Guardians of The Galaxy is Marvel Studios’ final film of Phase II before The Avengers: Age of Ultron hits our screens next May. I had a chance to see Guardians last night and I wanted to give my review as well as my overall impressions of the film.
*WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*
Guardians of The Galaxy was a huge gamble by Marvel, most people have never heard of Guardians of The Galaxy and this movie could have been a huge failure, the key words being COULD HAVE BEEN. I am very pleased to inform you that Guardians of The Galaxy is actually a really good film, with a great mixture of comedy and action making it Marvel’s best film to date. Now I’m going to talk about what I liked about the film, going into detail about the different parts of the film.
Direction: Guardians of The Galaxy is directed by James Gunn (Slither) and is also a co-writer on the film. Gunn does an incredible job filming the action and comedy in the movie and creates a very consistent tone for the film. Under Gunn’s direction the film never takes itself too seriously, and the comedy does not feel forced and fits in the Guardians’ universe. Making this film a comedy was a genius idea from Marvel and James Gunn, because now it introduces a new angle for directors to film and write a superhero film. I’m glad James Gunn is directing Guardians of The Galaxy 2 because if anyone else took over the franchise, the overall tone of the film might be lost.
Plot: The film focuses primarily on Peter Quill/Star Lord (Chris Pratt) and his evolution from being a selfish rogue to becoming a self-less hero. Peter Quill is abducted as a boy by a space craft in the mid-west in 1988 and twenty-six years later he becomes a ravager (he steals important artifacts for prospective buyers and is paid handsomely for his services. On his adventures, he encounters Gamora (who is the adopted daughter of Thanos, and has a dark past), Rocket (a genetically engineered raccoon who was turned into a weapon and is pretty intelligent and proficient with weapons), Groot ( who is a sentient alien tree-like creature, who because of his language, it sounds like he is repeating “I Am Groot”), Drax The Destroyer (who wants revenge on Ronan The Accuser, who murdered his wife and daughter). This unlikely group comes together to try and defeat Ronan The Accuser who plans to destroy the planet Xandar and the rest of the galaxy with one of the Infinity gems. The Guardians manage to stop Ronan, because Star-Lord is able to absorb the power of the Infinity gem, and then Gamora, Drax, and Rocket grab each other’s hands being able to control the power. Star-Lord is able to channel the energy from the Infinity gem and shoot it at Ronan destroying him. It is revealed that Star-Lord is half human, because he also carries alien DNA, from his father that the Xandarians cannot identify. All they know is that it is very ancient. Leaving us to speculate who Quill’s father is. I loved the plot and I think it was a great origin story for these characters, and I am looking forward to the sequel.
Acting: The acting in this film is incredible. Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill/Star-Lord, who has lost his mother and is trying to find a purpose in his life. Pratt does a great job with the comedy (he has some of the best lines and scenes in the movie) and he is actually very believable in the action scenes where he is kicking ass. After seeing the film, I cannot see anyone else in the role as Peter Quill, he nailed it. Zoe Saldana plays Gamora who is the adopted daughter of Thanos and has a dark past, and you really feel for her character. Saldana was great in the film. Bradley Cooper provides the voice for Rocket who is a genetically engineered raccoon who is very intelligent, and proficient with technology and weapons. Bradley Cooper is unrecognizable in this film, he does a great job at hiding his voice and I love his New York accent, it makes the comedic scenes that much funnier. Rocket has some of the best lines and scenes in the film. Bradley Cooper is great in the film. Vin Diesel provides the voice of Groot, who is Rocket’s friend and muscle who provides some comedy in the movie as well. Vin Diesel is a very talented actor and he is great in this film as well. Dave Bautista plays Drax The Destroyer, who gives a deadpan performance, which works for his character and ends up being pretty funny. He is pretty angry and has a hard time understanding metaphors. Lee Pace plays Ronan The Accuser, who is the main villain of the film. Lee Pace, right now is one of my favorite actors, and he does not disappoint in this film. Pace is downright terrifying in this film, he is cold-blooded, and completely evil. You do worry for the Xandarians, when he enters the planet Xandar near the end of the film. Michael Rooker plays Yondu, who is responsible for kidnapping Peter Quill as a boy and “taking him under his wing.” He is the leader of the Ravagers, a group of men, who have no code of honor and just roam across the galaxy looking for artifacts that will make them tons of money. We find out later that Yondu kidnapped Peter Quill as a boy, because he was ordered to by Quill’s father (whose identity is left a secret). Karen Gillan of Doctor Who fame plays Nebula, the adopted daughter of Thanos and second in command under Ronan. Karen Gillan is good in the film, and does the job, but she is really a secondary character. We do get to see that she seems to hate Thanos, who turned her into a sort of cyborg, and thus decides to side with Ronan. Benicio del Toro plays Taneleer Tivan/The Collector. Del Toro is really strange and creepy as The Collector, but he does provide an explanation for the Infinity gems, their origin and why they are extremely dangerous. Del Toro is great in the role and nails the character making him very creepy and hard to trust. John C. Reilly plays Corpsman Rhoman Dey, who works for the Nova Corps, the sort of police for the planet Xandar. Reilly is funny in the movie and he is good in the film, but he could have been replaced by another actor and it would not have made much difference. John C. Reilly is a very minor character in the film.
Music: The music in this film is amazing! The idea of having Peter Quill’s Walkman being the soundtrack throughout the film is genius! Of course the best part of the film is when “Hooked On a Feeling” plays in the background, but I loved the opening credits with “Come and Get Your Love” playing in the background as well. The soundtrack was spot on, and even though it feels out of place, you are eagerly waiting to hear more of Star-Lord’s “Awesome Mix Vol.1.”
Special Effects/Cinematography: The special effects in Guardians of The Galaxy are incredible! Rocket and Groot look so realistic and life-like, that you completely forget they are CGI! The visuals in this film are just gorgeous, the colors and the whole look of this film are just amazing. It was a sight to behold when you see Star-Lord and the rest of the guardians trying to stop Ronan near the end of the film. This is what a good Star Wars movie should look like.
Overall, I loved this film! It had great acting, great visuals, great music and a great story! Marvel knocked it out of the park again folks! Guardians is awesome! If you are a fan of science fiction stories or films, you will love this film, if you are a fan of marvel movies, you will love this film. Guardians of The Galaxy is a step in the right direction and I for one cannot wait to see them team up with The Avengers! I loved Guardians of The Galaxy and that is why I give this film a 9/10!