Saturday, August 2, 2014

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

                     'Guardians' Is A Fun-Filled Epic Of Almost Astronomical Proportions
           Ever since Christopher Nolan's Batman films, we have seen a trend of superhero films taking a more serious or semi-serious turn, in both the Marvel and DC Cinematic Universes. But Guardians of the Galaxy not only takes a more fun turn, but as an homage to films like Star Wars, proves just how fun superhero or sci-fi films can really be.

       Guardians of the Galaxy follows the story of a space outlaw named Peter Quill, who calls himself "Star-Lord" (Chris Pratt). After he steals a special orb and becomes targeted by Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), he crosses paths with Ronan's assassin named Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a talking raccoon named Rocket (Bradley Cooper), a talking tree named Groot (Vin Diesel), and an alien named Drax (Dave Bautista). Together, they all form an unlikely alliance as they join forces and they try to fight off Ronan and save the galaxy.

       First off, I really liked the old 70's vibe the film has. It features much older rock songs, like "Hooked On A Feeling" by Blue Swede and "Cherry Bomb" by the Runaways, and the film has a Star Wars vibe to it, which I loved since I love Star Wars. While I was watching the film, I said to myself that Star-Lord could very well be the next Han Solo. I especially liked how Chris Pratt played the character of Star-Lord. But in my opinion, the scene-stealer here was hands down, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon. Almost everything he says will have you in stitches yet at times, some things he says will tuck at your heartstrings. But the actors who play the other Guardians of the Galaxy also do a very nice job. Zoe Saldana brings quite a bit of dramatic pathos to her performance as Gamora, in particular when she is confronted by those that have fallen victim to her commander Ronan. She is also quite badass like how she is in films like Avatar and The Losers. Vin Diesel is quite good even though he only says the line "I AM GROOT" but with different tones of voice. Even Dave Bautista does a very good job as the more vengeful Drax.

      I also really liked how the film didn't really takes itself too seriously. In my opinion, that makes this film almost feel like a breath of fresh air since plenty of comic book films these days like Christopher Nolan's Batman films or Man of Steel and even Captain America: The Winter Soldier to some degree, have a little too dramatic heavyweight. While this one has a few dramatic scenes, in particular involving Star-Lord and his relationship with his mother, it still manages to just have fun with itself and I loved that. Even the big epic climax scene has a bit of added humor to it.

      As great as the film was, I would say I still had some minor complaints. One is the villains and while they looked very cool, they weren't really fleshed out and as a result, I didn't really think they were too much of a threat. So far, I would say the best villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is without a doubt Loki from Thor. Plus, John C. Reilly and Glenn Close who were also in this movie, weren't really given anything to do. Those were my two only complaints.

       Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy is a fun-filled action pic that is a worthy addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has colorful characters, explosive action, great humor, a kicking soundtrack, and is wonderful throwback to  late 70's/early 80's sci-fi fare. Whether you are a fan of Marvel or not, I would say watch it and preferable in theaters. The experience will be quite "galactical".

Grade: A-

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