Marvel Studios has been on a cinematic roll since the comics publisher’s studio debut “Iron Man”. With that film’s block buster success, along with producer Kevin Feige God fathering the Marvel universe and some on point outstanding casting, it seems that nothing can stop the juggernaut studio now. Marvel Studios rolls the dice on it’s 10th film with a much lesser known franchise, Guardians Of the Galaxy. Was the risk worth the reward?
Guardians Of the Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where we find a lovable thief, Peter Quill, chasing after a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. After Quill steals the orb, an unrelenting bounty hunt for his head pursues. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a group of misfits. Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly assassin Gamora and the revenge-driven murderous Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the threat it poses to the galaxy, he and his group of misfits must set aside rivalries with one another to do what is right in a desperate stand against Ronan with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.
The Story: It wouldn’t be unreasonable for a movie goer to hear GOtGs plot and feel a little cautious heading into the theatre. In fact, even a Marvel comics reader may feel cautious to rush out to theaters to see such a risky venture with some relatively unknown characters. I’m more than pleased to say, anyone who was cautiously optimistic about this film may now officially throw their caution into the wind.
Guardians Of the Galaxy is sold in trailers as a big epic space action adventure film, but the film is so much more than that. This movie at it’s core is really about five members of five different species that have experienced love, loss, pain, and are just trying to find their place among the stars. Guardians Of the Galaxy is packed with hilarious moments that make it Marvel’s funniest film by far. When the movie isn’t busting your gut with laughter, it’s bringing some truly touching emotional moments to the screen. That isn’t to say the film lacks action, there are some really breathtaking action sequences in the film that bring Marvel’s technology to impressive new heights.
The Cast: Chris Pratt looks like a super hero in the movie, however, he plays Peter Quill who is only a human. With Chris Pratt’s quirky personality and lovable antics he brings a lot of heart to the film, as well as truly hilarious moments that make him the perfect modern day Han Solo for Marvel’s epic space series. Pratt was perfectly cast for this role and it is surely going to be a launching point for new heights in his career.
Zoe Saldana’s character, Gamora, is pulled off without a hitch. Saldana plays the role of the assassin well and is a little tough to like at first but, by the end of the film she will steal a small piece of your heart away.
Now some of my personal favorite scenes in the film are delivered by Bradley Cooper’s Rocket and Vin Diesel’s Groot. Bradley Cooper channels some of the most dry satire he can muster and delivers it in the best way an eccentric half sentient, half raccoon possibly can. Rocket and Groot’s relationship is always fun to watch on screen and both characters bring a lot of the humor to the film as well as a majority of the warm hearted moments.
Guardians Of the Galaxy has an ace in the hole with Dave Bautista’s Drax the Destroyer. The character was just barely shown in the trailers and teasers, yet delivers some of the best dialogue in the film. Dave Bautista pulls of some of the most brutal action sequences as well as some of the greatest one liners in Marvel Cinema.
As far as the villains go, there is something left to be desired. Michael Rooker does a fine job at his take on Yondu Udonta and has some funny moments playing off of Christ Pratt’s Peter Quill. But he’s not given more than one action scene, which is actually really cool to watch, the same is to be said for Karen Gillan’s Nebula.
A unique relationship tying both Gamora and Nebula to the Mad Titan Thanos’ family tree is talked about in the film and I would of love to see something a little more expansive on the subject play out. However, Nebula and Gamora have some brief skirmishes and not much else is made of the situation.
My initial thoughts on Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser were something of “meh”. He initially struck me as a very vanilla villain delivering some typical villainous lines until he obtains the orb he is after. It’s then that Ronan becomes a real threat and fun to watch but still never becomes much more than that.
But as I said, this movie isn’t about five heroes fighting the bad guy, it’s about five creatures coming together and setting aside their differences. The entire cast plays it’s strengths off one another and Director James Gunn knew exactly what direction he wanted to take this film in and it shows in spades through the casting as well as the writing overall.
Final Thoughts: Guardian’s Of the Galaxy is a new franchise for Marvel and it’s certain after this wonderful debut to be popping up again in the future. The movie allows you to witness five miscreants go from being rivals, to partners, to friends, and ultimately becoming a family. The characters will pull on your heart strings as well as deliver the laughs. Guardians Of the Galaxy won’t leave you wanting for action either, the movie felt perfectly paced and I never felt bored. My only minor cons taken from the film is the villains left something to be desired. Overall the movie looks fantastic bringing some of Marvel’s best special effects to the screen to date and with a perfect cast and a funny touching story, Guardians Of the Galaxy shakes up the traditional Marvel formula for a truly unique summer movie you won’t want to miss out on.