“… a movie that will make it difficult for you to not smile.”
Guardians of the Galaxy is hailed as proof that Marvel cannot fail. They were able to take characters that nobody knew of and create a movie about them that was very entertaining, and one of (in my opinion) the best Marvel films. I obviously don’t believe that Marvel can do no wrong, because though they don’t have a track record of terrible films, if you have been reading my reviews you will know that I think a lot of their films are lackluster. Now I won’t diminish the accomplishments of Guardians of the Galaxy, but instead of proof that Marvel can do no wrong, I believe it is a testament to Marvel being able to choose writers who will do franchises justice. Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie about an intergalactic outlaw, a talking raccoon, a sentient tree, a man who has lost everything, and a warrior who is the daughter of the bad guy in the film. All of these characters create a perfect rag-tag team of people to be the Guardians of the Galaxy. If you haven’t heard of these characters, that’s fine because this movie does a great job of introducing and making you love each and every one of them.
I want to start off with the shining point of the film (to me), the soundtrack. Guardians of the Galaxy features a main character, Star-Lord, who is from earth and carries around a walkman with a tape labeled ‘Awesome Mix Vol. 1’. This allows the film to incorporate classic rock and disco songs that have been forgotten as the years go by. I’m not going to pull a “I hate my generation because today’s music sucks”, I just want to say that it is great having a movie feature many of the songs that I grew up with, and still listen to today. And it has an added bonus of introducing younger viewers to a whole catalog of music they have missed out on. The soundtrack isn’t the only great thing about the movie however, because the action scenes are pretty amazing as well. Guardians of the Galaxy has a little bit of everything when it comes to action; space battles, gun fights, dance-offs, honestly it is like a buffet that always keeps you occupied and amused. The movie, as well as being action packed, has a fair helping of comedy each of the characters having little quirks that make their interactions hysterical. But the movie knows that comedy sometimes has to take a back seat to drama, many instances characters not making obvious jokes during heartfelt scenes. One problem I had with the movie is that there were a few instances where things felt a little forced or rushed. One example that I can give without spoiling anything (because it was in the trailer) is when the Guardians are being examined and the one guy says “what a bunch of A-holes”. In the trailer, this allowed the audience to get a sense of the movie, and it was honestly quite funny. In the movie however, the line seems unprovoked because Star-Lord is really the only asshole in the group. The scene in which it occurs also seems really rushed, and ultimately the line seems shoe-horned in. I wish filmmakers would realize that not everything that was in the trailer has to be in the movie, especially when it comes to jokes. That being said, if they had their hearts set on keeping the line, they could have extended the scene a little bit to allow for some more interaction between the characters and the man (officer?) to allow us to see his conclusion that the group actually consists of a bunch of “A-holes”. I know I am nitpicking that one joke a lot (probably more than I should), but that is only because I don’t want to go into detail on the next points because they would include spoilers (just as a quick aside, the points I’m talking about here are the bar scene with Rocket, as well as the ending with the body scan). Otherwise, I felt the characters were very well written and as I mentioned before I thought the movie did a good job of introducing and allowing each character to shine in their own way. Guardians did another thing that I liked and that is the fact that there are a few instances where things occur in the background of a scene, which makes the movie feel more ‘alive’ (an example being the prison scene with the alarm box). I wish more movie would do that because it gives everything a sense of depth and brings the movie closer to reality knowing that characters can transition into the background to do shit instead of just stay in the foreground and letting the background just serve as a backdrop for conversations. I thought the acting in Guardians of the Galaxy was also great, every character doing a great job (including Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper doing voice work). The character designs and makeup were amazing as well. Every time the characters would go to a new place I would constantly be looking in the background at the “extras” to see what kind of creation was made for a 3 second appearance. The film reminded me of Star Wars in that sense, and I believe that is what George Lucas was going for when he shit all over the original trilogy with special effects. The CG in the movie was pretty good, although there were a couple of instances where characters appeared to be plastic. That being said, Groot was done absolutely wonderfully.
Overall Guardians of the Galaxy is a film that harkens back to old sci-fi movies, creating wonder and awe with every scene. Led by loveable and well written characters, sprinkled with a good helping of action scenes, and intertwined with an amazing soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie that will make it difficult for you to not smile.
I give Guardians of the Galaxy an A