(Review) Sometimes I wonder if there’s a point to reviewing a movie that everyone’s going to see anyway. If you look at my Fast & Furious 6 review a movie I pretty much universally praised, its not worth a lot as a criticism or article because I was such a fanboy that I wanted to be nothing but along for the ride. That was the case with Guardians of the Galaxy, but hopefully I’ve improved as a writer since then.
I loved Guardians of the Galaxy. It is my favourite movie of the year, and after going in with high expectations in what has so far been an off-year for movies it seemed like a lot of pressure, but from the opening credits I was hooked. This is a well polished film that leverages the Marvel Brand for a calculated creative risk, and brings the cinematic universe back to its funny fast and fun roots that began with Iron Man. This is a well paced film that’s brought along thanks to a great production team led by big budget newcomer James Gunn (Slither) who choreographs the big budget set pieces with clear-cuts, to excellent choreography (sometimes with 70’s-80’s tunes) and maintains a great momentum that never lets up. Repeat viewings will be a true test of quality, as the legacy of this movie is yet to be foretold.
This movie is blockbuster filmmaking at its highest level, but feels smaller and less crowded thanks to the great mix of personalities. Chris Pratt who will likely considered to be an A-List actor after this film is still relatively unknown to mainstream audiences so his comic persona does not get in the way, we recognize him as protagonist Peter Quill a.k.a. Star Lord. Likewise other big personalities like Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel as Rocket and Groot who would otherwise serve as distractions are effectively mined here elevating the material with their perfectly cast voices and some wonderfully animated CGI.
Zoe Saldana is once again batting in her wheelhouse as the reluctant female soldier with a strong personality. Able to practically play the role she repeated from AVATAR and Star Trek in her sleep she doesn’t phone it in here, showing great fighting prowess and actually looking quite attractive as a green-skinned alien. The last of the Guardians, Drax the Destroyer played by David Bautista feels like the most under-developed character as his tragic back story misses and feels inconsistent with the tone of the film, but his successful deliveries focus on the laughs, and the professional fighter makes up for his inexperience as an actor serving best as a low-key member and being a team player during the humourous moments.
If you’ll notice I haven’t yet mentioned the plot yet and neither did the marketing team during promotions, and that’s because I can’t remember it at all. I can’t remember the main bad guy’s name without looking it up as he mainly serves as a foil to the macguffin plot device which nicely fits into the Avenger’s films, but as a standalone story device it doesn’t hold up much on its own. It’s due to a strong ensemble of actors, direction, and brand production that meld so well together you’ll forget about everything else (my Dad forgot about his headache and stayed awake) and remember this as the funnest time you’ve had at the movies this year.
Rating: A+/ +2
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— Sidenote: I decided to go all out on this film as it is the last event film of the summer and went for I-MAX 3D, it is well worth the price of admission.