Guardians of the Galaxy – Review

Guardians of the Galaxy – Review

Marvel Studios/Disney (2014)

Chris Heron reviews the latest of the films from Marvel Studio’s conveyor belt, Guardians of the Galaxy.

The 21st century seems to be the century of films of the fantastic and unreal. Since X-Men, Spider-Man and even Harry Potter, superhero and fantasy films have consistently taken the all-important box office records, if not the acting accolades (Lord of the Rings being the most notable exception). For Marvel and DC, it has been decades of character creation in comics that have allowed an immediate fan-base and hype to be created surrounding these films before they were ever released.

So where does Guardians of the Galaxy fit into all of this? Personally, I knew nothing about the franchise before the original trailers started appearing. For most superhero films, I’ve known something of the characters beforehand (Thor being the Nordic God of Thunder, Batman being Bruce Wayne, Iron Man being Iron Man etc.), so coming into the film with no preconceptions was a nice change. And it paid off, Guardians of the Galaxy performing above expectations for Marvel and breaking the 7-year old all-time August weekend opening record, grossing $94 million.

A risk here, but I’m going to go with it’s my favourite superhero film to date (Sorry Batman, The Dark Knight‘s a better film but this is so much more fun). Although It may partially be due to my own soft spot for space opera. In no way is it a perfect film, but in terms of pure enjoyment it is head and shoulders above the rest.

On the surface, Guardians of the Galaxy is a relatively standard Marvel film. A like-able but flawed protagonist (Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord), comedic moments and the inevitable connections to the wider Marvel franchise. The CGI is top notch too, with the spectacular explosive battle scenes and the setting of Knowhere, a mining colony housed in the severed head of a Celestial (a god-like being) being particular highlights.

Knowhere – Marvel Studios/Disney (2014)

But what really makes the film is the ensemble cast. Part of the appeal of The Avengers was the interactions between characters who were equals, rather than a single dominant protagonist. The team of Star-Lord, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) interact brilliantly throughout the film. Although being introduced to these five, plus other supporting characters and villains (including Karen Gillan from Doctor Who as Gamora’s adopted sister Nebula) means it is easy to lose track.

Establishing all of these characters means the film is quite long, sitting at just over 2 hours. (Mild spoilers) Gamora’s motivations at the beginning are also a little strange, changing sides within 10 minutes of being introduced with just her word. It just didn’t sit quite right.

The ending felt like a slight deus ex machina as well, which was disappointing. I don’t want to dwell too much on that though for fear of spoilers.

That 80s soundtrack though, hurrrrrrrrr.

Overall, I’d would just recommend everyone to go and see this film. Regardless of any previous experience with superhero films, this one is just incredibly enjoyable. A sequel is inevitable, with James Gunn earning the adoration of many a film-goer and Marvel fan. I for one can’t wait!

And with a buzzfeed-esque gif:

Oh. Yeahhhh.

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One Response to “Guardians of the Galaxy – Review”

  1. David

    Aug 06. 2014

    I’m glad you liked but I would suggest perhaps a re-watch because Gamora didn’t really switch sides as it’s made clear in the film that she had always wanted to get away from Thanos. I also fail to understand how the ending ” felt like a slight deus ex machina” as it was pretty straightforward, oh and it’s a 70′s soundtrack.

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