If you have seen ‘Castlevania’, you may or may not know that one of its producers is Adi Shankar. He also happens to be the creator of the 2022 Netflix series ‘The Guardians of Justice’ (GoJ), which is basically a fan-fic parody/mash of every popular Marvel and DC superhero story ever. From Superman, Batman, Captain America to even stuff from X-Men, there’s a little bit of everything in there. Now, I had no idea what Adi Shankar looks like, but when I saw an Indian-looking dude play a Tony Stark like character in the show, I went – “I bet that’s Adi Shankar!”, because the actor seemed too ill-fitted for the part… so it had to be a producer or creator. Turns out, I was right. Although, in all honesty, most of the cast looked out of place.
While the original plan was to binge-watch the show, it was so freaking random, it took me over two weeks to finally finish it. Despite being an action thriller of sorts, it doesn’t manage to hook you. The story is set in the 1980s and Adi Shankar definitely had a fun fan-fiction series to offer, but it’s too chaotic, with completely forgettable performances and terribly written lines. Comic-book and gaming fans will immediately spot all the entertaining elements GoJ has to offer – it has some cool retro-arcade style VFX that will remind viewers of iconic games from the 80s & 90s, like ‘Contra’, ‘Wrestle Mania’… or PC games like ‘Wolf 3D’, ‘Duke Nukem’ and first-person-shooter stuff like ‘Call of Duty’. There are also a lot of comic-book style transitions and contemporary animation sequences too (think 1990s X-Men). It’s the non-animated bits with real actors where the production value seriously falters… the sets look like they are from a confused high-school play. Okay, let’s talk story…
The primary plot is pretty straight-forward, even if a little diabolical – a superhero from another planet helps defeat Robo-Hitler and ends World War III. Marvelous Man (Will Yun Lee plays this cross between Superman & Captain America) becomes a beacon of peace and establishes stability for decades to come, but all hell breaks loose when he commits suicide during a live broadcast. It’s now up to Knight Hawk (the lamest Batman rip-off ever) to investigate the truth behind Marvelous Man’s death and stop the world from disintegrating into chaos and nuclear annihilation. He starts probing his own team-members first – The Guardians Of Justice – all superheroes capable of foul-play.
Dallas Page who plays Knight Hawk makes this show an absolute snooze-fest, he looks too tired to be playing a megalomaniac superhero, a-la-batman, who gets his kicks by watching little boys murder people. Perhaps they should’ve had Will Yun Lee play the Hawk instead of Marvelous Man. With very little screen space and even lesser dialogues, at least Lee looked convincing as the invincible-man who saves planets. Among the dozens of caped demi-Gods/Godesses on the show, the only other actor who brought some authenticity to the story was Sharni Vinson as ‘The Speed’. Everybody else was just doing some random shit.
At this point, I feel like congratulating myself for managing to watch the whole series, even if I took my own sweet time with it. ‘The Guardians of Justice’ did have a few highlights, some really great retro music, well done animated transitions… but the makers just pack too many things at once, so while the pace is far from slow in the show, it’s a case of too much to show, but very little to say. Maybe they should’ve just animated it completely. It’s a 5/10 from me. If you are specifically looking for some mindless fan-fiction style super-hero series, you might rate it higher.
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