Movie Review – Guardians of the Galaxy
Here, in our “Age of the Superhero Film,” many moons have passed since Marvel’s last bomb. Disney has taken a film franchise and turned it into THE film franchise, and no one expects anything but greatness from this point forward… including me. Sure, Guardians of the Galaxy was going to be different, but, unlike many, I never saw the film as a risk for the Disney’s Marvel franchise. With Kevin Feige behind the curtain and Disney’s marketing abilities abounding, Guardians was destined to be a hit! At this point, Marvel studios has the power to do absolutely anything that they want, as long as it’s connected (however vaguely) to the Avengers’ universe. With all that said, I expected Guardians of the Galaxy to be different from your typical Avengers flick, and, at the same time, I expected more of the same humorous, action-packed, mass marketable, superhero mumbo-jumbo that we are all hooked on!
For some reason, the serious opening scene of the film did not quite fit with what was marketed to me as a fun, goofy superhero flick. As a result, I was quickly worried about the things to come. But, thankfully, the film jumped back into what I expected and never stopped entertaining me, from that point on.
I’ve heard so much about the differences of Guardians, compared to the other Avengers-related, Marvel films, but I must say that I disagree, to a certain extent. While there is no doubt that the jokes and dialogue were a bit more mature and clever, the characters and the storyline were really no different. There was a bad guy, who was threatening the universe. There were some good guys, who couldn’t quite get along. There was a forced (and obvious) love interest for the main character. There was action. There was death and revival. There were forced connections to the Avengers-world. I mean, if you take out the dialogue of Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), you have absolutely nothing left to call unique! There’s no doubt that Guardians of the Galaxy was one of my favorite Marvel films, to this point, so I’m not hating on what was done here, AT ALL. I just don’t know why everyone believes the film is so unique…
Kudos to the folks at Marvel for having the guts to make a film that featured a talking raccoon and a tree that could only say three words! Sure there were some predictable traits and quirks among the cast, but, Guardians is not a film that would have been financially successful three years ago. Impeccable timing is the key to Marvel’s success, and I think the world had to get ready to see these types of characters, in this light, because we have already seen different versions of most of these characters before. Drax (played by Dave Bautista) was just a better version of Thor (100% better). Groot (“voiced” by Vin Diesel) was just a happier version Hulk. John C. Reilly’s Corpsman Dey was a perfect clone of Agent Coulson. And, finally, Peter Quill (played by Chris Pratt) was a dumber version of Tony Stark. Let me know if you disagree!
Guardians’ two leading, female characters were quite disappointing to me. First, Zoe Saldana’s Gamora just didn’t impress, in comparison to the other Guardians. She lacked the comedic element, which is what made the film work, and her storyline just didn’t interest me. Add that to the fact that she belongs to Star Trek, and it just doesn’t work for me. Additionally, her (un)sister Nebula (played by Karen Gillan) was absolutely useless. Remove her from the film, and nothing changes, at all!
I’m going to use this space to praise the greatness that was the relationship between Groot (the tree)and Rocket (the raccoon). Basically, it was a mirror of that dude and his reindeer in Frozen… but it was interesting. Rocket absolutely made the movie and was probably the only super-unique character that came out of the film. I’m already hopeful for a Rocket spin-off (probably won’t happen until Phase 45). I would watch the heck out of that!
Although I ranted a bit about the lack of uniqueness, Guardians of the Galaxy deserves every bit of praise that it is receiving! Marvel continues to impress (minus the Thor stand-alones), and I don’t see any end in sight. I mean, bringing in Paul Rudd certainly won’t hurt! While I can’t wait for The Avengers: Age of Ultron, I’m now even more excited for the second Guardians film to hit in a few years. If you happened to miss out on Guardians’ opening weekend, go watch! Today! It’s cheap ticket day, here in Hattiesburg! I give Guardians of the Galaxy 3.78 out of 5 stars.
Guardians features a strong lead character, in Peter Quill, who never caves to the pressures that are created as a result of the death of his mother, which he was forced to deal with at quite a young age. At the same time, the “good guys” are composed mostly of low-life thugs and bounty seekers. As a result, they are not the perfect example of a moral being. Thankfully, they overcome these flaws to save the universe, which is what we really needed them to do anyway!
From the perspective of family friendliness, Guardians of the Galaxy runs in line with The Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, when it comes to the use of sexual content, violence, and language. However, I would advise that the humor, throughout the film, is a bit more mature than previous Marvel films. While not necessarily inappropriate, some of the jokes may fly a bit over kids’ heads. For that reason, I would suggest this for kids ages 12 and up.
Originally published on The Average Critic