Movie Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy.
Directed By: James Gunn.
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper.
In the far reaches of space, an American pilot named Peter Quill finds himself the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb coveted by the villainous Ronan.
Guardians Of The Galaxy is Marvel's 10th studio film and it could be their best yet. In Guardians we are taken into the grander Marvel universe that we never even imagined years ago.
This has been the first real gamble for Marvel. Until now the studio has been putting out films based on relatively known characters, Guardians is their first real risk. These are very unknown characters that not even hardcore comic book readers know a lot about. The Guardians are a group of misfits from all corners of the galaxy that put aside their differences to defend the galaxy from the evil Ronan.
The team is made up of Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper). Five very different personalities that become united by a common enemy.
Our main protagonist if Peter Quill aka Star Lord. He was born on Earth but was abducted by aliens at a very young age, he grows up under Yondu (Michael Rooker) and becomes a Ravager. When on a mission to recover a very rare artifact called The Orb he is confronted with followers of Ronan, they want The Orb for their master so he can destroy the planet Xandar. Mishaps happen and Peter ends up in prison along with Gamora, Groot and Rocket, there they meet Drax and they form together to stop Ronan from obtaining The Orb and destroying Xandar.
We see this all the time. A villain wants a powerful weapon to destroy the world and our heroes have to stop him. But I assure you, you have never seen a film like Guardians Of The Galaxy.
Guardians Of The Galaxy was one of my most anticipated movies this year, I've been following it since its announcement 2 years ago.....and let me tell you, the wait has paid off. This film is spectacular.
Like I said earlier, this could be Marvel's best film to date. It's got incredibly well choreographed action scenes, very detailed characters with a lot of personality, its shot beautifully and by far this is Marvel's funniest film.
Marvel always find a way to mesh different genres, and one genre that is always present is comedy. I was laughing almost every scene and I have to owe that to James Gunn. I'm going to be honest, I was nervous when James Gunn was hired. Before this he had done very small movies, and I wasn't sure how he'd cope with a movie of this scale, and after Guardians....Gunn needs to do a lot more movies like this! He also wrote this film and his humor really shines through in this film, he did not hold back and I am glad he didn't. Just when you think Guardians is going to do something, it does something completely different and it constantly surprised me. It takes the cliches and just throws them out the window. Big dramatic moments are fleshed out but then broken off by something completely hilarious and it kept surprising and the audience just loved it.
Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) leads the film and this is perfect casting. He has the action star look, he has a charm but his sense of humor is incredible and I couldn't imagine anyone else in the role. He's like Han Solo mixed with Indiana Jones with mixed Captain Kirk with a lot of Chris Pratt thrown in the mix and that might sound like a mess....but it works! His character also has a lot of heart to him, he's a ladies man and a thief but he genuinely cares about the people around him and one scene towards the end of the film nearly brought a tear to my eye because his character is very well fleshed out. Star Lord has the wit and the charm to rival that of Tony Stark, if these two characters ever meet in the Marvel Universe, it would be incredible to watch.
Zoe Saldana (Star Trek) plays Gamora who is the adopted daughter of the mad titan, Thanos! She betrays her adoptive father and works with the Guardians to bring an end to Ronan's and Thanos' plans. I was getting nervous throughout that maybe Gamora will just become the love interest but yet again, this film defy's cliche. Gamora is more than capable of kicking ass and proves that throughout the movie. She has a very interesting back story that hard core fans will love and she gives one of her best performances in this movie.
Dave Bautista (Riddick) plays Drax The Destoyer who again is a character with a very interesting back story that isn't delved into a lot in the film, we only get a taste but hardcore fans will appreciate the references. I never doubted that Bautista would be able to nail the physical side to Drax but was nervous about his acting ability but he really surprised me. He is clearly the actor on set with the least experience but he gives a decent performance and actually handed out a lot of the laughs in the movie. His character takes everything seriously and that made for some really funny dialogue.
Vin Diesel (Riddick) voices Groot, a tree like creature whose vocabulary is limited to the three words "I am Groot". In his language he is actually saying something but everyone else (except Rocket) just hears "I am Groot". Groot is actually one of the most intelligent characters in the Marvel universe. James Gunn put it perfectly when he said "Groot is the soul of the movie", and he was right. Groot is brutal and violent when he needs to be but is incredibly likable and steals a lot of the scenes. He's almost like the Chewbacca of Guardians.
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle) voices Rocket, who really steals the movie. Rocket is basically an alien Raccoon with genetic enhancements that give him the ability to speak, have great intelligence and kick some serious ass. Bradley Cooper gives a great vocal performance which blew me away. Rocket is funny, bad ass and a very layered character. At first all he wants is money but he grows into a really loving character that shows a lot of emotion throughout the film. This is the character that fans are going to be raving about after seeing the movie. This character could have gone so wrong, it is a Raccoon who speaks and fires guns.....sounds pretty dumb, but the way he's utilized adds so much greatness to the movie and you're all going to love him! Rocket and Groot are best friends. Rocket is the brains, Groot is the muscle and they are the Han Solo and Chewbacca of this movie. Their friendship is touching, funny and authentic.
Like I said before, the plot is very by the books but it has a real emotional pull caused by the characters and the direction of the film. I've gone into the main characters but there are a lot of other side characters that are really good in the film.
James Gunn handles the comedy, action and drama brilliantly and makes a perfect balance of all those genres. The comedy is hilarious, the drama is intense and the action is beautiful. James Gunn shot the movie perfectly. No shaky cam, no frantic cuts, a lot of carefully choreographed action scenes that I could have watched for hours and hours. Each character has their own unique style of fighting and when they all fight side by side, its glorious.
By far these are the best visual effects we've seen in a Marvel movie, there are loads of aliens, spaceships and planets all on screen at once and not once did I look at them as visual effects, I bought into them. After seeing Guardians, James Gunn might be one of my personal picks to direct a Star Wars film. The space battles in this movie are unbelievable, I will go as far as to say these spaceship battles are as good as something out of Star Wars. Ships are flying left right and center in the climactic battle and every inch of the screen looked top notch. The movements of the ships feel very natural and smooth and I could have watched the Guardians fly around in the Milano for an hour, it was so fun to see.
In the trailers for the movie we have been teased of the film's retro soundtrack, and the soundtrack for this film is perfect. Loads of popular songs from the 70's and 80's that Peter Quill keeps close to his heart play quite a key part in the film. They add to Quill's character because those songs are his only real connection back to planet Earth. The songs play through a large portion of the film and not once were they distracting or out of place.
If I had one minor negative about the film, it would be the villains. The majority of Marvel's villains have been quite forgettable except a few (Loki, Red Skull, Winter Soldier) and unfortunately Ronan falls into the forgettable pile of villains. He's an intimidating force that almost seems unstoppable, but he is very by the books and obvious as to where his character goes. I imagine in the sequel we will get a much more fleshed out villain, Ronan was there to bring the Guardians together and he served a purpose, he was a fun villain but maybe not one that I'll look back on and remember as a great one. The same can also be said for his assassin, Nebula. Nebula is Gamora's adopted sister and adopted daughter of Thanos. Her and Gamora have a troubled past and that plays out and its fun but not once did I get surprised by her character.
We do get our first big look at the big baddie himself, Thanos! And yes, Josh Brolin does voice him and he was awesome in his one scene. We will eventually see more of him in later films but it was cool to finally see him in a full shot. Josh Brolin's voice does fit the character and its very intimidating and it's going to be great to see when he has the Infinity Gauntlet fighting The Avengers.
Besides its villain, this is an almost perfect film. It feels completely fresh, its one of the best movies this year and possibly the best Marvel movie. I implore you to rush out and see this film because you do not want to miss it! I had a blast, I will see it multiple times and I think you'll all love it! The action is mind blowing, the characters are hilarious, the visuals are beautiful! Go and see this movie! I'm giving "Guardians Of The Galaxy" an A!
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