Guardians of the Galaxy Review: A bold, exciting Frontier for Marvel and Disney
The Avengers may have saved the Earth. But who protects the rest of space? In Marvel’s long line of comic book superheroes, there has been a group of intergalactic bandits obscured from the spotlight of Nick Fury’s chosen force. They don’t wear suits of armor or wield shields. They are not agents of anything and they have never encountered gamma rays. These are the Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) create in 2008 by Dan Abnett and Any Lanning. They were always looking for a chance. Now, they have one.
Since 2008, we have seen a radical momentum in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU.) Starting with Ironman in 2008, we saw some of Earth’s mightiest heroes rise with a new direction and focus, creating splendidly fantastic movies that do the comic books they were based off a triumphant sense of justice. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company bought MARVEL comics and most of it’s assets , save for X-Men, Spiderman, and the Fantastic Four film licenses. Since then, despite all the anxiety of having musicals and singing animals, MARVEL has been brought back into the main pop culture spotlight once again. Superheroes are the cool thing now and everyone wants to be one. With several of the highest grossing movies of all time under it’s belt, Disney/ Marvel is taking quite a risk with Guardians. It’s a different kind of comic and criteria for the MCU. Edgy comedic dialogue, sarcasm, causal intercourse nods, some profanity, coupled with unprofessional camaraderie, and raw space action, this could potentially not sit well with the parents of families forever loyal to the Disney name.
However, this movie is risk that is worth taking and it now, to be rewarded to us all.
Featuring a strong, heartfelt story narrative, instantly likable characters, a stunning level of presentation, a great sense of comedy, and fun, witty dialogue, Guardians of the Galaxy marks a new frontier for the MCU and a greatly invigorating new view of the kind of world Marvel has created.
Chris Pratt ( The LEGO Movie) stars as Peter Quill, or more commonly known as “Starlord” In the beginning of the movie, a heartwarming moment causes him to run off and suddenly be abducted by aliens. He is raised amongst the stars and becomes an outlaw across the quadrant. He comes across the discovery of a mysterious silver orb. This leads him to a run-in with 4 additional outlaws. Gamora (Zoe Saldona) an assassin that is built like a moving weapon. Drax (Dave Bautista) a crazed maniacal warrior seeking revenge. Finally, Groot (VIn Diesal ) and Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper), two sidekicks out for bounties in the galaxy. This sets the stage for one of the best experiences of this year.
The film establishes its heart in the first five minutes, making way for a soul that permeates the entire film. From the action, the dialogue, the moments, and , most especially, the soundtrack, there is a clear sense of a connection with the audience. It’s a joy to see this cast interacting with each other in a brutally honest and sarcastic ways. Yet, somehow, still managing to fight for each other in the process. These are regular outlaws with unique attributes suddenly finding themselves in a dire situation with absolutely no willingness to do it or to care. But, they share the attitude of “Screw it, let’s do it.”
THere is not clear moment where we like a character more than the other. Everyone is finely balanced out. Chris Pratt basically portrays a luke skylwalker meets Han Solo with his own unique signature, making for many great moments. Drax and Gamora have incredible action pieces and each have very memorable, quotable lines, along with the rest of the team. Bradley Cooper makes for an incredibly like-able Rocket Raccoon with his quippy lines, attitude, and general ass-kicking.
Most notable to the narrative, is an incredible soundtrack. In most movies, a soundtrack is added in post-production or simply slapped together for a retail release. Here, Director James Gunn has written a hell of a playlist into the script and into the narrative. The music flows and underscores the actions, as well as the emotional enthusiasm, throughout the whole movie, up until the very end. It makes a great movie even more enjoyable, highlighting the big scenes that occur and shape these unknown heroes
As for the rest of the cast, they do their roles exceptionally well and provide good laughs and lines, even if their time on-screen isn’t as much as the Guardians. John C Riley stars as Rhomann Drey, a sort of liaison to the team. Also, Dijimon Hounsou, Lee Pace (Ronan), and Karen Gillan (Nebula)perform their villus roles well, making for a most unexpected series of showdowns. Finally, Josh Brolin provides an intimidating Thanos. While brief, it does set the stage for something potentially bigger in the long-run of the MCU.
Presentation wise, the movie is done by Sony Pictures Imageworks. The visuals are nothing short of stunning and are done extremely well with plenty of well-done costuming and physical props. Star systems glow and sparkle throughout. The scenes change between a bustling city planet, a prison, and even the remnants of a massive space creature. With the use of practical effects and costuming, it makes for a very rich world that viewers will want to see more of.
If there are any drawbacks to the movie, those looking forward to any real meaning in the infamous post-credit sequence will be disappointed. There is a scene but not one you’d expect. Other than that, there aren’t really any clear faults. The movie could’ve been longer and featured more direct ties to the MCU, but that is not even a dent to the overall film experience. Any other notes worth mentioning is that the film IS NOT for kids. Just because there is a raccoon with a plasma rifle does not indicate, in any way, that this is an appropriate title for children. Most of the comedy was very young adult to adult especially.
This is the last Marvel film movie goers will see til May 1st, 2015 with Avengers: Age of Ultron releasing on that date. That being said, the send-off until May 2015 couldn’t be any sweeter. Guardians of the Galaxy represents a huge, fun, enjoyable launch into the larger MCU and is a must-see for fans of all backgrounds. Whether you life comics book fans or not, this movie will have you greatly enjoy the wonders of comic books and sciences fiction while giving you quite a few memories along the way. It’s been said that the biggest risk is not taking one. Guardians of the Galaxy, along with the entire cast crew, proves why risks are meant to be taken.