It was a big risk from Kevin Feige to green-light the project, which includes a talking raccoon and a humanoid alien tree. In comic book terms this is not all that crazy. The Avengers (third biggest grossing film of all time, behind Titanic and Avatar) teamed up a billionaire in a homemade super suit, an un-aging WW2 super soldier, a Norse God and a giant green monster. Comic books are bat-shit crazy.
The real risk was that these new characters were basically unknown. Feige saw something special in the Guardians and thought it was bound to pay off.
Guardians of the Galaxy is the funniest addition to the MCU. From the title sequence it is obvious that this film is not taking itself too seriously. Peter Quill, the leader of the Guardians and brilliantly portrayed by Chris Pratt, dances through an alien landscape with his headphones on and ‘Awesome Mix Vol. 1’ blasting through his Walkman. Kicking and splashing amid puddles while sliding and spinning he uses a nasty little alien as a makeshift mic. I first became aware of Pratt from TV’s Parks and Recreation and his quirky humor, which made his character Andy so appealing, is ever-present throughout the movie. Rocket also brings a laugh a minute as a wisecracking egotistical raccoon. Although he is barely knee-height he can take on the world and Bradley Cooper’s voices lends bravado to the minute guardian.
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The original score is great from Tyler Bates (Watchmen, Slither) but it is the 70’s music throughout the movie that will stay with you leaving the cinema. A gift from his mother, the “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” mixtape is Quill’s tie to home and to times before the bedlam of being a space ravager. Blue Swede, David Bowie, The Runaways, 10cc and Marvin Gaye all lend a hand to set the tone of momentous scenes.
The action throughout is exciting and just like The Avengers we are gifted a host of great scenes. Now a regular in the sci-fi genre Zoe Saldana (Star Trek, Avatar) dons green skin to become the deadly assassin Gamora. Her show down with Nebula (Dr. Who’s Karen Gillan) was a tad lack-luster in comparison to what I had hoped for, but she plays her part in many of the hand-to-hand mêlées throughout the movie.
Lee Pace portrays the main villain Ronan, a megalomaniac on a path of destruction, despite a treaty being agreed between his native Kree and the citizens of Xandar. His scenes have bags of tension and he clearly does not care for the treaty – he will destroy Xandar, no matter what stands in his way.
Dave Bautista portraying the vengeance-driven Drax the Destroyer supplies the muscle along with the vocabulary-lacking Groot. They bring high action as well as heart to the movie.
The heart of this movie is a driving force. They find themselves thrust together with a common goal but it is only through this that they can finally find themselves. It is the first time in years they have friends, allies, a family.
Writer/Director James Gunn (Slither, Super) brings a fantastic cast, and the fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a new region of the ever-expanding realm of Marvel, deep space. With a plethora of characters that wouldn’t look out of place in the Stars Wars or Star Trek universe, the design of creatures, tech, ships and cities all look great.
The film (already signed off for a sequel coming in 2017) ties together the fragments from the different Marvel movies from the last couple of years. We are blessed with a full scene with Thanos (Josh Brolin – although uncredited and unrecognizable) and he looks great. We also get a quick explanation of the Infinity Gems and Gauntlet…all to lead up to something I have already predicted *smug cough*.
If you have enjoyed the previous Marvel movies you will love this. The crowded room in an early showing of the PG-13 feature, comprising of some young kids but mostly not-so-young “kids”, were, on several occasions, in a chorus of laughter and everyone seemed to come out very pleased indeed.
Buy the largest popcorn possible, sit back and enjoy.