“Guardians of the Galaxy” – Review By Zachary Marsh

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So, here we are again: Marvel has brought yet another one of their superhero properties to the big screen.  The reason why “Guardians of the Galaxy,” directed by James Gunn of “Slither” and “Super,” stands out from all of the others is because of how ambitious it is to adapt this property in the first place.  Not only are these heroes relatively unknown to the general masses of people, but the so-called “heroes” in the story include a talking tree and a wise-cracking raccoon possessing a machine gun as his weapon of choice.  Without a doubt this is definitely the biggest gamble that Marvel has done thus far in their history of filmmaking.  For those who were still skeptic on how the film would actually be overall, I can happily say that Marvel made an awesome choice in gambling on this property.  Fast paced, very funny, and even pretty damn heartfelt at times, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is an awesome summer movie that will most likely meet and even succeed everyone’s expectations.

The film itself is about five different individuals who all are not exactly friendly to the law.  One of them is a smuggler from Earth, one is a ruthless assassin on a bounty to get an object for her boss, one is a maniac on a mission to exact revenge on the murder of his family, and the other two are thugs who look like a wise-cracking talking raccoon and a tree-like figure who can only say three words.  Together these misfits all join up together in order to fight an enemy who is attempting to rule the galaxy.  So of course, the story itself is relatively predictable and not the most original thing you could see.  However, the execution of it all is what made the story of this movie work incredibly well.

James Gunn and  Nicole Perlman’s screenplay allowed the characters to be fleshed out and given proper development, and it also allowed the audience members to care about them and feel for them when the drama hits.  They show here that they understand how to appeal to both the comic-book crowd and the mainstream crowd, making it a solid entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Not to mention, Gunn adds his particular obscure style of filmmaking/artistic direction in here, and he does it with such grace that they simply fit into the movie.  It was recently announced that he’s going to be returning for “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” and after seeing this movie I’m really excited to see what he does to add on to this soon-to-be film series.

It’s kind of funny for me to say that my favorite character in the film is the one who  only has three words in the entire duration of the film.  It might have just been the visual effects department doing a bang up job on his design, but I thought Groot, played by Vin Diesel, really stole the show here.  He was funny, sweet, and a pretty badass individual overall.  Then we have Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, who is mostly the center of the story.  Pratt shows that he’s not only a qualified action hero, but also further proves just how great his comedic timing his under the right direction.  Zoe Saldana’s Gamora and Dave Bautista’s Drax also stole certain scenes with their comedic timing and their awesome action sequences.  As for Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon, well, I thought he was the least interesting character of the Guardians.  I’m not dissing his performance at all, because he’s really good in the movie.  I personally just felt that the script was trying so hard to make him the “scene-stealer” that it got a little old after a while, therefore putting my attention more to the other characters.

The one character who I thought was written mediocrely was Karen Gillan’s Nebula, who’s basically the cliched attention-sealing/jealous type who only is in the film to conflict against Gamora.  Sure she’s a great fighter, but the character itself just got on my nerves for the wrong reason.  Having said that, she didn’t destroy the film for me.  The rest of the supporting cast, regardless of how much they’re in the film, are all really good.  Lee Pace makes a great villain as Ronan, managing to be awesome and menacing at the same time.  Michael Rooker is just a blast to watch as Yondu, a fellow smuggler to Star-Lord.  He has some wickedly awesome and hilarious scenes spread out all throughout the film, which makes him a standout in my book.  Glenn Close and John C. Reilly have small roles as government officials in the movie, and both are solid.  And finally, Benicio Del Toro shows up for one scene playing The Collector, and he is both enchanting and mysterious during his time.  These are all characters I’d like to know more about, but since at least one of these guys, well, meets their end, it would be hard to see them again unless there was a prequel film.

I have a strong feeling that a lot of people are going to love “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and for good reason in fact.  The comedy hits hard, the acting is solid, and the story is incredibly fascinating and stands out among many of the Marvel films.  It’s not as great as “The Avengers” or “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” but it is still fun and awesome enough to recommend.  I’d even recommend seeing this film in 3D because it’s actually some of the best 3D I’ve seen this year so far.  The film is hysterical and fun at times, and emotionally investing at other times, which makes this movie a nearly perfect blend of the genres.  Overall, this is a movie that is well worth your time, and is sure to find an audience that fully appreciates how fun and deep a summer blockbuster can be.  Oh, and one other quick little thing: the soundtrack of this movie is friggin’ great, blending the sounds of the 80s with this modern superhero film with swift force.  This is a movie that will definitely get you, as Blue Swede said, “Hooked on a Feeling.”

 

OVERALL GRADE: 9/10

 

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