Guardians of the Galaxy is
easily one of the most eagerly awaited films of the year, its marketing
campaign has done everything short of placing a billboard on the moon
to ensure the public know of this Marvel movie, but why is that?
Who are these guys?
Back in 2008 when Marvel Studios released their first of the Marvel Universe movies with Iron Man
it was a pretty big gamble, the director Jon Favreau was known for
mostly his small comedies, their lead Robert Downey Jr was suffering a
career drought due to drugs and other poor choices, and outside of comic
book fans not many people knew who and the hell Iron Man was. Fast
forward six years and Marvel is taking another gamble with a movie based
on a comic that even many comic book fans aren’t familiar with, there
are no real heavy hitters in the cast, and it’s being directed by James Gunn whose biggest directorial success was Slither
with a box office take of under 8 million in North America. So with a
budget of $170 million dollars a lot is riding on this latest Marvel
installment. Can James Gunn make a space action film with obscure comic
characters accessible to the masses?
The answer is Hell yes!
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)
was abducted from Earth when he was a child by a group of intergalactic
thugs known as the Ravagers and basically spent his formative years
becoming Han Solo only without the Wookie sidekick. While on a mission
for the Ravager leader Yondu (Michael Rooker)
to steal a mysterious orb Quill soon discovers that there are more than
one interested party and that the orb may just be worth betraying Yondu
for and selling it himself.
Peter Quill aka Star-Lord
Thanos (Josh Brolin), who we got a taste of in The Avengers, wants the orb because it contains one of the Infinity Gems and he has recruited a Kree fanatic Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace)
to retrieve it for him, and in turn Thanos will then help destroy
Ronan’s enemies. Working with Ronan is one of Thano’s adoptive daughters
Gamora (Zoe Saldana) who is sent to retrieve the orb from Quill.
The beautiful and deadly Gamora.
Rocket (Voiced by Bradley Cooper) a cyberneticaly enhanced racoon and Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel)
a plant creature with awesome powers but limited vocabulary, are after
the bounty that Yondu has put on Quill. Their free-for-all three way
fight gets them all nabbed by the authorities and lands them in Space
Prison. It’s there that they meet Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista)
who has a personal vendetta against Ronan for killing his wife and
child. Thus are heroes are thrust together, the die is cast, and maybe,
just maybe they can save the galaxy.
The Usual Suspects.
What follows is prison breaks, betrayals, budding friendships, space
battles, startling revelations and more fun than I`ve had in a theater
in quite some time. Chris Pratt brings just the right amount of humor to
Peter Quill aka Star-Lord and brings much of the films laughs, but
everyone gets their time in the spot-light; Groot is the perfect
straight man while Rocket is his ever cynical partner and the brains of
the operation, Gamora provides a complicated character who strives to
not be the weapon Thanos created her to be, but it is Dave Bautista as
Drax the Destroyer that really surprised me, who knew a WWE wrestler
could give such a performance as he does in this film. Drax brings
pathos and humor in equal doses throughout the film, and between him and
Groot they create the heart of the Guardians.
Drax the Destroyer.
James Gunn has managed to take a bunch of threads from the previous
Marvel Studio movies (most located in credit cookies) tied them into
story that has an epic scope but with characters you can relate to and
love. Peter Quill being from Earth is easily the most identifiable
character and is our window into this larger universe, but the rest of
the gang are as equally engaging on a variety of levels. The effects
work in this movie is simply stunning, that two of your major characters
are totally CGI and with as much screen times as the rest of the heroes
is damn impressive.
This how I want my space adventure movies to look.
The reason The Avengers was so good was because of
its fantastic cast and a talented director/writer in Joss Whedon at the
helm, but the villain`s plot was generic, made little to no sense, and
only worked because Tom Hiddleston as Loki was fantastic. Now in the
case of Guardians of the Galaxy James Gunn had to
introduce all his leading characters, without the benefit of them
starring in their own solo outings, introduce the Big Bad that I’m
guessing will be big finale of all this group of Marvel movies, and then
put this all together in a rather complicated plot that never manages
to lose you. That is no mean feat.
“I am Groot.”
If this movie does not make bucket loads of money there is no justice
in the world, and I for one can`t wait to see another outing with this
group of idiosyncratic yahoos as they try to save the day. Not to
mention how incredible it will be when they eventually team-up with The
Avengers. Simply put, “I’m hooked on a feeling.”