Well the time has come for Marvel to go mad and start releasing some of the more obscure comics as films. The amount of stories and the library of material from the last 80 years means they have plenty to bring to the big screen, first of the “What have we got?” films to be released is Guardians of the Galaxy directed by the great James Gunn. As a director of big budget films Mr Gunn is a strange choice, he has not had success with previous directorial efforts that have received wide releases like the criminally underrated Slither and cult film Super (Think a more violent and religiously imbued Kickass minus the training).
And 100% more Rainn Wilson, Kevin Bacon and Ellen Page. Everything is better with Bacon.
But we are not here to talk about Super or Slither (Although I may since they are both amazing) we are here to talk about the adventures of Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora and Bert Macklin aka Star Lord. Our heroes are a ragtag group all with different reason to team up and take down our big bad Ronan the Accuser and get back the Orb. Everyone comes together over the 2 hour runtime and has a great adventure spanning the galaxy.
They did initially have white costumes but the blood of many enemies have given them a new crimson motif.
The plot outline I have given is a simplification of the many story threads introduced and settled through out the movie, I don’t want to spoil anything as the film is still fairly new (And I am not an asshole that ruins things for people, there are too many of those on the internet already) but it is a delight to watch from start to finish. In a refreshing new step for cinema, everyone has a place working towards a common goal while growing with each other through shared loss and some classic music making this a cohesive journey in a insanely realised world(I felt like the soundtrack could have had more Baltimora but A Million Ways To Die In The West used that song to absolute zero effect earlier this year) .
Andy Dwyer channelling Han Solo and Indiana Jones while hitting on a Navi.
For a film that retreads a lot of different plot points used in other films it does help that everything feels fresh and for the most part we are not bogged down by useless information or exposition, when the gang are travelling to a new planet we see a shot of the ship approaching the planet (To show what the planet looks like or establish where they are going) and then they are on the planet interacting with the populous. I hate redundant shots, for every movie in which someone uses a car we do not need to see a shot of them driving, just show them getting in the car then show them exiting the car at a new location, unless they are having conversations relevant to the plot we do not need to see the journey (Films about driving have a different rule so don’t fucking start on that shit).
You can see the ship is travelling towards this body of mass so we can assume the ship will stop here thus making is pointless to have 5 minutes of small talk, James Gunn understands this and that makes me happy.
The dialogue is fantastic and we get a sense of the characters from the way they interact and Gamora (Zoe Saladana) possibly being the most conflicted having to turn on her employer and adopted father all in one move. Star Lord (Chris Pratt) is the least conflicted, usually he is working towards the best for his team or for himself but in no way comes off as shallow because we already know in the first 5 minutes that he has experienced intense loss and continues to avoid confronting that loss by acting like a selfish child. Rocket (Bradley Cooper) is a genetic experiment that some unknown first pulled apart, then Frankensteined back together with cybernetics to produce a tiny gun toting mad man and the wild card of the group but there is so much more to the character (No spoilers). Groot (Vin Diesel) is a prince in the comics but that is not mentioned, with only “I am Groot!” to say this could have been phoned in but the gravel tone of Diesel and some great CGI make Groot a stand out. Drax (Dave Batista) has some of the funniest lines in film brilliantly delivered by the former wrestler (It seems The Rock was not an anomaly and that is a little terrifying), the character again has some past pain having lost his wife and child to Ronan which is his driving force to join the group.
Pictured here is Ronan, not pictured here is him accusing people.
The humour is dead on never feeling forced and when needed the characters portray serious emotion but do not lose those characteristics set up previously, no one feels like they are saying or doing anything that, that character would not do. Rocket has a moment towards the end that could have turned into another terrible “We have friends!” speech but instead its a moment that fits the character AND gives him a new level which is brilliant, likewise Drax has moments of levity between moments of brutal strength that show he has layers (Yes like a fucking onion.) but do not betray the physical presence he has previously been.
This emotion is happy, possibly so happy he wants a hug. Someone should hug Drax.
Anyway that’s me gushing over this film done, it’s great but far more people with far more esteemed opinions have said that already (And they didn’t even fucking pay for a ticket!) but if you cannot tell I enjoyed it. I read the comics and this was a great way to have them brought to the big screen, the adventure and comedy aside this could have been a film about Star Lord alone and worked. Here they have done what Spiderman 3 and The Amazing Spiderman 2 failed so miserably to do, they have several characters and villains working in a cohesive and interesting way, I hope this is the new standard for Marvel films because it truly is great. See it or don’t it doesn’t effect me but if you are the reason I don’t at least get a trilogy of these films then I will be very disappointed in you.
I give the film anything it fucking wants because I still don’t believe in numerical ratings systems and refuse to conform but want more of this series.
BEWBS!!! Andy Dwyer boobs!