So everyone and their granny has been talking about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero flick about a motley crew of anti-heroes in space. But 2017 also brought us another superhero film with a similar title – the Russian flick Guardians.
I saw the trailer for this film last September and it looked cool and interesting. And it was a superhero movie from Russia so the novelty factor alone had my interest piqued.
Guardians is about a team of Soviet superheroes created by scientists during the Cold War who are brought back into action when a scientist turns into a megalomaniac cyborg. Our four heroes are: Ler/Landman with earth manipulation powers; werebear Ursus/Wildman; sword-wielding Khan/Windman; and Xenia/Waterwoman who can turn into a water-like substance. The names will not win any originality points.
The movie starts with gritty war images and features some okay CGI. The action is decent and I enjoyed the display of their powers, especially the super cool Khan cutting through vehicles in slow motion and the monstrous Ursus shooting and clawing fools. Xenia, however, does not do very much though other than get knocked out. The characters are flat and attempts to give them some depth, like Ler talking about his family or some romantic tension between Ursus and Xenia, are insufficient to make you care about them. There was a sprinkling of comedy as well but the funniest part was the mistakes in the English subtitles from the version I saw.
The team works with a government organisation that bares more than a striking resemblance to the MCU’s S.H.I.E.L.D. The villain Kuratov feels like he was ripped out of a comic book but not in a good way and he also suffers from the “keep heroes alive” cliche. I enjoyed the visuals and the cool factor of the heroes but the film falls squarely into generic territory. Even the Russian viewing public didn’t like it so that’s not a good sign.
Rating: Guardians gets 1.75/4 gun toting werebears.