Skip to content

At The Movies With Pete Clease: Legend of the Guardians: The Owl of Ga'Hoole

Oh, to be--act as--an owlet: as one, education is essential: as one, to learn is difficult, different; and as a learner, sans meddling, the birds must abide, internally, must halt (perch) and give loud stand to the scuttling, muttering tongues of the


Oh, to be--act as--an owlet: as one, education is essential: as one, to learn is difficult, different; and as a learner, sans meddling, the birds must abide, internally, must halt (perch) and give loud stand to the scuttling, muttering tongues of the teachings. And as they roost, they settle;--they inhabit, rest, in multitudes, sitting, housed, on old tree's lap, beside the mother's lap, and father's as well;--and like tired performers, the children still, and anxious dream over their next lesson.

Yet, when I turn--first--and think, then reproach, and distil the latter, I come to conclude: to be a feathered beast, picking at worms and insects, would be a hell; however, to be a student, would be the worse. Outside, externally, this social chain-link would, indeed, seem apropos, vis-À-vis acceptable; but this is not so: like all modern imperatives, the education system has worsened, heavily, and it has emerged as a disgusting vermin, feed on raw sewage.

What is creativity?--: is it spun from the weakest thread; the daft meaninglessness; or the double standards: the idea that anyone can do anything--...but in a strict set of rules, which have no movement, no flow; there's no passion or intensity; is this creativity? Not to me; or to quote e.e. cummings: "I would rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach 10,000 stars how not to dance."

Now, turning second, to a man who, it seems, does not perceive birds, nor care about stars, save for extermination, and seems to erotize illiteracy: Zack Snyder. What is there to say of the man; what to make of the filmmaker? To answer, he's a unique director, as he's consistently uneven, whereas his contemporaries are either talented or hacks (he is neither). His best films are strains between camp and seriousness; his worst films are flat-out atrocities--and all are disappointments; therefore, as a result, he's cinematically dense.

Thinking it over, though, his newest film, "Legends of the Guardians," is merely okay, which is the problem: it lacks ambition and substance.

It concerns a young owl, named Soren (voiced by Jim Sturgess), who after falling from his nest with his older brother, Kludd (voiced by Ryan Kwanten), is captured and then recruited to an evil owl branch. Soren resists. Kludd does not. Mid-plot: additional owls; 'attempts' at humour; failure at humour. Good owls fight bad owls. Bad owls fight good owls. Owls - Owls - Owls. Snake. Owls. Good owls--yet again--fight bad owls. More owls. No more owls; instead, credits--with owls!

You see, the film resists the prospect of learning to sing from the talents of one bird, and dithers, instead, to teach 10,000 stars how not to dance.

3 out of 5 popcorns.