Marvel Studios has had a lot of hits since their inception. The studio constructed an armored hero, unleashed a radioactive monster, summoned a Norse god, created a super soldier and brought these character together for one massive blockbuster. Now Marvel takes their greatest risk to date as they head to the stars in Guardians of the Galaxy. Before the film arrived, many may have wondered just who are the Guardians? While the intergalactic peacekeeping team have been around for years, their popularity only circled the demographic of comic book fans. So a movie on this team was no doubt risky, but both Marvel and director James Gunn were content on making this film another hit for the studio. Did they succeed?
Guardians of the Galaxy follows the story of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), who refers to himself as the outlaw Star Lord. After retrieving a mysterious orb, he finds himself stuck with the assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the rodent bounty hunter Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), his wooden partner Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and the blood thirsty warrior Drax (Dave Bautista). Together, this group of outcast have to protect the orb before it falls in the hands of Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace).
While the plot to Guardians may not be as complex as other in its genre, the story had plenty of elements working in its favor. First was the pacing. Like a good adventure, the story of Guardians moves at a fast pace. However, though the plot can be quick, it was still engaging throughout the entire runtime . The story still took its time to explain each plot point which gave this sci-fi film plenty of substance. The film indeed had a thrilling tale; but at its heart, the plot's true focus is the Guardians themselves. This film was all about this team's creation and it certainly feels that way. The movie took the standard concept of a origin story and makes it refreshing.
The movie features a cast of unlikely characters. However Guardians has, quite possibly, one of the best ensembles this year. The Guardians themselves were all outstanding. Chris Pratt prove to be a believable lead a Peter Quill/Star-Lord; while Zoe Saldana showed yet again that she can play a tough as nails heroine. What came as a surprise were the performances of Dave Bautisa and Bradley Cooper. Bautista played a different kind of bruiser and Cooper's performance was alarmingly good. Rocket may have played to Cooper's strength by being a cocky SOB, but there was a heart to the character and Bradley Cooper delivered with every line. As for Vin Diesel as Groot, well he was Groot. Separately, each Guardian was great; but together, the group had a wonderful chemistry and made for a must-see team.
Then there was the rest of the cast. Admittedly, the remainders of this ensemble were not as strong as the Guardians. However, that is not to say the supporting cast was bad. Lee Pace played a pretty intimidating villain as Ronan the Accuser; while others such as Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, John C.Reilly and Benecio Del Toromade made for interesting supporting characters. This part of the cast may not have the most developed group, but they still worked for the film and each of them felt like out of this world character.
Being a comicbook movie, you should expect to see some action in Guardians; but do not think for a second that this film feature your everyday action sequences. The film delivers with several action packed moments whether it was the hand to hand combat or intense space battles. Another element that was far from average was the sets. Every world featured in this movie stood out while the likes of design and make up were unique from average sci-fi film. The movie also featured a one of a kind soundtrack. Tyler Bates composed an adventurous score for the film, but what was more surprising was the use of pop songs from the 80's. Rather then just throwing the songs in there, the movie uses each track in a way to strengthen the scene. It was a different way to handle a movie's soundtrack which only added to the diversity of this Marvel film.
Guardians of the Galaxy is simply one of a kind. The film goes to no expense at having a solid story , great cast and just exciting moments. This sci-fi film brings something different to the superhero genre as it takes Marvel to the unknown reaches of space and shines brightly as one of the year's best movies.