Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2 continues its 2014 run, this time taking place far, far away from Earth and into the depths of the unknown galaxies, focusing on a group of misfits known as the Guardians of the Galaxy! Being a group of superheroes that not a lot of people heard of, this is Marvel’s riskiest movie to date. So did the risk pay off? Find out.
The risk proves to be useful, as this is one of the best and the most different Marvel movies of all. Truth to be honest this movie is the second best starter movie when compared to Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. This is primarily due to the heavy marketing that’s focused on the movie, and when you watch it it really pays off the risk and the marketing.
About the movie itself, it’s essentially what you would expect for a space-themed movie,this time blended with Marvel comics. As a result this is pretty much the superhero version of Star Trek and Star Wars, as if Luke Skywalker is not a superhero enough. But still, even though there are similar themes between this movie and those, I still like how they take the space theme and make it original.
That is with the help of the occasional 70-80s song that keeps playing throughout the movie. I really appreciated that, see in the beginning of the movie Star-Lord dances to a song, and I can’t help but to feel how good it is to dance to a song while you’re in space or someplace different. I mean you can’t see that in Star Wars, and Star Trek is too futuristic to include some classics.
The movie itself is billed as a superhero comedy, and as such comedy has more important role here than previous Marvel movies. But the best thing is that even though this movie is a comedy, it’s not campy or silly. When there’s emotion, there is emotion. When it’s dark, it is dark. The way they pace the dark and the bright tone is craftful……. is that even a word? You get it, right?
One of the best things about this movie is that they introduced a whole lot of characters, and they are instantly likable and not even forgettable. Peter Quill a.k.a Star-Lord is the main protagonist of the movie, and he is cocky yet honorable man, and you can’t help but like him because he’s such a cool guy. Sure, he cares about money because he’s a space pirate but deep down he has a good heart. And Chris Pratt did an amazing job playing him. I didn’t expect Pratt to be the best choice for Star-Lord initially, but thanks to the way the character was written Pratt is perfect for the role.
The next one is Zoe Saldana playing Gamora. While she is perhaps the least funny of the group, they make it up with her amazing backstory. Out of all the characters she’s the one that’s been given a complete and detailed backstory. We saw Star-Lord’s in the beginning, and Rocket and Drax’s are explained but that’s just it, but Gamora, it feels like they could’ve create a spin-off movie about her past.
The last of the group that’s not CGI is Drax the Destroyer. When it was announced that Dave Bautista would play him, I was worried because wrestlers-turned-actors are not that good, except Dwayne Johnson. But boy I’m glad I’m wrong. Bautista not only is best looking for the role, but he played it brilliantly. Sure he does look stiff in some places but overall he looks like an actor, not a noob actor that just happened to be famous for other careers. Perhaps it was his literalist dialogue that help Batista played the role, and it was fun, because I thought Drax would the most forgettable of the team.
I’ll save the best later, let’s talk about the supporting casts first. The good guys are okay, but sadly they didn’t have that much of a screen time, as in the case of John C. Reilly. As for the villains, I’ll skip Ronan first, and talk about Nebula, Korath and Thanos here. Karen Gillan did an amazing job portraying a femme fatale known as Nebula. Her role really shows her as a right-hand woman that poses a threat to our heroes. As for Korath, to be honest I was disappointed with the choice of Djimon Hounsou. Now before any of you think anything I would like to say I was disappointed mainly because I feel Djimon should be cast as Black Panther instead. I mean the guy is a well known but not that famous actor, and he had experience in voicing Black Panther, so he knows how to do it. It’s just casting him as Ronan’s lackey is a wasted potential especially considering that Black Panther is one of the most anticipated Marvel movies even though it’s not announced.
And now THE best characters of the movie, Rocket and Groot. They are obviously Han Solo and Chewbacca of the movie, and it really looks that way. I mean Rocket probably has the most lines in the movie, he’s the rebel of the team, he talks a lot and has a commanding presence even though he’s not a leader. Bradley Cooper is a natural choice for him, mainly because A-list actors like Cooper needs to be in superhero movie nowadays, it feels natural if you see his name. And him being Rocket is a surprise but magnificent choice. The only thing I wished is that Cooper would do a Cockney accent, but I guess he wants to do is own take to the character, and it worked.
As for Groot, he mostly exist as the cutest and the most innocent of the group. No really, compared to Rocket, when you look at Groot you can’t help but to say how cute he is, NOT in those stupid kawaii shit. And he’s innocent mostly because of his facial expression. Basically Vin Diesel brings back the Iron Giant but as a superhero in the form of Groot.
Next is my favorite character of the movie, Yondu. The main reason I liked him is how awesome Michael Rooker played him. He’s just so perfect for the role and I love the way he talks. That and the fact that he is one of the most memorable characters in terms of fighting due to his signature weapon, which is very unique.
Now to the downside. The main villain, Ronan. Marvel Cinematic Universe always has problems with its villain, and Ronan is no exception. To be honest, Ronan is pretty good, he’s far better than Malekith and Aldrich Killian and Whiplash but not as good and memorable as Loki and the Winter Soldier is. Sure, he has ambition and it’s even more clear than Malekith’s but the fact that he worked under Thanos the whole movie seems like it’s not enough. Overall he’s not bad, but not memorable.
Also, speaking of memorable, I feel like the movie has a problem with its main characters in terms of action. I mean each of the Guardians have their own style that makes them unique, but other than Groot they’re all the same, shoot guns and do some close combat. Also, Star-Lord didn’t really show his Elemental Guns. It was disappointing to me.
Another thing is that the movie is predictable in many ways, especially during the action. I mean you can clearly tell when the character is tricked or are they dead or not. It looks like the director James Gunn may have mastered the storytelling, the emotion and the comedy, but the actions and excitement is just a stale. But it’s not that bad, it’s just cliche.
Overall Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the best Marvel movie and definitely can stand on its own as a franchise starter. The best thing is that it feels a lot like Iron Man, that it doesn’t rely on the upcoming sequels or exists just to be in the Avengers, it’s a story that hold off its own. Sure, we all wanted to see them meeting the Avengers, but I’d say let’s keep them off the Earth for a while, there’s still so much to see in space, especially if it’s Marvel.
With that, Guardians of the Galaxy is So Great That You Have to Watch it Again and Again and Again!