Guardians of the Galaxy is the newest marvel film by writer director James Gunn. If you listen to the Mission Start Podcast on a regular basis, you know that I have been incredibly excited for this film for a long time. My history with The Guardians is a bit different than other Marvel movies. Back when I was reading Marvel comics as a kid, there were situations where the guardians would show up or be mentioned, however I did not read the comics involving them and they are not the team you will see in the movie. The team in the movie was created in 2008 by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. In 2011, the fighting game, Marvel vs Capcom 3 was released and Rocket was one of the playable characters. Needless to say, i had no idea who he was, so thanks to the internet and comics, I learned about the guardians and knew the movie was going to be good. It wasn’t till comic-con 2012 that I became increasingly excited upon learning who was going to helm the project. As the movie was closer and closer to being made, the cast announcements were making it seem like a dream. The final product was well worth the wait.
The plot is simple, The Guardians must stop Ronan the Accuser from destroying the galaxy. However, everything before and after that is what makes everything so much more than simple. The main cast of characters are as follows, Peter Quill A.K.A, Starlord, is an earthling who was taken from earth as a young boy after a traumatizing event. His 80’s cassette walk-man is his only connection to his roots and he will risk life and limb to not lose it. Gamora is the forcibly adopted daughter of Thanos, the guy you see at the end of Avengers. She wants nothing more to do with Thanos or his men and has a plan to escape. Drax the Destroyer just wants to kill Ronan because he killed his family years ago. Then there’s Rocket and Groot, they are a pair of Bounty Hunters that just want to get paid. The group finds a common thread among them and are barely a team but through that, find friendship that will be hard to extinguish. This is where the heart of the film comes in, the relationship between them is so much fun that you will have a Cheshire type grin throughout the movie.
One major component that I was in love with right away was the comedy. The movie doesn’t have a single “joke”. Instead, the comedy comes from situations that come off as natural, funny moments. Not one time did I feel like a comedic moment was forced or pushed on the audience. Some of the best lines come from Rocket who, at his core, is a character that does not work well with others. His interactions with the rest of the gang are so well written and natural feeling that you just want to have a drink with the little guy. The dramatic parts of the film don’t feel out of place next to the comedy either. There are plenty of moments of tension during the funniest scenes due to James Gunn mixing the two together expertly. The scenes in which that are dramatic and full of emotion are so palatable that you are constantly rooting for the Guardians.
The action within that drama is visually stunning. There are quite a few moments of action that are both space based and physical. Both look so good that it rivals some of the other Marvel movies by leaps and bounds. Speaking of the visual aspect, the mix of CGI and practical effects is well done to the point that none of it seems out of place. Due to the Guardians traveling to places that are full of creatures and aliens, the feeling I got from seeing Star Wars as a child and seeing the Cantina scene came rushing back. You could spend hours just pausing the movie to look at the scenery. James Gunn and company really wanted to build a believable space to go adventuring. There are two soundtracks in the film, one being the orchestra that scores some of the major action scenes much like you would see in most space action films and they are spectacular. The second soundtrack is a series of 60’s and 70’s songs that supposed to be on Peter’s cassette tape, titled Awesome Mix Vol. 1. These songs are inserted periodically throughout the movie and are a great break from all the action.
I usually have one paragraph in my reviews that I use to lament my complaints. The problem is that this movie has so few bad moments that its quite difficult to point them out and it will just sound like nitpicking but I will try because no movie is perfect. One of the the awesome mix songs that plays is a bit out of place. I would say which one or where it is, but for fear of spoilers, I wont. There are few moments towards the end of the film that feel a little forced or bizarre. In the earlier scenes of the movie, it is a bit hard to understand what some characters are saying due to semi-poor audio mixing. Again, I know all these sound like nitpicking but they are a few things I noticed during my viewing.
Overall this movie is one you need to see. Every aspect of the film comes off as a project of love from everyone involved. All the actors feel as if they know what they are doing and never stop being highly entertaining. The cameos are well placed and are not delivered in a “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” situation. The soundtrack is something that other films are going to try and duplicate but fall short. The action and visuals will keep your eyes glued to the screen for the full 2 hours. The comedy will keep you laughing and stain an enormous smile on your face that will make joy tears will flow. I give Guardians of the Galaxy a 9.5 outta 10.
What did you think of the film? Did this review make you want to see the movie if you weren’t before? Leave a comment below, on our Facebook Fan Page or tweet us at @MissionStartP or tweet Gregg @ChubRockGeek.
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