Sunday, October 11, 2015

Superhero Media: Rise of the Guardians

Another "hey it's on so why not record it and have a watch?" moment for me. I remember Rise of the Guardians being marketed as "The Avengers of holiday movies", which is way off; it's more like the X-Men of holiday movies. When I say "holiday" I actually mean "American Christian appropriations of Pagan concepts into family-friendly bullshit", yeah, I've studied plenty of Mythology over the years and I kind of cringe when Santa starts hinting pretty strongly at Jesus. For those who don't know, Father Christmas is a Christian appropriation of Odin wrapped in the colours of the Coca-Cola Corporation; as in the Father of Thor, one eye and slayer of Frost Giants. For some reason, in Rise of the Guardians, he's played as Russian by Jack Donaghy and has something of a pro-wrestler vibe. But enough about the one interesting character, because the film centres around Jack Frost and his journey to discover the meaning of love or some shit. Yeah, not going to lie, I pretty much got nothing from this film. 

Right, so the Sandman, Jack Frost, the Tooth Fairy and Santa have to team up to save the Holidays from the Bogeyman, played with lazy luster by Jude Law who was clearly there for half a day and walked out with cash in hand. There's something about dreams dying and snow being magic happiness or liquid fun or fairy shit, I kind of zoned out and was sorting DBZ cards at the time. I like Jack Frost's look, with the snowy hoodie and bare feet, it would work well for a teenage Bobby Drake or similar, but he's about as deep as a puddle and has no real hero's journey to speak of. Also, as an Australian, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with being given an animal that is responsible for destroying so much of our native environment as a national symbol. In the end, the heroes triumph with the power of love and kindness and the bad guy gets away for obvious sequel. 

Thing is, this film gave me some pretty good ideas for supers. No joke. Just replace the rubbish greeting card icons with some bigger and better Mythological powerhouses. Just imagine; Santa could be Odin or even Rus, he gathers Sun Wu Kong (Frost), Ishtar (Easter Bunny), Charon (Sandman) and Persephone (Tooth Fairy) to stop a supernatural serial killer who preys on children, ala Freddy Kruger or the Candyman. This team would be unlikely to want to work with existing heroes, but would find themselves out of touch with the modern world and not able to deal with supervillains. I've had some notes on such a concept for about six months, but suffering through Rise of the Guardians helped me flesh it out a bit. Who knows, maybe I can run a holiday game of my own down the track? 

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