All heroes start somewhere; a review of Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

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Just to clarify, I’ve seen this movie twice, now, before doing this review.

If you asked me a year ago if I was excited for Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), I would have told you, “Absolutely not, I have no idea what Marvel thinks they’re doing, making a movie about a bunch of people that I’ve never heard of, a raccoon, and a talking tree.” Welp, a year and two trailers later, and I was predicting this to be the best movie of the summer; and it very well could be.

Guardians of the Galaxy expands the Marvel Comics Universe (MCU) lightyears away from Earth as Peter Quill, AKA Star Lord (Chris Pratt) is being hunted down by different parties after he discovers a mysterious orb. Throughout, he comes across the likes of an assassin named Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a maniac seeking vengeance for his family’s murder named Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista… Yes, the WWE Champion), a talking raccoon named Rocket (Voiced by Bradley Cooper), and his muscle which is a talking tree named Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel). Eventually they are put together in a spot where they have to save like 12 billion lives, and just like the Avengers, they don’t necessarily get along at first.

The movie starts off incredibly with a cold open of Peter Quill as a young child before he leaves Earth. I won’t say what happens but they certainly hit you in the feels really early, then they have a transition right into the Marvel Studios logo and with the music, after the opening, it was pretty sick. Marvel was basically setting people up for an experience that’s just totally gonna change the game in this MCU.

Much like in The Avengers (2012), these conflicting personalities really butt heads. I personally am a fan of this, seeing these different combinations of different characters together and how each and everyone plays off one another. I’m sure there are other hipsters out there who think, “But they lack depth and character.” I beg to differ. I like that these personalities are an absolution and they won’t really change who they are, they will just learn to work together in the best possible way. That way, each of these FANTASTIC characters can shine in their own way. You have Peter Quill, the Han Solo/Indiana Jones-esque free spirit just looking to make a quick buck. Gamora, the conflicted assassin who can’t choose where her loyalties lie. Drax the Destroyer, the man on a path for vengeance after the murder of his family. Rocket, the asshole who really only cares about himself and whose gonna pay him for what. And Groot, the simple muscle who doesn’t do or say much until the last act of the movie, where he goes off. I would argue these characters were more fun to watch bounce off each other than The Avengers.

The movie is also just plain hilarious. The jokes, gags, and puns were right up my alley of comedy. Between Chris Pratt and his walkman, to Bradley Cooper killing it as a raccoon and just messing around with everyone, it was certainly the funniest superhero movie that I can remember. Bradley Cooper definitely steals the show though, he was on point for all of his lines and Rocket’s voice didn’t even sound like Bradley Cooper just talking casually into a microphone. He really got into the character and the audience reaped the benefits because I almost threw up I was laughing so hard at one point.

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The villains in this movie are also very different than villains in past MCU movies. One is Yondu Udonta who is more of an anti-hero who is trying to get Quill’s orb for personal reasons. Then there’s Gamora’s sister, Nebula, who isn’t as conflicted as Gamora, and those two clash a lot in this movie. Then Nebula is working for Ronan the Accuser, who is arguably the most hardcore villain in the MCU. He has a boss who you think is the main antagonist of this film, but then he turns around and says, “Nope, screw that, I’m taking control now.” And he’s also got one of the most badass outfits I’ve ever seen.

The music in this movie is different as well. You have the score which is done well by composer Tyler Bates, and then you have the songs from Quill’s Awesome Mix, Vol. 1. The songs are various songs from the late 60s and early 70s, and they work splendidly to create mood for the scenes. Whether they be happy, funny, sad, or even romantic. I immediately downloaded the soundtrack when I got home after seeing this movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy is certainly in the top 2 best movies this summer. I’m legitimately conflicted as to whether or not it was better than Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014). Both are very good movies for very different reasons. I don’t know, I gotta see both again side by side or something (Just kidding, that’s a horrible idea). If you want a sci-fi comedy starring a lot of familiar faces and are a fan of the MCU, I highly recommend checking this out.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10 – Great

It’s Parks and Recreation (2009-) meets Star Wars (1977) meets The Avengers (2012). Go see it, it’s sick.

-Reed

IMAGES: http://thespoilist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/guardians-of-the-galaxy-poster-2.jpg, http://image.tmdb.org/t/p/original/bHarw8xrmQeqf3t8HpuMY7zoK4x.jpg, http://assets1.ignimgs.com/2014/07/15/drax3jpg-0d1a1c.jpg

 

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