Blending classic sci-fi themes, Guardians of the Galaxy is a thrilling ride from start to finish
Guardians of the Galaxy may well be one of Marvel's best. Director James Gunn paints a canvas of huge scope but never looses focus on the his five misfits, who fit perfectly into this visually stunning world.
Guardians of the Galaxy kicks off as Star-Lord comes into the possession of a mysterious orb that, unbeknownst to him, holds an extreme power. The orb leads him to a brief fight with an assassin named Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and two alien bounty hunters named Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), but the incident lands them in space jail– where they meet a revenge-seeking inmate named Drax (Dave Bautista). The five anti-heroes team up to escape prison and try to make a big score with the orb, but they quickly realise that their larger mission is to keep the potential weapon of mass destruction out of the hands of a war criminal named Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace).
Guardians of the Galaxy works on many levels. Its storytelling is perfectly executed, paced and mixed in with the right amount of sci-fi quirkiness that lends its hand to engaging us wholeheartedly. It's balanced cast breathes even more fresh air into the mix. The screenplay is brilliantly worked on-screen. Our heroes are given more than enough screen time to truly engage with us. The tone of their characters are played around with— which in turn— adds comical and dramatic results at just the right moments in the movie.
These nuances of character development is a testament to James Gunn who does a fine job of building these heroes up then allowing them to wreak havoc for our viewing pleasure. Rocket Racoon is the funny one but will most likely be the one audiences warm to the most. His horrific backstory will hit a nerve with many. Drax played by professional wrestler Dave Bautista, is arguably the coolest. As an actor he's limited but as an action star, Bautista has boundless potential. His fight scenes are some of the best this year. Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel, can also lay claim to stealing just as many scenes. Limited in speech to merely saying 'I am Groot' and nothing else, his physicality and general weirdness makes you sit up and take notice. Groot boasts great screen presence. If there is one disappointing character in this misfit, it may well be Gamora. Her backstory— much like Rocket's— is dark and emotionally draining but that emotional arc is most likely something we will see develop in the upcoming films.
ALREADY SHOWING maturity
With time and care clearly taken on developing these characters to the point that we genuinely care isn't the only triumph of Guardians of the Galaxy. The fun factor of this movie is off the charts. It's energetic yet brazen. It's stylish yet quick-witted. It's a Marvel movie that is showing maturity, only one film in to the franchise. It organically brings many aspects from other successful Marvel movies and skilfully intertwines them together to give us a strong narrative and an aseptically pleasing tale.
We have become accustomed to seeing interesting post-credits sequences at the end of Marvel movies. This has become a signature way for the studio to end their movies, potentially teasing upcoming events in their universe or simply finishing on a fun note. Guardians Of The Galaxy is the latest movie to include one of these endings— and without spoiling— is one of the best Marvel has ever produced. It's most likely this post-credit ending is nothing more than a light hearted gag, but a part of me hopes that one day it could turn into something.
James Gunn and his cast all believed in this movie, even when audiences weren't too sure of it when announced, but their hard work and belief has certainly paid off. Guardians Of The Galaxy can be best described as a throughly entertaining science fiction operatic drama.