“Rise of the Guardians”
"Rise of the Guardians," the 3D fantasy adventure opening Thanksgiving week, is a "great way to start the holiday season," says Mark Metcalf.
I’m tempted to say something like, “instant classic,” but that phrase is overused and more a marketing phrase than legitimate critique of a film. But the movie is darn good.
The opening sequence when Jack Frost is, essentially, created, is physically beautiful, simple, clean, a celebration of the cold, of snow and ice. The story it tells — the innocence and joy as Jack is first terrified by and then learns to love his power over cold — is magnificent. The animation throughout is unique and equally beautiful. The 3D is relatively subtle—maybe even magical in moments.
There may be too much plot for it to be a true classic.
The ability of the children of the world to believe, to have faith and to play is at stake. The Guardians must repel the black cloud of doubt that the Boogie Man, or Pitch (as in black), represents. All of it is derived directly from Madeline L’Engle’s book A Wrinkle in Time. But derived so directly that it is almost an homage. Much of the structure of adventure children’s literature derives from that truly classic source.
I think I have talked myself out of thinking of Rise of the Guardians as an “instant classic,” but it’s a great way to start the holiday season. However, I’m doubtful that decades from now we will haul out our old Blu-ray versions to watch it on our wall-sized 3D television sets.
Rise of the Guardians opens Wednesday, Nov. 21 at Fox-Bay Cinema Grill, AMC Mayfair Mall 18, and all area Marcus Theaters.