Zack Snyder (Watchmen
) takes a holiday in animated fantasyland and packs too much of his trademark intensity in his luggage. The movie begins with the kidnapping of two young brothers by an evil owl posse bent on world (or at least treetop) domination. Nice brother Soren wants to escape and prevent the owl apocalypse, while sibling Kludd is seduced by his powerful new masters. They end up on opposing sides in a climactic battle between the good-guy Guardians and the bad guys in MF Doom
-style metal masks. The action is thrilling and stunningly photographed, but also unapologetically vicious. The more troubling issue, though, is the dearth of comic relief. Snyder’s overly serious take on what is ostensibly a children’s film keeps Legends
from taking full flight.