Guardians of the Galaxy
MOVIE REVIEW BY:
“From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team–the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits–Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly and enigmatic Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand–with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.”
Marvel Studios’ last and highly anticipated “Phase II” film, Guardians of the Galaxy has finally hit theaters. Using a rather unknown property and expanding its cinematic universe far beyond its more recognizable characters, Marvel made a gamble with the very idea of making a Guardians movie, so it was pivotal that this film be not only a commercial but a critical success.
Thankfully, Guardians of the Galaxy works very well due to its perfect combination of laugh-out-loud humor and epic sci-fi battles. It is completely self-aware of how ridiculous of a concept the film is, making the comedy better and the action-sequences all the more fun.
The majority of the cast helps to land all of the comedic points while still being able to give some dramatic scenes the emotions it requires.
Standouts include Chris Pratt as the arrogant and relatable Peter Quill, Zoe Saldana as the warrior-assassin Gamora, Michael Rooker playing a radical version of his comic book counterpart Yondu, and the voice-work of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper as the alien tree Groot and the talking raccoon Rocket.
Most of Rocket’s times on screen are scene-stealers as they involve some of the movie’s most humorous moments. However, the rest of the cast is rather flat and aren’t as memorable as those mentioned previously. This includes all of the villains (Lee Pace and Karen Gillian), and Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer.
Still, despite their performances, the screenplay by Nicole Perlman and director James Gunn does provide all of the characters with funny one-liners and really awesome character moments. The comedy in this film is what sells the movie, as it is very sarcastic and references many pop-culture elements from the 80’s. It’s enough to mostly overlook the cliché plot and lack of character development.
The visual effects of Guardians contain some of the most spectacular visuals you will see in any film this year. The effects rival that of the recent Transformers and Godzilla, and those are already established franchises with a history of groundbreaking special effects.
Another awesome attribute to Guardians is its soundtrack.
A compilation of pop songs from the 80’s, it not only grounds the film but also serves as a genuine plot device for the film. Songs include hits from artists Blue Swede, Marvin Gaye, The Five Stairsteps, The Runaways, Rupert Holmes, and many others.
The conclusion to Marvel’s “Phase II” films before next year’s Avengers film and the start of “Phase III,” Guardians of the Galaxy concludes Marvel Studios’ latest season of comic book films on a high note while establishing a brand new franchise with relatively unknown characters that will surely be more popular as the film continues to make money.
The movie is best seen as a comedy and is definitely a fun time at the movies. If you are a comic book fan and even want some more laughs after the main film finishes, stay after the credits to watch a scene that brings back a wacky character long forgotten. Guardians of the Galaxy receives 4 out of 5 stars.