Guardians of the Galaxy: Film Review

The word “risk” is defined as a situation involving exposure to danger. Which is the word to actually describe going into Guardians of the Galaxy because this is a property of Marvel that not a lot of people, including myself, never heard of back then. It sounded like The Avengers meets Star Wars. With those combined, it could likely be legit. To a massive surprise, Guardians of the Galaxy was insanely entertaining on all comic book movie standards. My curiosity can be put to rest.

In this, Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) has found himself in an unusual alliance of intergalactic criminals that are forced to work together to stop a powerful warrior, Ronan. The help of the group involves Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel) in order to save the universe from destruction.

Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Now, this was a Marvel movie I was worried about because, on paper or comic, it sounds silly involving a talking raccoon and tree. But it has to be on the level that the other movies in the MCU have worked it. Did it succeed? Absolutely 100 percent.

It may be like other comic book films where it has a formulaic plot or whatever. But there’s something about this in general that makes it special. Director James Gunn (Slither, Super) is someone to give praise for actually putting us in this universe that’s still set in the world that Iron Man and Captain America exist but more it’s more exciting in space. From the same guy who wrote the first two live-action Scooby- Doo movies, this is a huge step up from those. Alongside with co-writer, Nicole Perman, they wrote an amazing script.

There’s so much to love here starting off with how funny it turned out to be. This is perhaps the funniest MCU movie to date. The humor balances it out more effectively in a way that’s unexpected. Almost all of the jokes are so clever and well-timed that I would call this a Sci-Fi/action-comedy? Unlike Thor where the laughs are sometimes bland and annoying, it’s really smart and productive in here. When the jokes hit, they hit hard.

The ensemble involved in this outshines everyone in something like Galaxy Quest. Chris Pratt is always a likable actor since his role as Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation. Now he’s been taking up roles in well-received movies like Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty. As Star-Lord, he completely owns it from start to finish. His character has a lot to say about him: he’s cool, funny, and even some heart to himself. He was fantastic for a performance like this, especially a leading role. He’s the love child of Han Solo and Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly. Pratt’s a megastar now.

Zoe Saldana as Gamora was awesome as per usual. She has a backstory that’s fairly interesting. Great to see another kick-ass heroine in this universe. Side note, the green-skinned makeup for her in incredible. She’s the queen of sci-fi with this, Star Trek, and Avatar. There’s a good amount depth to her character as well.

Didn’t know much about Dave Bautista going into this. All I know was that he’s a wrestler. As Drax, he crushed it. He was funny and is also given some depth because he seeks revenge against Ronan. This was a role that made me curious and I’m glad it worked out just fine.

The two characters that stole the entire film are Rocket Raccoon and Groot. Never did I thought these things would be entertaining, but they are. Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket was totally killer as this gun towing rodent that can talk made me believed that was an actual talking raccoon. Every line of dialogue he speaks makes me happy. There was a feeling he was gonna ruin the movie and he didn’t. And Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot as pretty awesome. He doesn’t say much when he only says three words, “I Am Groot”. But it’s a sense of character in a way that he’s Marvel’s equivalent to Chewbacca.

Every action sequences had so much excitement and show style throughout and it wasn’t dull at any point. The visual effects were amazing that felt on par with the original Star Wars trilogy. When realizing it, it’s pretty colorful, in my opinion. Everything technical wise hit it out of the park.

The coolest element that’s spread out in the entire film was the soundtrack. Conversations that are brought up about which movie has the best use of contemporary music go to Pulp Fiction or Saturday Night Fever. None of them compares to Guardians. It felt like its own character as it comes from Quill’s mixtape. The usage of music based on this mixtape is my type of music as it features classics from the 70s and 80s such as “Hooked on a Feeling”(as it was perfectly used in the trailers), “Come and Get Your Love”, “Moonage Daydream”, etc. Having these songs are a great addition to the film overall.

I have only but two problems, and it involves two other characters. Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) was an alright villain for the Guardians to fight. He could’ve been more menacing as he was taken a bit too serious at times. Kind of throws him in with the weak MCU villains. He’s not the next Loki or Winter Solider. And Nebula, because though Karen Gillan was good, she was kind of over-the-top in some scenes. Besides that, this was an exciting movie of the summer that took the impossible and made it nearly flawless.

A lot of greatness can be found here. It didn’t rely on anything that’s cliché. Some things are unexpected which leaves you wanting more. It also had some heart to this story, especially in the opening few minutes.

In the end, Guardians of the Galaxy is a massive blast to watch that’s fun, has heroes to care about, provided humor to make this the funniest MCU movie by far, and had the energy to overcome all possibilities. This is the riskiest movie Marvel could release. Safe to say this is the studio’s Star Wars if I say so myself. 

Guardians of the Galaxy is an extraordinary and marvelously fun sci-fi adventure packed with great humor, engaging characters, dazzling effects, and some cool action sequences.

Grade: A-

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