Verdict: A new dawn of superhero movies done well.
It seems that no one can escape the superhero fever. As we welcome the first Russian movie to release in India, the bug seems to have reached there too. They released their first superhero movie, perhaps, and we catch a glimpse of the possibilities of making an original superhero movie, which is not based on a comic. For the nit-pickers, there are a lot of parallels that can be drawn with the contemporary superhero movies. But they should not forget that there are just so many superpowers you can have. The extent of what modifications can be done to a human body is a subject that continues to fascinate scientists and filmmakers. This is a story of a result of these experiments.
The Cold War, like everyone knows, wasn't an actual war but it was the time the two superpowers (USA and Russia) were arming themselves for a war that thankfully never happened. There are a lot of conspiracy theories about the exact nature of the armament. These theories gave birth to the Weapon X program in the Marvel Universe and to the Patriot program in this movie. Under the brilliance of Dr. August Kuratov (Stanislav Shirin), the Patriot program had produced a lot of humans with special abilities. But Kuratov wants more, he wants a mix of man and machine which could take over the whole world. The program is shut down and Kuratov is arrested but unknown to all he has succeeded in his mission. When he escapes in the present-day Moscow, he unleashes his superpowers along with a clone army no one knew about. The government, which is unfit to battle such a foe, enlists the help of these humans with special abilities under the project Guardian.
The powers of these Guardians are pretty straight forward with Ler (Sebastien Sisak) with the ability to control earth. Arsus (Anton Pampushnyy) can turn into a half man/half bear and a full bear at will. They also have the invisible girl Kseniya (Alina Lanina) and Khan (Sanzhar Madiyev) who can move really fast while showing off his incredible skills with swords. The story follows a normal superhero movie path with a few origin stories, followed by the team-up and then embarking on a mission to save the world. You also get to see some genius tech gadgets for these superheroes, courtesy of the government. The beauty of this movie is that there are no fanboys or girls who can get disappointed with the accuracy while comparing them to their literary counterparts. The movie doesn't cater to a particular fan base and hence can experiment with things like the gadgets and costumes. Inspired objects like the whip of Whiplash (remember Iron Man 2?) have actually been used better in this movie.
The CGI effects in the movie work well, apart from a couple of scenes. The chemistry of the heroes works really well but is marred by the underwhelming villain and his easily-defeatable clone army. The Major Elena Larina (Valeriya Shkirando) who is in charge of the Guardian program, does a good job of keeping the team together and helping them as they struggle with the changing times not having aged a day.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
This can be the dawn of non-comic superheroes and it does look well for the genre. For a change, it is a delight to see another city suffering from collateral damage other than the very familiar skyline of New York. These fantastic four will clearly put our regular Joe superheroes to shame and that is saying something.