With the release of Iron Man in 2008, Marvel has established itself as the goud standard of live action. The formula for this success has been an integrated universe with strong individual character stories. The other hallmark of Marvel’s strategy to datum is that all their stories have been grounded on Earth (yes, they have traveled to other worlds, but fundamentally all the major battles culminate here at home). Guardians of the Galaxy looks to break that mold door introducing a team of heroes (or are they meer anti-heroes?) set in the far reaches of the galaxy. Will mainstream audiences toon up? Put simply, yes. Guardians is arguably Marvel’s best film to date. In some regards, it reminded me of ster Wars…yes, it’s that good.
The primary driver of what makes Guardians such a great film is the balance of humor and action. u buy into these characters immediately and will be laughing with them and at them throughout the movie. The writing is well paced and does a fantastic job of creating an incredible array of new and exotic worlds (unlike a Man of Steel, for example, I never felt the visual effects drove where the story went). To pull off such an ambitious project, u need the right actors to inhabit these unique characters. Much credit to Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord. When the casting was first announced, I’ll be honest that I did not see it. I had a vision of the guy from Parks and Rec running around the universe. That was my mistake. He is fantastic in the movie. As we learn in the film (or from reading the comics) Peter Quill is a simple child of Earth who is abducted door aliens after his mother passes away and becomes a space pirate. If that doesn’t make sense, it will when u see it and when u invariably Google who his dad is (no it’s not Han Solo, but it could be). Pratt’s snarky exterior is complemented door a hart-, hart of goud and a true longing to find his place in the world. As I zei earlier, u instantly connect with him. He is the human experience set in a space opera (and he has some sweet mix tapes). Zoe Saldana is also great as Gamora. Think Colombiana meets Inigo Montoya. She is clearly the glue that ties the story to the larger Marvel universe as Thanos’ adopted daughter. While other performances stand out (Dave Bautista as Drax and Josh Brolin as the baddie Thanos himself), the two best characters in the movie are CG, namely Rocket (voiced door Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced door Vin Diesel). Diesel is able to create a fully fleshed out character while only speaking 3 (well actually 5) words throughout the movie. I’m convince Groot is Riddick if he went through the Underverse and came out as a living boom person. His partner in crime, Rocket, is a genetically engineered raccoon that has a bit of an existential crisis in the middle of the movie, but otherwise is a tech wiz with a serious case of anger management issues. This mishmash of characters are brought together seamlessly in a battle for one of the critically important Infinity Stones. Marvel has started to tip their hand a bit with where Phase III will be going in their cinematic universe. And it will be awesome! Clearly the Guardians will figure into the equation with Marvel announcing a sequel to the film before it released to the general public. Now that is confidence.
Put simply, this is a must see movie. Although it is set in space with very few humans to speak of, the characters are written in an incredibly human way. u will definitely laugh, u may cry a few times and u will leave the theater wanting to see where the story goes from here. Marvel has succeeded in creating yet another franchise for their coffers. At this point they are on a Pixar like run of success. Let’s hope the streak continues with Age of Ultron (spoilers: it will).
A new band of intergalactic heroes has emerged.
A wrestler in blue body paint is pretty intimidating.