Let's face it. Despite the critical backlash that the likes of Suicide Squad received this year, the superhero genre shows no signs of slowing down. Marvel and DC alone have mapped out a huge number of releases in the coming years, so comic book fans will be spoilt for choice when it comes to seeing their favorite characters fighting on the big screen.
However, the current popularity of these superhero films may not last forever. The success of Deadpool proved that audiences crave novelty in their comic book movies, but this may become increasingly rare as Marvel and DC continue to make sequel after sequel. If anything's going to bring about the superhero fatigue that Hollywood dreads, it will be boredom.
Luckily for us, the rest of the world looks set to inject a much-needed shot of novelty into the realm of super heroics. Bizarre entries into the genre such as Japan's Zebraman and Malaysia's Gecko Man didn't perform well outside of their native countries, but Russia's upcoming movie Guardians could very well be a game changer.
So What's Guardians About?
Set for release on February 23, 2017, Sarik Andreasyan's next movie Guardians draws inevitable comparisons with Marvel's Avengers — except there's less men flying around in armored suits and more were-bears sporting kick-ass machine guns.
Check out the official English-language Guardians trailer below:
Wait, you need more? Ok, well Guardians is set in an alternate reality where the Soviet Union have created their own heroes to protect the homeland during the Cold War, each of whom possess particular strengths and traditions that represent the different nationalities of the USSR.
Admittedly, it's actually rather difficult to discern how each of the four heroes draw upon their native traditions based on the promo alone. However, the frenetic, larger-than-life action sequences are a breath of fresh air in a genre that's in danger of becoming formulaic, and I for one am seriously excited to see this movie. Seriously, there's a giant man-bear shooting a machine gun. It doesn't get much better than this, ladies and gentlemen.
Who Are The Guardians And What Are Their Powers?
Arsus: Who needs a Hulk when you have Arsus? This formidable fighter can transform into a bizarre were-bear hybrid whose unique look and strangely alluring abs could make him a fan favorite when Guardians hits cinemas next year. Think Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy, but bigger and with an insatiable lust for honey.
Khan: With his circular blades and some impressive speedster/teleportation (?!) abilities, Khan slices through enemy soldiers with ease. Despite him featuring in some of the most impressive moments in the trailer, we can't help but compare Khan's dark body armor and mask to the Winter Soldier, who'll fight Thanos soon in Avengers: Infinity War and undoubtedly betray Captain America again at some point.
Ler: The bearded Soviet Ler possesses control over the earth itself, using rocks to protect himself and even form giant fists which could even take on the Hulkbuster armor — that is, if Tony Stark ever gets round to fixing it.
Xenia: We're not sure how the stitching relates to her powers yet, but Xenia's control over water will undoubtedly result in some impressive visuals when the final cut of Guardians hits cinemas. No jokes about making her wet please. We're all adults here.
August Kuratov: At this point, Kuratov remains the most mysterious character —although his grim appearance suggests that he'll use his electrical abilities on the side of evil, rather than good. Apparently, cosmetic surgery isn't big in Russia yet.
Don't Worry, Guys - Guardians Isn't The Only Foreign Superhero Movie Coming Out Soon
While Guardians is adopting the blockbuster CGI approach, Finland's foray into the superhero genre will take a darker turn with Rendel. The star of the show is a gritty vigilante whose first international trailer draws comparisons with the realistic tone of Daredevil on Netflix.
Check out the trailer for Rendel here:
If Rendel is too serious for your liking, you might fare better with A Flying Jatt, Bollywood's latest attempt to combine singing and dancing with the ongoing war against evil. Even if you're not a fan of superheroes, the ridiculous comedy on display in this promo will literally take you to the moon and back and yes, it's exactly as cheesy as that description makes it sound.
Watch the trailer for A Flying Jatt below:
If neither of these foreign superhero movies take your fancy, then there's always the prospect of a sequel to Guardians, which was already green-lit before the first film has even been released.
Superhero films are already popular in Russia - Avengers: Age of Ultron was the country's biggest hit in 2015 - and now that the country has kickstarted its own franchise, it's only a matter of time before more regions step up too.
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In the past, budgetary concerns have limited the foreign market's take on the intrinsically 'American' genre of superheroes. However, as technology improves and becomes easier to obtain, more and more countries can now compete with the likes of Marvel and DC. And if these movies feature were-bears shooting guns, we're all for it!
Do you think Russia and other countries can compete with Hollywood's dominance over the superhero genre? And will you go see Guardians when it's released on February 23, 2017?