Sorry I haven’t been around much lately guys. Had a death in the family and needed to focus on that. But I’m back! And what better way to make my long(2 week)-anticipated(not really) return, than to review the biggest comic movie of the summer: Guardians of the Galaxy!
Before I was able to see it, I had heard nothing but wonderful things about the movie (with the exception of one guy on here that seemed rather angry over a lot of nothing). I had heard from several people that it was the “greatest Marvel movie EVER!” Very lofty praise considering how epic and groundbreaking The Avengers was, and how downright amazing Captain America: The Winter Soldier was. I tried to take these comments with a grain of salt since some of those I heard this from where the same people that said X-Men: Days of Future Past was the greatest Marvel movie ever. And as you’ll recall, I disagreed with that view. Now that I’ve seen Guardians, I have to disagree with the claims that it’s the greatest too. But don’t fret, dear reader…the movie is awesome! It would only rank 3rd on my list of Marvel movies, and probably 5th among comic movies as a whole!
The story is pretty basic and nothing particularly innovative, but it works very well at being an introduction into this corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Without the help of any established or major characters, it was a smart move to keep the script mostly light-hearted and funny. It always helps to not take yourself too seriously in a movie that has talking trees and raccoons.
Speaking of which, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, absolutely stole the show. His voice work was great and fit the character to a tee. James Gunn did an excellent job writing for him too, making Rocket equal parts badass and comic relief. I also liked Groot a lot more than I thought I would. I was wary of how they were going to endear a character that can only say, to quote Rocket, “‘I’, ‘am’, and ‘Groot’. Exclusively in that order.” But the CGI team did an incredible job in conveying his emotions and feelings through his facial expressions, and Gunn used, to great effect, Rocket’s interactions with Groot to get across the things that expressions could not. Well done.
I thought Chris Pratt was great. Take the best parts of Han Solo and Mal Reynolds and sprinkle in some 80’s pop culture references, and you have Star-Lord. Pratt was funny and engaging, and turned out to be quite the leading man…something I was unsure he could be.
While I’m still not blown away by the look of Gamora (it’s the markings around the eyes that just aren’t quite right), Zoe Saldana was very good in the role. I do feel that Gamora was a little underwhelming as a fighter at times, considering she was supposed to be a walking weapon, but that’s not Zoe’s fault. She was still a very powerful, independent female character that girls can latch on to (my friend Justin’s daughter said that Gamora was her favorite character when we got out of the theater).
The actor I was most impressed with was Dave Bautista. I’m a huge fan of wrestling, so I’m very familiar with his work as a professional wrestler, but I have to admit, I’d never seen a single movie he’s ever been in. I had very low expectations for his ability as an actor, but he was a pleasant surprise. He wasn’t Oscar-worthy or anything, but he did a good job with what he was asked to do.
Ronin was a good, yet somewhat inconsistent, villain. Despite these small inconsistencies, he was a complete juggernaut in battle, which definitely put some suspense into the final showdown. I enjoyed Nebula quite a bit, and look forward to where they take the character next. But the real gem of the baddies in Guardians came in the form of Thanos. We finally got to see him fully on screen. While I still think he looks too small, the voice was perfect. And to say that I’m excited for what’s coming next with him, would be a gross understatement.
Even if you’re not a fan of the comic, or of comics in general, I highly recommend Guardians of the Galaxy, especially if you’re a fan Star Wars and/or Firefly. It’s a fantastic sci-fi flick, loaded with both humor and action, and one of the greatest soundtracks ever. And even if you haven’t seen the rest of the MCU movies, there aren’t many connections to the other films. And the ones that are there, aren’t so drastic that you lose anything by having not seen them. So what I’m trying to say is: Go see this movie! It’s worth every penny!
Oh! And if you’re a comic fan, make sure you stick around for the post-credits stinger. Nothing really building towards another movie, but a great, funny moment for geeks to enjoy!