Superhero movies are all the buzz these days, and it looks like Russia is the latest country to hop on board the action-packed, VFX-filled bandwagon. The February 2017 release date of Director Sarik Andreasyan’s Guardians may be a ways away, but a newly released collection of character posters should equally intrigue and confuse you.
Starring Sebastien Sisak, Sanzhar Madiyev, Anton Pampushnyy, Alina Lanina, Valeria Shkirando, Stanislav Shirin and Vyacheslav Razbegaev, Guardians takes place in an alternate historical universe where the Cold War conflict between the United States and Russia rages on. An organized Soviet group called “Patriot” has altered and manipulated the DNA of four individuals, creating formidable and unassailable superheroes who are tasked with protecting the Russian homeland from foreign threats, presumably from the United States.
The defining superpowers of the four superheroes created by “Patriot” apparently bear some connection to the strengths and traditions of the different nationalities that inhabit the USSR. Based on the teaser, which revealed scant details about these superhuman creations, it was nearly impossible to tell what was going on. One of the Guardians is a woman with blue stitching in her neck that glows menacingly, and another Guardian spontaneously sprouts a thick coat of hair on his back. These movie posters clarify the appearances of the four superheroes, but the specifics of their powers ultimately remain ambiguous.
This ferocious brown bear-man named Arsus is the fleshed out visual of the mysterious figure that grew hair on his back in the teaser. The brown bear is an infamous symbol of Russian culture that has been employed in cartoons and other political material since Tsarist society. A bear cub, for example, was the mascot of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, an emblem of Russian fortitude and ferocity. This bear superhero is exactly that: formidable and savage, as seen below by the destruction that ensues when he flexes and roars. You have to admit, we may have a Hulk, but a werebear is pretty cool too.
This next superhero called Khan, although I’m not exactly sure what cornerstone of Russian culture he reflects. He has super speed and two very sharp scythes attached to his arms. He also wears some sleek steel armor to round out that Russian robot look, you know, the classic archetype (?), the film’s creatives were going for. Watch him wreak havoc on some overconfident and ultimately helpless men who use primal screams and futile machine guns to try and defeat this very sharp superhero.
I thought this movie was supposed to feature Americans as the enemies, but these guys don’t seem to be from America. At the end of the day that doesn’t really matter, though—they cut in half just as easily as any human body. Forget Vector Marketing’s Cutco Knives, this guy could julienne a carrot in half a second.
The next superhero’s powers are totally unclear, although it looks like he bears some sort of magnetic force that can move rubble. His name is Ler, and he has that burly bearded Russian look about him, so maybe he’s the hunk of the group? Who knows.
Here’s our resident female Xenia, because you know, females make up a considerable portion of the Russian population. She’s gorgeous (shocking) and has stitching up her neck and body that makes her arm glow an iridescent blue and triggers some sort of water-based power. She also wields a sharp object in the other hand, which, in combination with her aquatic command, destroys everything in sight. Her superhero outfit, also, conveniently highlights her cleavage. Sexy and destructive, now that’s an unbeatable combination!
This last poster is the most unclear of them all because we’ve already been through four superheroes, which begs the question: who is this last monster? This bulging beast looks like a pro wrestler on electrical steroids. He appears to lead an army of some kind, as the figures behind him are in tact and not flying in all directions. Also I’m going to go ahead and guess that this is the bad guy. This also may be the way Russians view Americans nowadays.