Movie Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

August 5, 2014 at 6:00 am | Posted in Movies, Reviews, scifi/fantasy | Leave a comment

The movie everyone has been amped to see has arrived, and best of all, it delivered. With Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel has shown that not only can it do superhero movies, but it can do sci-fi as well. Plus they’ve proved that they can be successful with lesser known characters too. Chock full of action, humor, captivating dialog and characters, Guardians serves up entertainment from beginning to end.

Star-Lord: “Something good? Something bad? Bit of both?”

Skuldren: On a personal level, this is the best sci-fi movie I’ve seen since The Fifth Element, and honestly, that’s a great movie to compare it to. Both have the same variety of colorful aliens and cultures mixed with a good amount of humor and action. They’re not deep, sci-fi epics. Instead, they’re highly entertaining sci-fi adventures. It’s a good formula and worthy of a sequel, which has already been announced. To say it’s better than Avengers or Star Wars isn’t really relevant as they are very different films. Avengers benefited from building on existing movies and character development to present a team-up film that all takes place on Earth. Contrasting with that, Guardians takes place on multiple locations around the galaxy and had the extra task of introducing the audience to these new characters and worlds. Star Wars, on the other hand, takes itself way more seriously. Guardians is definitely not a Star Wars rip off. One of the things they succeeded in doing is standing apart from the other big sci-fi franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek. Guardians has a very different feel with a lot more humor.

Geralyn: The humor is a major factor in setting Guardians apart from all the rest. There’s a lot of it and it really works. The humor particularly highlights how well these five misfits work together when really the only thing they have in common is that they are misfits. With the perfect chemistry between the guardians, the casting is genius. In the wrong hands it could have so easily failed, and these actors deserve kudos for pulling this off so well.  And it isn’t just the humor that works. There are dramatic moments too. It’s just that it isn’t a non-stop drama fest like some recent superhero movies coughmanofsteelcough. The drama is deftly handled and not over-played.

The other thing that really works is the CGI.  When I can suspend disbelief and believe that CGI characters are real, that’s CGI at it’s best.  I completely accepted that Groot and Rocket are real.  In fact, they aren’t just real; they’re totally essential to the storyline and my thorough enjoyment of Guardians.

Rocket: “That’s for if you wanna blow up moons.”
Gamora: “No one’s blowing up moons.”
Rocket: “You just wanna suck the joy out of everything.”

Skuldren: CGI has certainly come a long way, and Guardians didn’t pull any punches. Groot and Rocket both seamlessly fit into the core cast. Little movements and details fully cement the reality. You can’t help but enjoy the cantankerous little raccoon who just wants to blow stuff up, or laugh at all the surprises Groot has in store. It’s amazing how lifelike and believable the characters are. Yet those great visuals extend to the environments as well. From dark temples and stoic ships that look like something the Mayans would make, to bright-modern designs and seedy hideaways in the remnants of a giant celestial skull. The variety and depth to the scenery just adds to the experience of the adventure and the visual splendor of the film.

But all those cool locations and visual effects are just trappings on the big selling point of the movie, and that is indeed the chemistry between the core cast. Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Bradley Cooper (Rocket), and Vin Diesel (Groot) form such a magical combination that it’s the one spot where you can truly compare it to Star Wars. They are fully on par with the likes of Han, Luke and Leia. There’s the witty banter which is priceless. However, there’s also just the right mix of personalities. None of the guardians are quite as wholesome and lightsided as Luke, but from time to time, each of their moral compasses do come to light. More often than not, though, they present their more reckless side in the vein of Han and Leia, and really, that just make them even more likable.

Gamora: “And by the way… Your ship is filthy.”
Star-Lord: “Filthy? She has no idea. If we had a blacklight, it would look like a Jackson Pollock painting.”

Geralyn: Ultimately it always comes down to the director because their’s is the hand that conducts the symphony, and James Gunn has a deft hand indeed. He brought together a cast and crew that turned out a movie that’s nothing but enjoyment from start to finish, and there isn’t one sour note in the entire thing. The casting (all of it) was genius, the script was brilliant, the editing perfect, and the direction spot on. In other words, go to the theater, sit back and be prepared to be entertained. You won’t regret it.

Drax: “Nothing goes over my head. My reflexes are too fast…I would catch it.”

Skuldren: Guardians of the Galaxy is a nice mix of so many great elements. There’s a wonderful core cast, stunning villains, and fun supporting cameos. The visuals are top notch, the dialog is excellent, and the laughs hold up pretty well even on the second viewing. Heck, some of the funny lines and moments work even better the second time around since you’ll be in on the entirety of the joke. And as good as the Marvel movies are, this is the first one that has compelled me to go and see it a second time in theaters. There’s just something about the humorous adventure, the iconic visuals, and the sci-fi trappings that appeals to me more than the previous superhero films Marvel has put out. Guardians of the Galaxy is just my kind of movie: fun, funny and fantasful.

We give Guardians of the Galaxy a five out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed by Geralyn and Skuldren.



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