I don’t think one review will be long enough to list all of the amazing things that Guardians of the Galaxy has to offer.
It’s a space-cowboy, romp around the stars, action-packed adventure with the perfect amount of humour, huge explosions, and throwback to the best music of the ’70s.
The idea of so much humour and “out-dated” music in a modern Marvel film had me raising an eyebrow on more than one occasion. But, like a fated-lover, Marvel managed to bear hug me into submission as the release date grew closer. I was skeptical, still, going into the theatre, but I was hopeful. I wanted so much to like this movie, because the idea that Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and Bradley Cooper were all in a movie together was more than any fanboy could realistically handle.
Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill, an intergalactic outlaw who was abducted from Earth as a boy. Quill, who prefers to be called Star-Lord, steals a metal orb and soon finds himself on the run from a group of mysterious mercenaries, working for the “space terrorist” Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), who want to retrieve the orb and the contents inside. Quill lands himself in prison, along with Gamora, a deadly assassin gone rogue, Rocket, a genetically altered, smart-ass raccoon, Groot (Vin Diesel), a plant-based humanoid, and Drax the Destroyer (Dave Batista), a warrior thirsting for revenge.
The five criminals team up to protect the orb from falling into the hands of Ronan, who wants to use what’s inside to “cleanse” worlds that he deems unworthy. They soon realize that the things about each of them that make them different are nothing compared to those things that make them the same. Once they find a common bond, the Guardians of the Galaxy are able to take on Ronan, his army, and his right-hand woman, Nebula (Karen Gillan), who also happens to be Gamora’s sister.
The Scene Stealer
I can’t say enough good things about Rocket. Was it Bradley Cooper’s voice that made the character? Was it the dialogue? Was it the way the CGI was able to take a completely implausible character and make him seem incredibly lifelike? Yes. Yes, to all of that.
Rocket is, for this movie, my choice scene-stealer. His insanely sarcastic banter had me stifling laughs for the entire film. Ironically, in what was perhaps the only scene that Rocket wasn’t being a hilarious asshole, he was being truly sentimental about the torment he’s experienced from others because of what he is. Without giving too much away about the film, I will say that Rocket was the perfect combination of sass and genuine emotion. Ironically, the most “human” performance came from a character that wasn’t one.
All of That Amazing Music
The music was, by far, one of the best part’s of the film. Being able to enjoy a wonderful Marvel production, backed-up by the likes of Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling,” The Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb,” or Rupert Holmes’ “Escape (The Piña Colada Song),” among others, was a completely unique and unforgettable experience. Adding music like that, which spanned the entire film, would have been a huge flop in any other Marvel production that dared to take on the humourous undertone that Guardians was able to tackle.
The music was cleverly employed to lighten the mood to an otherwise dramatic or wannabe-tense scene, or to add unexpected, but very welcomed, dramatic flare.
Overall, Marvel and James Gunn were able to deliver a truly unique, one-of-a-kind cinematic experience that this viewer won’t soon forget. It was able to combine all of these raw elements, that no one else would dare shove into one film, and somehow make it work. It’s inexplicable and unapologetic hilarity just worked. I don’t know why. But, somehow, adding in joke after joke, or Quill and Rocket’s one-liners, didn’t take away from the overall dramatic and action-packed tone of the film.
Everything about this film that was truly unique and memorable was subtle. But, all of those elements somehow managed to stand at the forefront of what made this film this summer’s – perhaps this year’s – biggest blockbuster sensation.
Final Rating: ★★★★★
Visual Effects: ★★★★