Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy
Director: James Gunn
Writers: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman
Stars: Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper
Synopsis: 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.
Let’s flashback a few years to Comic-Con 2012 when it was announced that Guardians of The Galaxy was going to be a feature film. Many people had no idea what this was but I was jumping up and down in excitement. How excited was I? When Maury tells people that they are not the father and you see how happy some of those men are, that is how I excited I was. The concerns many people had was that the characters are not household names and the idea of a talking raccoon (just don’t call him a raccoon) that is best buds with a tree is hard to sale. Fast forward to now and Guardians is here and I personally feel it is the most successful Marvel movie; because it not only expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe but it shows that Marvel can bring lesser known characters to the big screen.
Guardians of The Galaxy is a film that will leave you “hooked on a feeling” with its character development, stunning visuals, entertaining plot and of course, stand out performances from Chris Pratt, Lee Pace, and Bradley Cooper. Thor: The Dark World was the first time we get a real look at the beauty that is the Marvel Universe beyond earth. However, GOTG opens up the cosmic realm of Marvel and all the planets and warships are visionary masterpieces and the cinematography really makes it that much special. James Gunn’s film is not the best Marvel movie by any means, but it’s the most successful, even before it actually hits theaters. GOTG is a success because in two years this movie has completely changed everyone’s perception on this film and Marvel in general. Kudos to Gunn and his team.
GOTG is about people coming together for a cause greater than their own. Legendary outlaw Peter Quill, AKA Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), finds himself subject to a global manhunt after stealing an orb. Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) is a man you don’t want to steal from and Quill ends up forming an uneasy alliance with other misfits Gamora, Rocket, Drax the Destroyer, and Groot. The orb poses huge threats to the cosmos and it’s up to the Guardians of The Galaxy to stand together and bring Ronan to justice. Nicole Perlman, big congrats to you on being the worst woman to write a script in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Along with Perlman the script was also written by director James Gunn. Making a movie is hard enough for one superhero but handling multiple in one film is very difficult. One of the reasons The Avengers was so good was the because of how the script properly handled the multiple personalities of the team. The Guardians of The Galaxy member’s personalities are so different, it makes the Avengers bond look stronger than Ash and Pikachu. Gunn and Perlman did impress me with the way they were able to find common ground between all the characters and the jokes were based off each individual character’s uniqueness to the team. The characters interact with each other well and the constant pickering works in the film’s favor. One major issue I have with most Marvel films is the handling of the villains. Ronan fared a lot than Malekeith did in Thor: The Dark World. Ronan was giving a few solid moments but his action sequences could have been more developed. The other big issue I have, as an avid fan of the comics, is that I was extremely disappointed in how they handled Gamora in this film. Gamora is billed as the most dangerous woman in the Galaxy, in this film she is more of a poodle than a pitbull. I would have also loved to have seen Richard Rider or Adam Warlock in this film (sequel maybe). Overall though, despite a few things here and there, the story is still a lot of fun.
Chris Pratt is the new star of the Marvel Universe. I knew Pratt would do an excellent job nailing Star-Lord because he has great comedic timing. Pratt is able to carry the film and I am not sure that Star-Lord is Pratt quite yet as Iron Man is RDJ but so far so good. Zoe Saldana is one of my favorite actresses and was fantastic playing this type of character (credit Avatar). WWE wrestler Dave Bautista was better than I imagined him to be as the role was a natural fit for someone of his size and wrestling background. Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel pulled a San Antonio Spurs on me and blew me away with their voice work for Rocket and Groot respectively. Lee Pace was great as the underdeveloped role of Ronan the Accuser. The roles of Glenn Close, John C. Reilly and Benicio del Toro were severely underused in the film.
The score and visuals are some of films greatest strength. Quill listens to his Awesome Mix volumes any minute he can and it helps him stay connected to the Earth, home and family he lost. Composer Tyler Bates was the man in charge of the awesomeness and he will leave you in awe with his musical selection. Anybody who uses a Marvin Gaye song automatically gets two thumbs up.
Marvel has done a tremendous amount of marketing for this film to generate interest beyond the comic book fan and Guardians is just the start. I cannot wait for Ant-Man and Doctor Strange and personally, I would love an Inhumans film. All that being said, Guardians of the Galaxy is the best movie of the summer so far and everyone will love the team of Rocket and Groot. I guarantee Rocket will be popular with kids and he will be on their backpacks and lunch pails.