After spending a few months perfecting my vocal performance of Hooked on a Feeling Guardians of the Galaxy finally arrived in the cinema. A convincing trailer, general Marvel excitement and internet hype meant that Guardians was always going to be one of the most anticipated films of the summer.
Would it deliver?
PLOT: Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is taken from earth as a young boy and grows up to be a thief working for Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker). Quill steals a mysterious orb and is hunted by half the galaxy. After a street brawl Peter, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) are all sent to prison where they meet the already incarcerated Drax (Dave Bautista). The inmates work together to escape and are chased across the galaxy by Ronin the Excuser (Lee Pace) and Yondu who has placed a bounty on
Han’s Peter’s head. Quill and the others must learn to trust each
other and work together to save the galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy marks the first time that I have gone into a Marvel film completely blind. I had no prior knowledge of the characters or the events which unfolded and I spent the vast majority of the film thinking that Nova Prime was a planet and not Glenn Close.
Not a planet since 1947.
As the film was introducing the unknown it was essential to have a strong script as there were a lot of new characters and relationships which needed to be set up in a relevantly short space of time. The plot was fine but there were segments which were very clunky and towards the end of the film a throwaway line involving Peter’s father made the entire cinema exclaim “huh?” in unison. The story felt familiar and on occasions there were feelings of déjà vu but any issues were forgotten whenever the five Guardians were on screen as their chemistry sizzled and the film became a pleasure to watch.
The tone throughout was fun although some of the humour did miss the mark. There were some very decent dramatic scenes and I was surprised that the big emotional moments came from Rocket and the loud laughs from Drax and his literal understanding of the English language. It was nice to see that the team offered more than the two minute trailer suggested.
The Guardians of the Galaxy introduced a brand new cast of actors to the Marvel Cinema Club and they did a fine job of it. Chris Pratt was very likeable as Peter Quill and grew into his role as group leader with ease. Zoe Saldana has been typecast in this role for years but when she does it so well is there really any reason to complain? Former WWE star Dave Bautista was much more entertaining than expected however it was Bradley Cooper’s Rocket and Groot who stole the show. Overall the main players were very well cast but with all ensemble pieces there is always a weak link and with Guardians it is Lee Pace who claims that award. Pace got the balance between a grandiose performance and over acting like hell very wrong.
Bromance of the year: 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy gave us some more Thanos (Josh Brolin) who was teased at the end of The Avengers. I hope I am forgiven when I say that I really don’t know where the Thanos storyline is going or what the significance of the character is. I am not asking either; I am happy enough to let Marvel play it out on screen. We also got more time with Benicio Del Toro’s character, the Collector, but this added absolutely nothing to the film other than a room filled with head nods to fans of various comics.
My biggest complaint about the film was the proclamation during the closing credits that the “Guardians of the Galaxy will return”. Everyone knew before the film was released that there would be a sequel and I have no problem with this at all. I just don’t want Marvel to cross the line from confident into cocky filmmaking. A little bit of humility goes a long way.
The Guardians of the Galaxy successfully expanded the Marvel Universe and gave the audience exactly what it wanted – a great time. It gets 8/10. Now the Guardians have been established the next instalment can motor on without as many introductions. I have already saved the date in my diary.
Mundane Rambling will return to review Guardians of the Galaxy two.