik Andreasyan I most likely would not have bothered watching this film. His American Heist was atrocious. Can you believe that despite this a sequel is in the works? 

The Guardians had real potential to be a fun super hero movie. Some of it's elements looked promising. However the way this film has been directed and executed was unbearable to watch. It is so incredibly boring. How good can a film be if you are glad it's over?  As someone who truly appreciates Bad B movies that is saying something. Avoid!



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