Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the most unknown comic book adaptations of the Marvel franchise. Fans (me included) had not heard of these guys at all until the first trailer was released. Can we accept this new band of heroes or was this a step too far for the Marvel film franchise?
The plot was nothing particularly special. I felt that the film was restricted to telling the typical super hero film narrative. It’s a similar structure to avengers when I think about it. Group of outcasts are forced to team up, don’t get on very well to start with, find themselves at a point at their lowest, form over some bond then they band together to fight the bad guy. Nothing too complicated but it’s simple enough for the majority of the audiences to enjoy. I was hoping for something a bit more experimental especially from a director like James Gunn but its best to keep to the traditional Marvel plot with these films. There’s nothing distinctly interesting but it keeps you entertained throughout. In short the plot is this; our heroes find themselves together in a situation where they all want to retrieve a powerful orb the bad guy has stolen, then the good guys try and get the orb back. It’s a simple plot formula but you can’t expect a Marvel film to be too experimental with its plot.
For me the characters make this film. Each character has a distinct personality and you can easily relate and take a liking to the majority of them. First we have Starlord played by Chris Pratt. Chris is slowly becoming one of my favourite actors at the moment. He has great comedic chops but he can pull of serious scenes seamlessly. It’s impossible not to love him, he has a strong presence on screen and you can’t fault him on his role in the film. Starlord himself is a Han Solo type character who is a bit of rogue and isn’t exactly perfect but you route for him anyway. You can see he isn’t perfect in many scenes and you can relate to this character a lot more then say a Superman or Batman because he isn’t faultless. He makes mistakes and is rough around the edges. Especially in action scenes where he isn’t flawless when fighting and you get the sense that he’s just an average Joe like yourself.
Zoe Saldana plays Gamora, the only female member of the guardians. There is little personality to give this character due to the script that gave her little to work with. However Zoe does do justice for this character, Gamora is athletic, strong but is good at heart. She drives for good even if it means trying to kill her old master and go against her Father. There’s little to say other than she’s amazingly gorgeous and good at fighting. A hard character to really make any noise especially with the amazing cast, but she wasn’t bad just not rememberable.
Rocket is a great character and it must have been a lot of fun for Bradley Cooper to do his voice. Rocket is a genetically modified talking racoon with a sailor’s mouth. He just edges it on the comedy meter compared to Starlord and has many moments of hilarity. I was looking forward to this guy the most and Bradley Cooper brought him to life wonderfully. He’s quick witted, crazy with a gun and is a lot of fun to watch. You just have to love a talking racoon who swears and carries a loaded gun.
Despite Vin Diesels character ‘Groot’ only saying 3 words “I am Groot” on repeat you still get to love this great character. He is a loveable tree that can be adorable sometimes yet a total monster other times. He is Rockets tree buddy and is pretty much there to give the film some “awww” moments. As well as some totally ridiculous tree powers that looks amazing. It’s difficult to criticise a character that only says 3 words but in all he was a solid character.
The last Guardian is Drax played by Dave Bautista. He is more or less the muscle of the group. He’s strong and a bit dim. That is really it. There’s not much to the character and you can probably see why as he’s played by a wrestler. It wasn’t a bad performance it just wasn’t special. You need him there to stay true to the comic books but if he wasn’t in the film you wouldn’t have really noticed.
The main villain in the film is Ronan played by Lee Pace who I’ve only just realised played Thranduil in the Hobbit. He’s menacing, he’s bad but he’s just there to get his butt kicked. He’s nothing special and isn’t really that important. You’re not thinking of the bad guy in this film at all as you care more for the good guys. He’s a bad guy and that’s it really. You’ll forget about him 5 minutes after the credits.
The rest of the cast were okay, no one who I really want to say did their job immensely well. They were there to support the main cast and they did alright. However Peter Serafinowicz played some guy so that was great, love it when British comedians get into big blockbusters like these.
I thought this was a visually pleasing film and I love the sci-fi look. You have everything you want from a sci-fi film; cool looking spaceships, futuristic technologies, sweet looking aliens and especially sliding doors. The CGI in the film is quite impressive especially on Rocket and Groot who looked very realistic and lively. The action scenes looked ace as usual typical of any Marvel film. I particualarly enjoyed one of the first scenes with Starlord and him trying to steal the orb from a temple. It was very reminiscent of the old Indiana Jones films and Star Wars films. In truth this did have a feel of the good George Lucas days of the 70s and 80s. Just with a lot more CGI and pop culture references. I wasn’t hugely amazed with the sets but they did an okay job. Spaceships looked like spaceships and futuristic cities looked like futuristic cities, there isn’t much to talk about.
James Gunn directed films such as ‘Super’ and ‘Slither’ who weren’t looked on too favourably by the critics. So I had my worries about the film when it was coming out. Traditionally Gunn is a dark comedy director but in this film you see a lot more of his comedy then his darkness. I got the feeling Gunn was restricted to the Marvel narrative and there were restrictions on what he could do. There was probably some check list he had to tick in order to keep to the superhero plot. When there were comedic bits they were done superbly, you will be laughing your arse off for most of the film. Action scenes were pleasing to the eye but don’t expect any sort of gore from Gunns previous work. This film was probably restricted by its 12A rating, it’s a superb film as it is but if Gunn could have his freedom to direct it would be a much more pleasing film.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film immensely; it’s not a film you will be remembering for years but you will be buying the Blu-ray DVD when it comes out. It made me laugh and I got emotionally connected to the characters. The characters drive this film without a doubt, Chris Pratt and the rest of the cast make this film a success. They are different, full of personality and you do care for them during the film. I can’t praise the plot too much because it’s something I’ve seen hundreds of times before. But despite that I did come out feeling like I got my money’s worth.
7.4/10 – You’ll get your money’s worth this film and you will be laughing your butt off for most of it. Don’t expect anything ground breaking but enjoy it as a really well made Marvel movie.