Jim Sturgess is the voice of Soren, the heroic young barn owl kidnapped by evil queen Helen Mirren and her marauding band of pseudo-Nazi night-hunters, the Pure Ones. But it’s not long before Soren flies the coop, assembling a motley band of helpers and heading across the ocean in search of Ga’Hoole, home of the mythical Guardians. There’s too much story for 97 minutes, leaving much of the film feeling rushed and confusing. The script is overfamiliar and predictable, stuffed with daftly named supporting characters (the villain is called Metalbeak). And it doesn’t help that some aspects of this owl-oriented world feel slightly ridiculous. How do they make armour with those talons, let alone put it on?
But ‘Legend of the Guardians’ has its moments: thanks to the PG rating, the film provides little opportunity for Snyder to indulge his tiresome liking for bonecrunching violence while allowing him room to exercise his knack for action: there are a handful of soaring, immersive and at times beautiful fight-and-flight sequences which utilise 3D in the best imaginable way.