Guardians of the Galaxy Review
Title: Guardians of the Galaxy
Directed By: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Karen Gillan, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close
Despite some minor bumps along the story road, James Gunn’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” provides to be the kind of entertaining summer flick audiences have been anxious to see.
Marvel catapults viewers into the world of sci-fi with “Guardians” as we see a young Peter Quill get taken from his home planet of Earth. Twenty-six years have passed and Peter (Chris Pratt) is a man, a rather carefree individual whose simple mission to retrieve an orb gets him into a world of trouble. He never knew the power possessed inside this simple orb, one that caught the attention of Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), his legion of followers and the assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana). Along the way he manages to find himself entangled with a group of outcasts, racing to save the galaxy before there’s nothing left.
There’s a lot of people who know Chris Pratt from his role as Andy in “Parks & Rec,” but his wit and charm were amplified to a ridiculously entertaining degree in this film. He easily disappears into the role of Star-Lord, mainly because a fair amount of his own personality is parallel with the character. Thanks to the writing, every team member gets their own time to shine. Even Dave Bautista is hilarious as the super articulate and strong Drax the Destroyer. Bradley Cooper was surprisingly good as the sarcastic but funny voice of Rocket. Although many people have stated this, it’s true that Groot (Vin Diesel) is the heart of the story. He’s a character that only says three words, yet his actions and the way he effects the entire group makes you feel for the 8 foot tall tree creature.
The shared screen time between the various heroes leaves little to no room for the villains. Viewers were given a small amount of time with Ronan the Accuser, and while he is a fierce character, nobody was able to understand the full grasp of terror that this character can unleash. There were a couple of scenes in “Guardians” where Ronan could have used the full extent of his power, not only by beating Drax to a pulp but by causing terror towards the masses in the city of Knowhere. He comes off as an afterthought, not brought back to the forefront until the very end. Nebula (Karen Gillain) also suffers greatly, coming off as a one-note being who has a pretty big presence in the Marvel comic universe. Even though Ronan didn’t get his fair share of screen time, maybe Nebula will be handled differently the second go-round. Even Gamora’s story line got a little lost in the second half. She was anxious to get away from her family, but that aspect of her got quickly thrown away which was irritating to see.
When it was first announced that James Gunn would be taking on directorial duties for “Guardians of the Galaxy,” many were weary over the filmmaker’s presence on this particular Marvel property. The campy but fun feeling that Gunn emits from a few of his previous films is prominent in “Guardians.” In some ways this movie definitely appears as if it’s the director’s own attempt at making his own “Star Wars,” but through the help of Marvel. We have the slightly reluctant hero, the group of misfits, the sharp writing and it all fits. Surely “Star Wars: A New Hope” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” could be watched back-to-back, since they both have the same story of the hero’s journey mixed with action, adventure and a whole lot of entertainment.
It was very smart of Marvel to go ahead and wait to make “Guardians” this far along in the game. One of this reasons has to do with the technology, and how certain scenes would come off on the big screen. Viewers never would have been able to see the full scope of the Nova Core, or what a Celestial looks like with the incredible work of those in special/visual FX. Unfortunately “Guardians” does suffer greatly in the 3D realm. There’s way too much going on in most scenes that detracts from any sort of three-dimensional effects popping in front of viewers’ eyes. The opening sequence ultimately hurts “Guardians” with the foggy-rainy terrain of an unknown planet. After a second viewing, one that didn’t require watching the film in 3D, it was much easier to pick up on details that had been missed due to slightly fuzzy visual effects.
In some ways “Guardians” is the surprise movie of the summer. It’s the best sci-fi action-adventure movie that many cinephiles have been craving for the past few months. Viewers have been constantly let down by various properties, but Marvel continues to remain strong, producing high quality comic book films that movie-goers adore.