Well it's finally here. The Marvel movie that everyone has been dying to see if it will turn out great, or a horrible train wreck. Really a movie with a talking Raccoon can only go one way or the other. And I am happy to say that not only is Guardians of the Galaxy great, but personally I think it is one of the best Marvel movies.
Now I myself was one of the people who was weary of this movie, and no not just because of the Raccoon (although that was a big part of it) but because of the tone it was going for. Now I love the Iron Man movies but they aren't comedies, this movie looked like it was basically a comedy movie with superheroes in it. And it basically is, and it works a lot better than you'd expect.
The film succeeds almost entirely on the strength of the main cast. They all work great together and just seem like they're having fun with their roles. I've always liked Chris Pratt ever since Parks and Rec, and I thought he did great voice work in the LEGO movie, and in this movie I felt like he pulled off the leading man role perfectly. He gave off a sort of "fuck up" vibe that works well with the tone of the film, but he is also very capable and bad ass, making him the perfect hero for this movie. Dave Bautista was also very good, you always have to be weary of wrestlers in movies, but he worked perfectly as the straight man of the group and he actually contributed to some of the funniest moments in the film. And yes Rocket Raccoon was the tits. Cooper does a great job with the voice work and Rocket is just great to watch, everything he does and says is a riot. Most people will say he is the best part of the movie. I would disagree however, as Groot is in this movie. Groot only has on line in the whole movie (repeated more than once mind you) and he still was my favourite character in the movie, I think that in itself says just how great he is. Oh and Zoe Saldana was fine, she was the least interesting of them all, and the romance with her and Star Lord was meh (although I'm a guy who hates almost all romances in superhero movies because they seem to only be added in just because every other superhero has one in it) but regardless, she served her purpose.
The villain of the movie was weak, however. He didn't really have any motivation that the audience could care about or really understand, and everything he said was very generic movie villain speak. Now to be fair, the fact that he's such a straight villain could've worked in contrast to all the other goofy characters, but they don't really do anything interesting with that concept, so he just comes off as bland. However, while Ronan may be flat, Thanos is a PIMP. Not knowing anything about one of the biggest villains in the Marvel universe, I've been excited to see Thanos since it was revealed that he was the big baddie in the Avengers. Needles to say, he did not disappoint and it made me very excited to see what role he will play in future Marvel movies.
The movie is not perfect however, my main complaint is that the movie does a poor job putting you into the world that it takes place in. At the start we are told of two opposing forces, the Kree and the Nova Primes. Ignoring the fact that we aren't given any context into either of the groups motivations or ideologies, the Kree are established as a race of blue people, but Nova Prime seems to be a mixture of a bunch of races with the majority of them being human. So is Nova Prime like the Federation from Star Trek, or is it a human settlement with other aliens just hanging around? Which lead me to wonder how the hell did humans not only come to space but become one of the primary races? This isn't a major complaint but it was something that was taking me out of the film.
The serious scenes also don't mesh with the comedic nature of the movie always. Well, to be honest it is only one particular scene that I'm thinking of, for the most part the serious parts of the film are handled well and were put in appropriate places throughout the film. The scene that didn't work I found was the opening scene. For a movie the seemed to be Marvel's most light hearted movie, I didn't expect it to open with cancer and depression. Not that it wasn't handled well and tastefully, but this scene does no fit in with what follows at all I found (and also, they never explained why little Pratt got abducted IMMEDIATELY after running out of the hospital). And on that note again, for being the most light hearted movie, it easily has to most deaths in it. That final battle had 100's of people (aliens) blown out of the sky.
The only other complaint I would have is that alot of the actors feel wasted. Glenn Close, John C Rielly and Djimon Hounsou are in the movie, but not a lot and their roles could've been played by anyone.
Other than that however, the movie is just a blast. The movie is very funny and keeps up a great fast pace that keeps you interesting throughout the whole thing. More than anything the movie gets me very excited about how they will integrate this team with the Avengers in later movies. My final note would be: it's sad that a movie with a talking raccoon and talking tree is a better space opera and more Star Wars-y than the last three Star Wars movies.
Oh actually my final note would be this: Don't stay for the post credits scene, just don't it's not worth. It's not even a teaser for an upcoming Marvel movie (at least I fucking hope it isn't)