Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire Universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora, and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But, when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand, with the galaxy's fate in the balance.
What we thought:
Put a lab experiment raccoon, an out-of-place human, a green-skinned assassin, a too-literal-for-word muscle alien and a giant and an ass kicking walking tree together, and you probably get the most bizarre group of superheroes to ever grace the Marvel universe. Your head says this could never work in a film. But your eyes however can’t believe they haven’t done this sooner.
Since the first trailer was released for this film, I got quite excited, but still had my reservations. The Avengers movies are still pretty awesome, but I feel CGI and explosions have somewhat taken over as headliners from the plots and characters. Luckily, the characters were so well-written and performed that no amount of starship chases and galactic battles could ever take the spotlight away from the well-cast crew that sets out to save the galaxy, against their better judgment.
Even WWE wrestler-turned-actor Dave Batista astounded as Drax The Destroyer, whose literal mind had the audience in stitches, especially played against the rest of the Guardians.
When I heard Chris Pratt had gotten the lead for this franchise, I was sceptical. I never really watched him in Parks and Recreation, but he always ended up as the annoying best friend in romcoms. But what he did with the role of Peter Quill (or as he prefers, Star-Lord) was bring back the rough, word-slinging cowboy attitude from the old Star Wars days. He could have been a younger Han Solo, but updated for the current century. I am not saying he is exactly like Solo, but he has that same asshole-with-a-heart charm that gives Guardians of the Galaxy that almost Western feel.
The rest of the cast was also fantastic, and I could not think anyone else could have played them better. Bradley Cooper’s voice job for Rocket the weapons-wizard raccoon turned a character that could have easily failed to impress into having some of the best one-liners as well as make your heart very very sad. His best friend Groot was also pretty cool, although I can’t exactly say Vin Diesel’s one line couldn’t have been done by someone else. At least he looked like he had fun onset though. But the design work was impressive and his many powers made you go “awwww” while he destroys hordes of minions.
And then we had Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana who is fast on track of becoming my SciFi Queen (Star-Trek, Avatar). She is a genetically enhanced assassin trying to get a new life and although the love interest between her and Quill are heavily highlighted in the film, it does not define her – there is even a scene in the film where she explicitly and amazingly make this point very clear. Her fight sequences are sublime and she is also the perfect mix between being very serious as well as light-hearted and fun.
Hard to believe director/writer of the film James Gunn is also responsible for the Scooby Doo movies’ screenplays as well as Dawn of the Dead. His work in his biggest franchise yet should be applauded and it shows that he stepped up like a pro to the plate of helming a new movie franchise. And the amazing one-liners from this film could fill a library, each one more brilliant than the last.
If you are expecting Guardians of the Galaxy to be another Avengers, you would be horribly, but gladly mistaken. It is driven by characters and although the plot is probably important, I was did not feel very involved with it. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Even the minor characters gave the film a lot of meat and combined with the awesomeness of the leads, the plot mostly helped them to get from point A to B, but could have been replaced by any other storyline. And, again, not a bad thing. It was like an introduction into the Marvel’s universe beyond our little blue planet and set with the soundtrack of 70s pop songs the Galaxy is branded with its own unique style (also the music is responsible for the best intro scene ever). However, I really can’t delve too much into the plot without giving it away, and I already struggled when describing the characters. Try to keep the films as spoiler-free as possible, and your experience would that much more thrilling.
I would advise all and sundry to go spend your bucks on this glorious SciFi film, which would appeal probably more to Star Wars fans than Superhero fans, as the Guardians of the Galaxy are not superheroes. They are scoundrels in the nicest and worst ways, and one only hopes that they keep this up for the (hopefully) many instalments to come.