Director: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana
Release Date: August 1, 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy is the final film in Phase Two before Avengers: Age of Ultron. First, let it sink in that the next Marvel film is going to be the sequel to Avengers. That alone has me beyond excited for this film. As for the actual comic, it's based off the 2008 team and not the 1969 original team. Basically the film is based on a comic that is ONLY 6 years old. Yet, Marvel is willing to roll the dice and give the comic book the big screen treatment. What a huge risk, especially since this film is going to play a huge role in the third Avengers film. With a movie that will play such a huge role, of course Marvel Studios will make sure they hire the best director for the job right? Well, when looking at the resume of their director of choice, the answer... is no. James Gunn, writer and director, has some huge flops on his resume. He wrote and directed Movie 43, Tromeo and Juliet and Scooby-Doo. Okay, okay - So maybe their lead role for the film will at least be an action star or a big name in general, right? Wrong once again. Chris Pratt got the nod to play Peter Quill and if you aren't aware of who Pratt is, he's the funny man from TVs Parks and Recreation and has very little action movie history. But even with two major wrongs, surprisingly enough, Guardians of the Galaxy is one huge right.
Peter Quill was just a young boy when, devastated by his mother's death, he sprinted out of the hospital and was swept into the stars by Yondu (Michael Rooker), the leader of an eclectic band of space scavengers known as The Ravagers. Twenty-six years later, Quill has adopted the nickname Star Lord (Chris Pratt). He's broken away from The Ravagers in an attempt to track down an ancient orb that is also coveted by the evil Ronan (Lee Pace), who is in league with the dreaded Thanos, and who dispatches his top assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to retrieve it from Star Lord. In the process of doing so, Gamora also gets drawn into a fight with furry bounty hunter Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and his tree-like, humanoid companion Groot (Vin Diesel). Subsequently thrown into prison, this unlikely quartet quickly makes the acquaintance of fearsome warrior Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), who seeks bitter revenge for the slaughter of his entire family at the hands of Ronan. In the process of making a daring prison break, Star Lord, Gamora, Rocket, Groot, and Drax recover the orb, and transport it to The Collector (Benecio Del Toro), who reveals that it houses an Infinity Gem - one of six precious stones that harbors incredible powers that could pose a dire threat should they fall into the wrong hands. Later, Ronan acquires the Infinity Gem and plots to use its power to destroy The Nova Corps home-world of Xandar, The Guardians of the Galaxy must race through the stars to recover it before Ronan can carry out his genocidal plan.
Marvel Studios faced an early difficulty with Guardians of the Galaxy
that they were able to avoid with The Avengers
- introducing five characters in one film. See, The Avengers
had the privilege to have five films to introduce their team of heroes, meanwhile Guardians of the Galaxy
were thrown straight onto the big screen with no introduction. A difficult task indeed for director James Gunn but not only did he successfully handle this task, he mastered it. With a mere run time of only 122 minutes, Gunn was able to introduce The Guardians individually and build the relationship between each member. If Gunn didn't set these two crucial things up as beautifully as he did this would have effected some major screen time. Everything felt so right when The Guardians finally teamed up in that final fight sequence. It would have been a total fail if the viewers didn't believe the chemistry among each hero nor their reason for fighting together.
But was it only the screen writing that made this movie a hit? The casting was spot on as each actor brought their character to life. Let's start with Chris Pratt, who I must admit I was truly against playing Star-Lord. Pratt has very minimal experience in a lead role and that number only decreases when you look for his experience in action films. Pratt is actually his best in comedies especially in his role as Andy in Parks and Recreation
. But all that doubt and prejudgment was thrown out the window when Pratt delivered a Star-Lord that creators Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning would be proud of. He was able to give the proper heroic speeches and exquisitely deliver his one liners. Zoe Saldana's Gamora was the perfect character to put Star-Lord in check and she even dishes her own butt-kicking. Now for the two characters that for sure will become household names, Rocket and Groot. Groot might have only said 3 words repeatedly throughout the film but it was enough to be the glue that sticks The Guardians together. Groot might be the fan's new favorite Vin Diesel character. Rocket's endless sarcasm and quickness to bark back will make even the littlest human have the courage to fight back. Groot and Rocket are the tag team partners that I'm sure if Vince McMahon could hire, he would. But one person Vince McMahon does have under his belt is Dave Batista who plays Drax the Destroyer. I rarely expect good performances from wrestlers but Batista delivered some great witty lines and makes you scratch your head and ask yourself why he wasn't featured more in the commercials. Overall, all of the characters delivered us with some memorable quotes; a round of applause for the script writers.
Where our heroes shine, the villains do the opposite but it was not their fault. Nebula and Ronan the Accuser are both aesthetically appealing but their relationship with the villains was never a priority to focus on. This first film is all about The Guardians and The Guardians only. Their main villain, Thanos, will make a bigger impact in the evil department.
It's as if everything Gunn and his team did when putting this film together, they did it perfectly. Even when it came down to handling the setting. In general, when a film's main setting is a different galaxy the viewers are usually given the unfortunate gift of a long introduction and explanation of said galaxy and everything that's in it. But the film makers avoid all that in hopes that the viewers just simply pay attention.
One of the major flaws of The Amazing Spider-Man 2
is that too much was put into the film in order to set up future films. The film felt too clustered and at times lost track of its story. Guardians of the Galaxy
on the other hand, introduces us to five new heroes and three new villains and some major plot points for upcoming films and yet did not make the same mistake as The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy
is a delightful risk taken by Marvel Studios. The pieces that made the film amazing could of easily made it awful but Gunn made sure to add the right amount of everything. If I learned anything, it's not to prejudge a film due to its casting and filmmakers. I highly recommend going out to check this film out in theaters just going off the role this film will play in the upcoming Marvel Studio's Phase 3 plan.
Labels: 2014, Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Full Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, James Gunn, Movie Review, Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana