BOX OFFICE REVIEW: Guardians of the Galaxy
Marvel's Latest Film Focuses On The Funny...
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Let's get real here; Marvel's latest box office film - Guardians of the Galaxy - is risky. Not because it doesn't feature A-list creators, not because it doesn't feature a talented cast, and not because it doesn't include awesome special effects. No, Guardians of the Galaxy is risky because, honestly, few people outside of the comic book community have even heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy, much less know who the characters are and what they're about...
That said, let's also get real; should Guardians of the Galaxy prove to be a success (and it will be), this will simply prove that Marvel is doing exactly what it set out to do many years ago when it made a point of including each and every film it releases in a single, ever-growing storyline the likes of which includes Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and now the pirate-like space warriors known as The Guardians of the Galaxy.
If I'm being honest, Guardians of the Galaxy plays a bit like a modern day Star Wars in that it has just about everything you hope to find in a sci-fi film: an intriguing cast of heroes and villains, a galaxy-wide story that plays a significant role in the on-going Marvel Cinematic Universe, impressive special effects and one of the most appropriate (if not sometimes, over-compensating) soundtracks seen in recent film.
The line up of characters comes straight from Marvel's 2008 Guardians of the Galaxy comic (written and illustrated brilliantly by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning), including fan-favorite characters Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), a space-pirate of sorts; Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), an intelligent raccoon who's undergone experiments and has a tenacity for guns and theft; Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), a tree-like alien with the intelligence and heart of an infant and the muscles of a monster; Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the daughter of the Avenger's enemy Thanos and an assassin; and Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a tattooed tough man hellbent on revenge. As is explained in the film, each and every member of the Guardians is, as Star-Lord says it bluntly, "a loser," they've each lost something and, with each other's help, they hope to restore that missing something and find their place in a vast and every growing Marvel Universe.
Guardians of the Galaxy sets itself up with an interesting flashback introducing our main hero, Peter Quill, who's orphaned as a child and grows up among the stars. Immediately, we're sent across the universe to an alien planet where we find Quill, decades later, searching for a buried treasure we soon discover is one of the six Infinity Stones. Known as Infinity Gems in the comics, each of these six stones allows its wielder to manipulate a vital part of existence: Space, Mind, Soul, Reality, Time and Power. So far, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has revealed two stones in the Teseract, or Space Stone (as seen in Captain America and Avengers) and the Aether, or Power Stone (as seen in Thor: The Dark World). Here, in Guardians of the Galaxy, fans are introduced to another of the stones, which we can assume is the Reality Stone (SPOILER ALERT: the stone is seen in a flashback being wielded by a Celestial to literally reshape a planet).
The continued search for the Infinity Stones and the on-going quest to keep these powerful weapons away from the Marvel Universe's vast villainy has become the primary plot of at least three of Marvel's films; Guardians of the Galaxy becomes the fourth. Star-Lord and his band of rag-tag warriors join forces in order to prevent an alien Kree warlord, Ronan the Accuser (Pace), from gaining the Reality Stone and destroying Xandar, the home world of the Nova Corps, the police-like protectors of the universe. Of course, in order to do this, they must avoid space pirates, escape from a space prison, meet with The Collector, and face Nebula (Gamora's "sister," another of Thanos' daughter assassins) - all while not fighting and killing one another!
Maybe the best part of Guardians of the Galaxy is the sense of humor injected into the script by Gunn and fellow screenwriter Nicole Perlman, who adapt the characters made popular in comic form by the previously mentioned Abnett and Lanning. There's no doubt the stars here are Star-Lord and his attachment to his music and Rocket and Groot's dynamic relationship, which is similar to the relationship made famous by Han Solo and Chewbacca three decades ago. Rocket and Groot's playful banter brilliantly reveals their relationship and brings plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.
Last, and I'd be remiss to not mention it, the soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy is a plethora of popular 1970s and 1980s hits which should help 30 and 40-something fans reminisce about their childhoods and their desire to be among the stars. That said, it's the music that often ties certain scenes together and makes up for the dialogue, which might seem weak at times. Thankfully, because of the music and context, the scenes stay engaging, enjoyable and laughable.
Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the most entertaining and exciting films to hit theaters this year. While they may not have been a house-hold name a year ago, The Guardians of the Galaxy are now...and should continue to stay relevant as well, especially considering Marvel has already greenlit a sequel, scheduled to hit theaters in July 28, 2017.
The Guardians of the Galaxy is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language and is showing now in a theater near you.
- Jess C Horsley
Last edited by JeffSaylor; 08-01-2014 at 12:03 PM.
"Until next time...have FUN with your figures!!"
Jess C. Horsley