Guardians of the Galaxy Review

By: Eli Ralston

Ever since the first Iron Man was released by Marvel Studios, their films have tried to be as grounded as possible with somewhat believable technology and story lines that aren’t too outlandish–Thor excluded. But Guardians of the Galaxy is easily one of Marvel’s most out-there and riskiest ventures to date. The film is based on relatively unknown characters from the Marvel universe and it has the tremendous task of bringing the Cinematic Universe into the Cosmic era, which is needed to use the Infinity Gauntlet story line. With so much to contend with this summer and so much riding on the success of the film, Marvel was taking a huge risk with this film, but it was a huge pay off. Guardians is up there with some of the very best Marvel films including Iron Man and The Avengers. It’s not only one of Marvel’s best, but it is also a true blockbuster with it being fast paced, action packed and funny. It is actually the funniest film that I have seen all summer.

     The film starts off with Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), who was abducted as a child and raised away from earth by a group of “Ravagers” who are basically international scrappers. Peter grows up to become quite the outlaw among the stars, even giving himself the name “Star-Lord” while he gathers valuable trinkets to sell. When he steals an orb for a client, he doesn’t realize how important it is to many different people in the galaxy as he soon has a hit put out on him. That is where he meets Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) which turns into a fight between the four that lands them in jail where they meet Drax (Dave Bautista).

When the film started I will admit that there were so many different planets and societies and races being thrown around that it took me a little bit to get my head around it. But I honestly appreciate it instead of it taking half the film just trying to explain itself. It just assumes that you’re actually paying attention, cause if you are you can easily find out who the Nova Corps is and about the war going on. While the film is meant to bring us into the cosmic universe for the Cinematic Universe, that doesn’t mean that, that is what the film solely focuses on. Quite the opposite actually, Guardians uses its plot to tell its own story around the orb and the bringing together of this group instead of just universe building.

     The way they brought this group of “heroes” together actually felt a lot like how they brought them together in The Avengers, with a lot of tension but also with the characters sharing moments together that really make you feel like they are growing in their friendships. When the five of them finally come together, it feels right and you actually feel like they would all fight for each other. It is really impressive that where The Avengers were able to use multiple movies to set the foundations for their relationships, directorJames Gunn pulled it off in two hours.

The best part about this film are the performances from the entire cast. Casting Chris Pratt as Star-Lord was as perfect of a casting as Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. Pratt really felt comfortable in the role of a cocky-but-heroic guy who is great at giving inspirational speeches and crass one-liners. He has crafted the role as his own and it is hard to think of anyone else playing Star-Lord. Zoe Saldana as Gamora was also great. She is perfect as the bad-ass assassin who is determined and can see right through some of Quill’s BS.

My favorite characters in the film had to be Rocket and Groot. Bradley Cooper pulls out all the stops in his voice acting as the sarcastic Racoon with a skill for blowing things up. His partner in crime Groot may not have been the most extensive voice role for Vin Diesel, he still does a fantastic job with the motion capture and the character itself provides a lot of warmth to the film and he really is a character that you care about. The most surprising performance came from Dave Bautista as Drax. We didn’t get to see much of him in the trailers but he has some amazing lines with the fact that he is a bit too literal with everything. It was great to see that Dave Bautista can branch out into acting with some amazing timing with his deliverance of the too-literal Drax.

     The supporting cast of Michael RokerJohn C. Reilly and Glenn Close do great jobs as well with some fun writing that make the film even funnier. With such great performances from the heroes of the story, the villain Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) delievers a good enough performance, but since the film doesn’t really focus on any relationships of the villains, it kind of becomes “oh, I just want to take over the world and that’s about it.” But hey, we at least got to see Thanos!

I also must mention that the soundtrack for Guardians was fantastic. The fun tracks added to the overall feel of the film, making it even more cheeky. This film really proved that Marvel isn’t afraid of taking some chances with their films cause its obvious thatGuardians isn’t the kind of film that Marvel fans have been used to.

All in all, whether its an 80s rock song, a dance off, or even the idea of a talking raccoon, Guardians of the Galaxy proves to be different from other Marvel films and it works. It is great that Marvel gave Gunn so much freedom to use his unique tone in the film.Guardians of the Galaxy knows it is the black sheep of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that really gives it a swagger. The fact that it’s so out-there really enhances the film and is actually more a comedy rather than an action film. It is a fun ride from beginning to end; isn’t that why we go to the movies in the first place?

Verdict

Incredible

Guardians of the Galaxy was one of Marvels riskiest and most out there films, but it turned out to be one of their best, rivaling The Avengers as Marvel Studios best film.
Picture


Positives

  • Constantly funny
  • Everything Rocket Raccoon
  • Lovable Characters
  • Overall just a fun movie
  • Great soundtrack

Negatives

  • Cookie-cutter villain
  • Takes a few minutes to figure out the new worlds and races