Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy
When they first announced they were doing a "Guardians of the Galaxy" film, I was super excited. While the media is quick to point out that this team is "obscure," to me, they've always been an integral part of the Marvel Universe, whether it be the old team with members such as Yondu, Charlie-27 and Vince Astrovik or the newer current team on which the film is based. I knew if they got this movie right, they could easily open the door for Marvel to cosmic storytelling.
Before I get into this review, like I have with my other reviews, I do talk about things in the movie. So, there are SPOILERS in this review. If you don't want to know certain things that happen, come back and read the review after you watch the movie. Moving on, consider that my SPOILER ALERT...
I have been so excited about this film that I was almost scared to watch it for fear that I had raised my expectations so high that I'd ultimately hate it. Thankfully, I can say this is not the case and the film did live up to my expectations. Is it a perfect film? Perhaps not. I agree with some of the reviews that there is a whole lot going on. I can imagine for those not familiar with Guardians of the Galaxy or the cosmic side of the Marvel universe could potentially get overwhelmed. For a fanboy like me, my mind was swimming with references to the Kree, Cosmo, Nova Corp, the Kyln, Infinity Stones, and so on and so forth.
That said, I don't think it's the same kind of overcrowding that has happened in certain Spider-Man films where you can't figure out what to focus on. The film very early on establishes that the people you should focus on are Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot. And, the film develops these characters very well. You get a great sense of who they are and how they come together as a team. You genuinely come to care for these characters and that is what Marvel Studios does well.
Also, for me, in a "comic book movie," I need to feel like a little kid again opening up a favorite book and reading it for the first time. This is something that has made Marvel Studios movies so special. And, Guardians of the Galaxy did not fail to deliver this for me. While I felt it in many places during the film, for me, my little geek heart burst watching Rocket and Groot in particular come to life. They are my favorite members of the Guardians of the Galaxy and it really felt like I was in the middle of a comic book watching them interact.
Before I watched this film, I kept hearing how funny the film is. In fact, it was heard so many times, you'd almost think the whole thing is a comedy. And, certainly, there is a lot of humor in the film...perhaps more than most Marvel Studios films. And, this is a good thing to utilize to utilize the strengths of Chris Pratt in particular. He is known for his comedy and he is in top form here. But, I don't think the film downplays the threat that brings the Guardians together. There is a definite darkness.to the film which, again, reminds me that a film can be dark without being depressing.
And, that's another thing it reminded me of...that space movies can be fun! It seems like most movies these days that take place in space are about some post-apocalyptic situation, some dystopian society or aliens hunting humans. While there is a very real threat in this film, it was nice to just see some good old fashion adventuring going on and heroes rising to the occasion.
I did wish that we could have gotten a little more of Gamora's back story. It seemed a quick transition from being adopted daughter of Thanos in the employ of Ronan the Accuser to Guardian of the Galaxy. There is some explanation in there, but I would have liked to have watched it rather than just heard about it. Also, the most jarring representation from comic book to movie on screen was that of Yondu. In the comic book, I always imagined him being graceful and the movie version was anything but. That said, the version of him in the movie made sense. And, to me, these criticisms are small in comparison to the joy the film on the whole gives me.
Finally, be sure to stay through the credits. While the scene may not have any consequence to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole, there is a cameo there that will make Marvel fans geek out.