Pages Navigation Menu

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (review)

guardians_of_the_galaxy_ver2GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman
Directed by James Gunn
Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Josh Brolin

Gamora: I’m a warrior, an assassin. I don’t dance.

Peter Quill: Well, on my planet, we have a legend about people like you. It’s called Footloose. And in it, a great hero named Kevin Bacon, teaches an entire city full of people with sticks up their butts that, dancing, well, is the greatest thing there is.

Gamora: Who put the sticks up their butts?

It’s been almost 20 years since I watched James Gunn’s first writing work, the cult classic, TROMEO AND JULIET, and I have to say he’s certainly aged well. In fact, with Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, his first directorial effort since 2010’s SUPER, he has actually brought his game to a whole new, and somewhat unexpected, level. This is not your average Marvel movie; this movie has to convey the gravitas of saving the galaxy while keeping us laughing and entertained while it’s being saved, and Gunn really nails that balance. Gunn has come a long way from his early career working for legendary indie company, Troma, but he clearly has not lost his sense of humour nor has he abandoned his roots along the way. It may actually be those roots that make him the perfect directorial choice for this risky Marvel property.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-first-trailer-debuts

In GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), is an inter-galactic criminal who takes a job where he has to steal a mysterious sphere from an abandoned planet and spends the entire movie trying to get this job done so he can get paid and move on. Along the way, he finds a few friends and happens to save the galaxy at the same time. No big deal. This sphere though turns out to be pretty important to some pretty powerful people. One of these people is Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), who is hellbent on destroying a planet full of his enemies. Ronan wants the orb to give to Thanos (Josh Brolin), who promises to use it to execute this plot. Thanos was originally introduced to audiences in the closing credits teaser at the end of THE AVENGERS proving, yet again, that Marvel always has a plan.

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-rocket-with-gun

As already mentioned, Quill teams up with a few miscreants to make this mission happen. Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a genetically and cybernetically modified/tortured raccoon who has a foul mouth, a mind for planning and an affection for guns that are slightly bigger than he is. There is also Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), Rocket’s partner/house plant, a walking tree that is only able to say the words “I am Groot,” which he makes go a long way. Gamora (Zoe Saldana) is an assassin sent after Quill and one of the most dangerous women in the galaxy, as well as an adopted daughter of Thanos. Despite all of this, Quill wins her over with some old tunes and by taking his shirt off. And finally, Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) is a powerful, rage filled prisoner who latches onto the group to get revenge on Ronan for killing his family. Collectively, this band of ragtag thieves and criminals had me in hysterics the entire time.

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Photo-Star_Lord+Rocket-Raccon+Groot+Drax+Gamora-690x388

Like other Marvel movies, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY doesn’t play exclusively to comic book nerds so that general audiences can enjoy themselves greatly, but still has plenty of things in it that only fans would catch. Unlike other Marvel movies though, these people are very reluctant heroes. They save the universe because deep down – very, very deep – they’re good people. They only get to this place while chasing a massive payoff, mind you. All the same, they are some pretty loveable anti-heroes. And while they do completely change Star-Lord’s backstory from the comic, I find Gunn makes him more likeable here, which goes a long way to making the film as enjoyable as it is. I get the impression that this movie was very carefully crafted by the Marvel machine to make it as accessible as possible without forsaking the source material, and I thoroughly enjoyed what they came up with. While THE AVENGERS still reigns as the best Marvel movie to date, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is better than most of the others and shows that Marvel is hitting their stride with each new step.

Geek watch: Look for cameos in the film by Gunn’s brother Sean and the Troma king himself, Lloyd Kaufman.

4 sheep

Your turn!

How many sheep would you give Guardians of the Galaxy?

2 Comments

  1. Going to see it tonight
    I am sure I will enjoy it based on your comments

  2. Just saw ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ and was pleasantly surprised by a piece of writing that perfectly meshes its diverse elements while maintaining its sense of humour about itself. Bravo Mr. Gunn.

Share Your Thoughts