What appeared to be one of the more fun movies of the summer, Guardians of the Galaxy, delivered exactly what it was selling: a comedic/action romp that would leave fans and casual movie goers alike fully satisfied. This flick isn’t going to wow anyone with an original, immersive, developed story — but it has likable characters, plenty of wonder and imagination, and more laughs than most would expect.
The film kicks off with Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), or as he would like to be called, Star Lord, heisting a very important piece of galactic treasure. Soon he catches the attention of many in power, causing a whirlwind of shenanigans to follow Quill around. He soon meets his fellow ‘guardians’ in the green-skinned Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the raccoon with an attitude Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), the lanky tree figure Groot (voiced by Vinn Diesel) and the massive Drax (Dave Bautistia). This ensemble of misfits isn’t taken serious by anyone, even themselves as a collective, until the chips are down and someone needs to step up and save the day — their foes are powerful, but as a team fighting for what is right, they form ‘The Guardians of the Galaxy.’
This is one of those films that is so fun and simply plotted that any casual movie-goer can enjoy it — this title reminded me a lot of The Avengers, both in premise and plot. (… good guy band of misfits don’t get along, bad guy is hellbent on destroying world, then the group bands together in final third of film to fight back.) Unlike The Avengers, the entire backstory off all these characters (cinematically) is contained within the 121 minute runtime. That said, most of these characters (cinematic, not comic book — I haven’t read any of the source material) are just shallow compositions of basic character archetypes — but considering this film is meant to be enjoyable and funny, that doesn’t significantly hurt its cause.
The biggest draw for Guardians of the Galaxy is the constant humor and one-liners that populate the runtime — the team of guardians and their interactions keeps the film light and fun despite the serious subject matter of world destruction. The laughs are so prevalent, Guardians of the Galaxy could double as a comedy. Chris Pratt is perfect for the goofy character Star Lord — Pratt’s delivery of this character will cement himself as a viable leading man for future Hollywood blockbusters. I’ve always loved Pratt as the dopey Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation, and I’m glad to see much more of him in the future.
Given the title of this movie, and the fact this flick is based on a comic book, there is clearly plenty going on within this universe. Crafting a unique world for an audience to inhabit is always a difficult task — but Guardians of the Galaxy handles it with ease, introducing new alien worlds and species, galactic orders, and so on and so forth. This universe is unveiled without being confusing and the film showcases just enough to enlighten the viewer, to make them think in wonderment of all that exists within the spanning galaxies.
While the story and its characters are rudimentary and unoriginal in many ways, the execution of this film is handled with precision, finding ways to add creativity and a fresh take on the “band of misfits” storyline. The humor within Guardians of the Galaxy is a home run and reason enough to warrant a theater visit — you will find it difficult not to laugh hysterically. Then add in all the fantastic talent filling the character roles, that equates to blockbuster box office success.
Photos via: Marvel Studios