Review: Guardians of the Galaxy
The Marvel brand sure knows how to take a calculated risk or two. After screening sequel after sequel of popular superheroes such as Iron Man, Thor and Captain America, the audience is now rewarded with a new batch of obscure, motley crew of – if you really want to call them – superheroes known as the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Herein lies the difference – the so-called guardians, or a bunch of losers as depicted from the start, are so unfamiliar and unassuming that director James Gunn had the liberty and cheek to make the movie simply irrelevant, odd and full of wisecracks. And the best part? Not only will Guardians leave you with a sore tummy from laughing so hard, its otherworldly plot would make you appreciate the realms of Marvel’s cinematic universe even more.
Chris Patt plays Peter Quill, with an alter ego named Star-Lord. Quill was abducted from Earth when he was a child by the Ravagers, a group of space bandits led by Yondu, played by Michael Rooker.
Every superhero comes with a weapon and in Quill’s case, he carries a Walkman everywhere he goes, while listening to a mixtape, which is jam-packed with pop songs from the 70s like The Runaways’ rocking “Cherry Bomb” and 10cc’s soothing “I’m Not in Love” These nostalgic groovy songs help Quill to connect to his late mother.
And before we forget, Quill does have a weapon – the Element Gun – and fights evil with an unlikely cast comprising the machine gun-toting talking raccoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a walking humanoid tree called Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), temperamental Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) and humanoid weapon Gamora (Zoe Saldana).
These oddball characters band together in strange circumstances and help to stop the evil Ronan (Lee Pace) from destroying the planet Xander.
The CGI in the movie reaches dizzying heights due to its convincing and stunningly realized characters, thanks in no part to a great combination of artistic prowess and the actors’ abilities. The conceptual art and environment design look especially good on 3D, including a highly detailed portrayal of galactic homes, ships and stars. The movie is packed with plenty of action sequences and a lot more on relationships between the characters.
Groot, who speaks the same few words, resonates the most with a selfless act that speaks volumes of the character. It plays up the constant theme throughout the movie that we don’t have to be a badass to be a superhero because all you need is a good heart and soul, which is what Guardians is all about.
However, the pace of the movie suffers a little mid-way when Quill and his ragtag crew set off to meet The Collector (Benicio del Toro), which dragged on a little too long.
Nonetheless, Guardians of the Galaxy is a genuine crowd pleaser where adults and fan boys would love its subtle and random bursts of wacky lines and kids would love to have Rocket as a friend, despite being a foul-mouthed animal wielding a weapon.
The ensemble movie reminds us of another Marvel enterprise, The Avengers, but what makes Guardians so different and special is its brand of humor, lots of heart and a great 70s soundtrack.
Release Date: July 31
Runtime: 122 minutes
Censorship Rating: PG 13
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Fantasy and Adventure
Director: James Gunn
Main Actors: Chris Patt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace