- Starring: Chris Pratt (Her), Lee Pace (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), Zoe Saldana (Star Trek), Bradley Cooper (Limitless), Karen Gillan (Oculus) and more.
- Directed by: James Gunn (Super).
- Synopsis: “An action-packed epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the universe.”
- Rating: PG-13 for action based violence, language and suggestive material.
- Must-Watch Trailer:
Every so often there releases a film that alters the scope of its genre and ushers in a new era of expectation and thus resets the bar for the films that follow to reach. When it comes to the superhero movie genre…Guardians of the Galaxy is one such film.
Marvel once again did what it did with Iron Man back in 2008 and took a not so well-known hero team and made them A-listers. While Iron Man was a character better known than this team of alien avengers, Marvel blended comraderie, comedy and concern together in their characters and took the Guardians of the Galaxy from head-scratching curiosities to fist-pump-inducing fan favorites!
My reaction when Marvel first announced Guardians of the Galaxy was something similar to this:
While to some, Marvel may do no wrong, it is still fair to state that Marvel has had a few missteps (which will not be named for argument’s sake here). Guardians of the Galaxy impresses on so many fronts but perhaps most poignantly due to this point: While watching, I forgot I was watching a comic book movie! (How refreshing when it comes to the genre!)
Superhero movies usually are the same. We can all tend to agree with that point. For some, it even causes “superhero movie fatigue or burnout” (join a discussion on that very subject at Flixchatter HERE) due to the consistent (and slightly stale) repetition of the genre. Observe the formula:
Good (perhaps ordinary) character experiences tragedy (of varying degrees), spends time developing self and discovering powers/responsibilities, and then after a few esteem-boosting encounters with evil (perhaps reluctantly) the super-character comes across an evil that surprises and threatens said character(s) and those around. Perhaps the character(s) will suffer defeat only to then rise up from the ashes after getting help from a few minor characters or the damsel in distress and then saves the world and defeats evil and…the all live happily ever after.
Is this not the general summation of almost every superhero film? Oh, I forgot the Stan Lee cameo (sorry). However redundant the formula is, the same accusational finger could be pointed at romantic comedies, love stories, war movies, horror flicks, etc. So, for sake of argument, let’s say that “it is not the destination, but the journey that counts.” And the journey of these five Guardians of the Galaxy is a wild ride through space.
From the pages of not-so read comics to the big screen, Marvel’s tale continues the story of the its cinematic universe and brings characters that are surprisingly a lot more relatable than expected. Pratt’s Peter Quill (a.ka. Star-Lord) and his mannerisms/way of being generally grounded in his humanity brings out the same in the rest of the heroes and thus we have a superhero film full of superheroes who do not possess any real superpowers to speak of. And we forget really about that as we root for them based more on their will and characters more so than their wielded powers. I found this element of this film to be most intriguing and new.
Each of the actors (including voice actors) bring their characters to life and make each of them stand out and yet still blend to give the movie itself its own life and character. Pratt as Star-Lord, Saldana in a role I can finally really enjoy as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Bradley Cooper as the greatest raccoon that ever lived, Rocket and even Vin Diesel as Groot whose single line vocabulary makes for some of the funnest and most memorable conversations in the film…all of them are fantastic. Lee Pace plays the main villain impeccably and all of the rest of the characters are truly more than just added garnish on this delectable plate of goodies that Marvel serves.
Gunn definitely pulled some surprises in the film as to its grit, its violence, (Is this the Marvel film you may want your kids to skip? Perhaps…see HERE.) its story arcs and its cinematography/special effects (the worlds created are amazingly displayed) and the risks definitely reap rewards. I left the theater a fan of the Guardians after going in not knowing a thing really about them…and I wanted to know more. Glad to see Gunn is up to direct the coming sequel.
With plenty of great action, great music (it’s a blast from the past all the way through), fantastic dialogue and hilarious quips that, if you’re not paying attention, you may miss, surprising great look, a great way in which both aliens and humans are blended into one film (much like in Star Trek and Star Wars) and accepted as a plausible reality, a great story that ties in with what Marvel has given us so far since Iron Man and a great tie into the humanity of the characters as a whole, plus with the added bonus of 1…2…3…maybe 5 great villain types, there is just too much in the exciting Guardians of the Galaxy to not enjoy!
Ahhh ahhha ahhhhaaaaa…..I’m hooked on a feeling! 😉 and that feeling is that Guardians of the Galaxy is GREAT! See it. Believe the Hype! Marvel has once again raised the bar of superhero films and set even more exciting expectations for the future!
My Score: 5 out of 5 stars for Guardians of the Galaxy
It also has the strangest and most unexpected post-credits scene I think of all Marvel films. Just throwing that out there.
(Remember, to read this review of mine and over 300 more, check out THE ARCHIVE of movies I have reviewed anytime. Know before you go…or rent…or buy!)
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer