When it comes to Marvel, rarely is anything overhyped and with Guardians of the Galaxy, they present a new franchise for movie fans to commit to.
Review (with Spoilers)
Truly, the testament of what makes Marvel films good is that they combine summer blockbuster action, the type of comedy you would expect to come from professional comedians and the type of moving performances that usually are held until winter’s Oscar season. And with Guardians of the Galaxy, things are no different. For it truly shows why DC comic book adaptations, despite having the big names of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, have always found themselves following Marvel’s lead. To learn why this film continues to keep Marvel on a high pedestal: read below.
Characters & Story
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) on the day his mother dies is kidnapped by a group known as “The Ravagers” led by a man named Yondu (Michael Rooker) who somehow went from abductor to father figure. Which led Peter to become a smuggler like his surrogate father until he came across Kree representative Korath (Djimon Hounsou) who crosses paths with Peter when trying to obtain this spirit stone. Something which is of great power so when he evades Korath, the Kree send Gamora (Zoe Saldana) after Peter and the orb which contains the spirit stone. Though she isn’t the only one looking for Peter. Due to Peter deciding to screw over Yondu, two mutants: Groot (Vin Diesel), a mutant tree, and Rocket (Bradley Cooper), a raccoon who seems to have been some sicko’s science project, are after him because Yondu put a bounty on Peter.
And together, upon first meeting, they all fight, quarrel, and then all land in prison. That is where they meet Drax (Dave Bautista) who, like the rest of the guardians, has lost a lot in his life. But with the threat of Ronan (Lee Pace) and Gamora’s sister Nebula (Karen Gillan), as well as Thanos (Josh Brolin), this group finds themselves bonding together in order to seek revenge, redemption, and save the planet of Xandar from its doom. That is, unless Ronan and Thanos overwhelm them.
It is very weird for me to cry, laugh, and be on the edge of my seat while watching a film. Yet, between Peter, Drax, and Rocket, I found myself crying multiple times as we learn their back story. Then, with the same group, including Groot, a few scenes later I would be laughing either because of most of the guardians not getting Peter’s jokes or symbols, the antics of Rocket, or just the sweet, simple nature of Groot which made him perhaps the most lovable out of all of them. Though when it comes to the action, I must admit it wasn’t as good as the other aspects of the film, but between the hand to hand combat, space battles, and the futuristic technology wielded by both heroes and villains, it meets the standard you expect out of a Marvel film.
Though, as a whole, the story is what really deserves praise, as well as the actors whose performances make it so good! For while I didn’t know a damn thing about the Guardians of the Galaxy, I felt like it had the right balance for a novice, and would likely appease those of the fan base. For almost every character you get to know on an intimate level to the point where you aren’t just laughing because they are funny, or sad because of them going into their backstory, but you also sometimes tear up just because you think they may actually die or because you can see how much of a family they become to each other. One which may not replace the ones they lost, but are more than capable of taking up the time those who passed on would have occupied.
As someone who doesn’t watch a huge amount of action movies, I must admit I didn’t like how over the top, if not stiff some of the stunts were. Especially with Gamora who not only is given the short end of the stick when it comes to character development, but also her action scenes are sub-par when compared to the guys. Then, on top of that, most of the fights aren’t the type where you get a Game of Thrones type vibe where you think anyone can die. Which is only an issue for me because it makes every fight scene feel like you are watching an extreme WWE match.
Though, refocusing on Gamora, and Saldana in extension, I must say in comparison to Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow there is a clear lack of investment in this character. For, out of everyone, she doesn’t hardly get any jokes, kick ass fights, and if it wasn’t for the fact she got a lukewarm backstory and fought with the rest of the guardians, she would damn near be your usual action movie love interest.
Overall: Worth Seeing
Like most Marvel movies before it, you are presented with top quality action and effects, more laughs than your average comedy, and more reasons to cry than your Oscar-winning drama. I mean, this film is so good it makes you want to do more than follow the series, but look into who wrote it so that you can see more of their style in the future. That to me is how good this film is, and why it is Worth Seeing. For while the action may not have been in my taste, and Gamora’s development and fight scenes were subpar compared to the guys, my issues with the film I’d say are solely about preference more than anything else.
“Whatever nightmares the future holds are dreams compared to what’s behind me.”
— Guardians of the Galaxy
Things To Note
I was really surprised that Dave Bautista could act. If just because I remember him as a wrestler and just saw him as another gym rat who more so was hired due to look and strength than talent. But after seeing this I think he can join The Rock in being a possible modern action star. Though, for now, it maybe best for him to stay as a supporting character.
This film has probably one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard in an action film. It basically is 70s and 80s hits and is used not just to be background noise, but also to drive the story.
My biggest issue with Gamora is Saldana somehow was the only one I just couldn’t connect with. Be it because she isn’t the type of actress who you forget who she is, the way her story was written, or just her acting, I can’t tell you. Either way, I felt she created one of the sole reasons of giving this film a critique. For, to be truthful, outside of Marvel movies, I rarely ever watch action films. So, at the end of the day, I’m not acclimated enough to know what makes for a good fight scene outside of me thinking they actual hit each other and they weren’t performing WWE style.
I seriously love Groot. Like, if I was to ever dress up for Halloween I would be it. For, I feel Groot is the type of character who is lovable enough to be kid friendly, fights hard enough to be liked by adults, and has this universal appeal because it just comes off as friendly, loving, loyal to a fault, and like something which seeks to understand more than judge.
Let me say this, though, while I say the film is good enough to make you want to read the comics, I’m not going to since who knows how many universes and side stories this has.