Guardians 

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You may not have heard of Guardians. That in itself isn’t odd, there are plenty of obscure movies especially when it comes to foreign language films of which this is one. What is strange is that you won’t have heard of a recently released superhero movie because normally these are all over magazines, radio, TV, buses and happy meal boxes. Mind you it is isn’t often that we get a superhero film that is spoken in anything other than English, America having cornered the international market on that particular genre. Well good on Russian studio Argunov for having a go. Guardians is demonstrably a response to The Avengers, putting together a team of super powered humans to fight an insurmountable evil. In fact it is almost as though they have set the movie up as an unofficial spin off from the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the plot revolving around a Soviet Project set up in WWII in response to rumours of a US super solider program, alluding to the first Avenger himself Captain Steve Rogers. 

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Guardians hasn’t travelled though, largely no doubt because it was a total turkey in its own country. It was made for very little money and received very little love from the critics and audiences. It did debuted at number 1 in the domestic box office charts on its February release but the takings then dropped off by 90% every single weekend until they finally pulled it from theatres. Word of mouth clearly wasn’t good. Ultimately the cinema receipts amounted to barely 80% of its comparatively modest $5 million production budget.

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In many respects you can see what the problem was. The story is derivative and cliched in the extreme, the acting is hammy, the action choreography is ham fisted, the script is cornier than a thousand bags of Butterkist and the bad guy’s costume looks like something out of an amateur dramatics production of He-Man. The very idea that Guardians could stand side by side with the best of the superhero flicks coming out of Hollywood is laughable. 

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The thing is though, maybe that’s the point. Maybe it is supposed to be funny. Intentionally or otherwise Guardians is one of the most amusing films I’ve seen this year, I certainly enjoyed it a hell of a lot more than Justice League. Viewed as a parody Guardians is actually quite brilliant and if you are a fan of the genre then I heartily recommend you watch it. It punctures the conventions of comic book films just as much as Deadpool or Kick Ass but without being so knowing, probably because it didn’t know that’s what it was doing. It ticks all the boxes; powers that make no biological sense whatsoever, nonsensical scientific explanations, trousers that get torn to pieces when the beast man transforms but magically reappear later, the gratuitous close up of the female hero’s spandexed butt, someone making the ultimate sacrifice but ultimately surviving totally unscathed and the mid credit sequence that sets up the sequel but means nothing to 99% of the general public, it’s all here and it all highlights the ridiculousness of this sort of movie.

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Whether the film is smart or stupid, bad or good or so bad it’s good, it is all tremendous fun. Guardians has turned up on iTunes and DVD with no fanfare whatsoever and for less than the price of a large coke and a hotdog. I urge you to search it out. 

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