The Guardians of the Galaxy
By Hervé St-Louis
August 1, 2014 - 16:15
Studios: Marvel Studios
Writer(s): James Gunn, Nicole Perlman, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning
Starring: Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Peter Serafinowicz, Josh Brolin
Directed by: James Gunn
Produced by: Kevin Feige, Victoria Alonso, Louis D'Esposito, Alan Fine, David J. Grant, Nikolas Korda, Jeremy Latcham, Stan Lee, Jonathan Schwartz
Running Time: 121 minutes
Release Date: August 1 2014
Rating: PG13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Distributors: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Where have seen this story before? Marvel has a main super hero team that is the top game in its universe. Then, out of nowhere, it invests time, money and talent into a little known property. The unknown property challenges the Avengers for the top dog position at Marvel. But Marvel doesn’t care. If anything can become a winner and expand its reach why not? That's why Disney bought Marvel for anyway. This is not DC Comics where some artificial rule stops great ideas from dethroning the Justice League. There is no religious Trinity at Marvel like DC Comics' Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman). Marvel likes it when Star-Lord, Rocket Racoon and Gamora become the biggest name in Hollywood and in comics. It doesn't matter if they have never had their own comics. That’s how the X-Men reached popularity 30 years ago.
Guardians of the Galaxy is more fun the Avengers. Unlike the Avengers, they are not bound by silly rules like forcing S.H.I.E.L.D. to be their operating backbone. The Marvel space universe is greater than that of Star Wars. Marvel believes it can create a series of films about the Guardians of the Galaxy for years to come. Just in case other people than me start to find the Avengers stale, they will have a back up. If this film was not tied to the Marvel universe, it would be as enjoyable.
The rest of this review is for readers who are not comic book geeks. Director James Gunn succeeds in creating characters people believe in. He used a tear jerker introduction showing Star-Lord’s mother’s death when he was a kid to start the film. The rest of the cast has as much reasons to seek revenge although ridiculous at times. Drax is an idiot who wants to avenge Ronan’s murder of his family. Gamora wants to stop Ronan and Thanos from conquering the universe. Rocket Racoon is just in for the money. Groot is just Groot.
I’m surprised at how effective Gunn was at making people care for these characters. Through simple backs stories and a heavy dose of a musical score of 1970s and 1980s pop music as the film’s soundtrack. I bet the music rights cost as much as the special effects. Well it worked. Then, Gunn added a ton of humour and racy jokes every second. I’ve missed a few and will have to go see the movie again just to catch the full comment about sex and the black light... Some audience members nearly choked when they heard that once. But there were so many jokes that that one flew too fast for me to catch it. At one point, people were laughing at other people’s reactions to the jokes. It became this big laughing party of who could laugh the most.
Oh, did I mention that this science fiction film has a lot of action and fights? Yeah, and it has a lot of humanoid aliens that look much better than anything I’ve ever seen in a Star Trek film. It’s annoying that the best comic book film title keeps changing every few months. Guardians of the Galaxy is much better than Avengers and X-Men Days of the Future Past. Its plot, while simpler, has none of the inconsistencies of the X-Men. It’s funnier than the Avengers and on a much greater scope. The music and the pelvis magic tricks is also much better.
P.S. as all Marvel movies, you should stick around until the end of the credits. Someone special who has had a few movies and his own comics years ago makes a guest appearance.
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