The Guardians / Zaschitniki / Защитники (2017)

Director: Sarik Andreasyan
Starring: Sebastien Sisak, Sanzhar Madiyev, Anton Pampushnyy, Alina Lanina, Valeriya Shkirando, Stanislav Shirin, Vyacheslav Razbegaev .Russia. 1h 29m

This is Russia’s slightly underpowered answer to movies like The Avengers (2012) and came out the same year as Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2 (2017), initially the movie was hyped but instantly bombed in the Russian Charts and started to receive numerous negative reviews mostly in Russia, but it’s slowly gained a trickle of fans worldwide despite its flaws it’s an ok movie, for me it’s way more enjoyable than other blockbusters that try to take themselves too seriously so if you’re into B-Movies or anything psychotropic then it might just be the super flick you’ve been looking for.

Kicking off in the Cold War, a secret organization called “Patriot” gathered some heroes together from former states in order to defend the homeland, altering their DNA these different nationalities of the Soviet Union all have their own individual special powers, a quick run down, and I’m only using their codenames, Ursus (Serbia) (Pampushnyy) who’s generally a strong man but is also a cuddle Werebear, Khan (Kazakhstan) (Madi) who looks a lot like Casshern but he’s super fast and uses curved swords and flashes around like Nightcrawler, Ler (Armenia)(Sisak) can control the earth and rocks, a bit like Bluto and Ben from Fantastic 4, and finally Xenia (Moscow) (Lanina) who can turn invisible and transform into water and all sorts of lady shit..yadda yadda…

So the crazed scientist Professor August Kuratov (Shirin), is attacked in his secret lab by the military but he blows the lab in the attempt to kill himself and destroy his work but fucks it all up, the hero’s escape and live in hiding all of them seem to be able to live forever and stay forever young, the professor is assumed to be dead but it’s shown that he manages to escape but he’s turned into a gross cyborg who can control electricity and is demented to take control of Russia. Another military organisation collects the hero’s and tries to build a defense team.

While the flaws are very prominent, continuity is a huge problem and the CGI is hit and miss, there’s something really charming about this little engine that could try and outrun Marvel. Now i’m incredibly biased here, I really don’t’ enjoy Marvel/DC inspired movies, they aren’t the style of comics I’ve enjoyed over the age of 8 and can’t see their appeal but I got into this. I don’t think that the film really took itself all that serious and was hyping itself as just an action movie following the age old model, heroes assembled and lets kick some ass, and who doesn’t want to see that.

In the opening the over muscled glowing chest supervillain strolls about collecting military machines, then takes over a tower, to be fair I still don’t know what he was planning to do as the subtitles on my DVD were sparse but I get the idea he was up to no good. The film has all the makings of the typical super movie after stripping down the crazy characterisation and wit, there’s plenty of slow motion fight scenes, butt kicking, a cute chick who does her job in heels and a variety of weapons. There’s a few explosions and at one point a plane is landed in a business district but at no point do we see people running for their lives, which is what blowing buildings up is all about 😦The biggest let down was some of the more organic CGI, the bear never really looked all that convincing and no one could keep check of his pants, they were ripping off and re appearing all the time, but does that really matter? Was that enough to people to bin the film, from what I’ve read, yes it seems to have been enough, for me this was just unintentional hilarity. The only downside is that there are so few tanks…

A prequel comic was released with the movie, but no one brave enough to carry on the story which is a huge let down, as this can only get better!

Rating: 5/10

R: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Avengers: Endgame (2019),Earthquake (2016)
L: Super heros , A-Z Russian Cinema
5s : Sarik Andreasyan

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