Quick Hit: Perfection in the highest – it has humor, heart, charisma, and best of all, a cast and a vision worth watching.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who scratched their head and wondered why Marvel was taking such a large gamble with Guardians of the Galaxy. In a property even more obscure than Iron Man, very few people outside of comic book readers could even recognize the name Rocket Raccoon or Groot. I even found myself Googling some of the greatest stories, because I honestly couldn’t remember very much about them. When I saw that James Gunn was attached to it, I got even more excited. As a horror buff, there’s a piece of my heart that will always belong to Troma and those that have come from it.
Well folks, as they say, it’s history now. Guardians of the Galaxy (and its inevitable, given its success, sequel) became a box office smash, and quickly replaced many people’s favorite Marvel movies as the go to for the best in the Marvel Universe. I’ll attempt to review it in the best way I can coming from a recent rewatch as well as the way I felt when I first watched it.
After some necessary explanation on who exactly Peter Quill is, we are greeted to a planet that wouldn’t be out of place in the Alien franchise. Within moments our masked hero lands, and begins to walk the barren landscape. As he does, he places a mixed tape and presses play. It’s here that is the true genius to Guardians – it actually has its cake and eats it too. It embraces all the creepiness that science fiction can have (if you don’t believe me, look at the design of Nebula), all the seriousness of its tropes (the tragic condition of Rocket is evident in one drunken lament), AND still manages to portray the humor and joy that a good science fiction story should bring.
James Gunn presents a masterpiece in world building here. His world is filled with so many colors and variations that it is instantly believable in the way it is presented. In a universe as vast as ours, is it any wonder that we have the myriad of colors and shapes that are here? Even the set pieces are intricate and full of wonder. But his true work is done with the characters.
He is tasked with introducing these characters and making us love them, and his treatment of their stories with respect, as well as the natural amount of gentle ribbing is what makes it succeed so well. I’ve mentioned Rocket, but look at Groot. A being that is literally a bundle of plant material is given one of the greatest moments in the cinematic universe. Not only do we lament when bad things happen to him, we feel it deeply within our hearts. Dave Bautista’s Drax is often times comedic fodder, but you instantly connect when he refers to losing his family. It’s something that everyone understands and fears, and Drax is written in a way to sell the point with his naivety and acceptance of circumstances.
Which brings me to the next point – the performances by the actors are incredible. Chris Pratt essentially gets to play more of himself, and it’s perfect. The casting is great, and allows Pratt to continue is success stories. Zoe Saldana is the perfect combination of deadly and soft spoken, and is hidden marvelously under layers of green paint that she somehow still manages to act through. But it’s the three characters I’ve already mentioned in Drax, Rocket, and Groot that make things seem a bit more special. We love these characters within minutes of their introduction, and by the end of the movie can’t imagine leaving them.
This movie is beautiful, entertaining, and has one of the best soundtracks to match the tone of the film of anything I’ve ever watched. I left the theater smiling, I left my couch smiling, and I absolutely believe you will too. It’s obvious isn’t it – “Come and Get You’re A+” Guardians.
For more on this movie check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"