Director: James Gunn
- Directing 4.5/5
- Writing 4.5/5
- Cinematography 4.5/5
- Acting 4/5
- Production Design 5/5
+ Refreshing superhero movie
+ Music is perfect
+ I am Groot ~ likeable characters
– Location jumps around a bit early on
– A scene might feel slightly out of place if you criticize it too heavily
With the upcoming sequel to the smash hit due out in less than 6 months, lets take a look at Marvel’s Guardian’s of the Galaxy.
INSANELY FUN. Those are the words that spring to mind when trying to describe the awesomeness that is Guardians of the Galaxy. It is a very successful film that is unpredictable, complex, and unique. We’ve all seen those space themed sci-fi movies; yet, Guardians presents the viewer with a new take on a space odyssey.
Simply put, GOTG is a fun alternative to Star Wars or Star Trek.
Stunning CGI visuals, make one believe we are flying along in these distant worlds with our heroes. The use of implied comedy in several instances keeps the viewer engaged and actively watching. The plot is constantly developing with the “main goal” shifting as the characters themselves develop. The individual growth we witness our heroes go through lends to the group’s growth as a collective.
Who is the good guy anyway?
There was no immediate good versus bad struggle presented. Rather, the viewer is presented with a rather likable character who has some redeeming characteristics, mainly his humor, wit, and leadership ability. After we get to know him, we realize he doesn’t have the most respectable profession, and neither do his soon to be comrades, composed of mercenaries and outlaws. Inherently our heroes are some characters with questionable morality. Through the movie, there is this act of redemption that happens for our heroes once they choose to act for the greater good.
Throughout these heroes come to charm us with their demeanor and team dynamics. It’s the fact that they are morally questionable at times that creates interesting and likable characters.
Gamora is a wanted murderer who works with our film’s antagonist at the start. She is primarily responsible for helping steer the team towards serving the great good.
Peter Quill is our likable miscreant who is looking out for his own personal gain before rising to the call to action. He embraces the leadership thrust on him and rallies the team.
Rocket Raccoon is brought to life by Bradley Cooper. Rocket is a gun toting troll who likes to have a laugh at other’s expense, even if he has to take a limb.
Tough guy eh? Drax is all muscle and no brain it would seem. Gunn capitalizes on this with metaphors that won’t fly over your head, if your reflexes are good (see what I did there?).
Groot is probably the only one out of the lineup that is primarily good. It’s unclear how he got mixed up with Rocket. Despite the rap sheet, Groot is just a friendly force in the team who talks like a pokémon – that is, he can only say his name. Groot is also responsible for rallying the team to come together at a critical time.
Despite only having three words for his dialogue, Diesel commits to the act. Dedication to his craft:
Music to my ears
Besides the characters, the other thing that is done PERFECTLY with this film is the music choices.
According to James Gunn, the film’s soundtrack is composed mainly of 1970s-80s songs, as they are part of Quill’s memories of Earth:
The music is one of those touchstones we have to remind us that Quill is a real person from planet Earth who’s just like you and me, except that he’s in this big outer space adventure.
The music works perfectly because the classic tunes chosen are juxtapositioned against a space adventure.
Gunn revealed in an interview he compiled a list of hit songs, which appear in the Billboard charts during this time, and narrowed it down to 120 to be considered for use in the film. It helped Gunn entirely throughout production, as some scenes were either filmed around the music as it played in the background, or served as inspiration for Gunn to write a scene around a track.
Here is a link to the magic playlist.
Hyperdrive leaves me hyper-sick
The only downfall I could come up with, and I had to look for one, was that as a new viewer, the setting seems to jump a lot in the first 15 minutes of the film. But this is also inherently justifiable because important events take place in all of these places, which are necessary to advance the overall plot. Heck even the music helps to redeem this. The use of classic rock and circa 80’s disco vibes leads the audience a chance to get to know our protagonist even more. It’s the music from his childhood and that is the only part of his past that we have ever seen. It reconnects us to that era in his life.
Despite jumping around so much, this is slightly undercut by the graphics that go along with it. The visuals add clairvoyance and helps orient the viewer in the storytelling.
Overall Guardians of the Galaxy is a very great film that I have already rewatched at least 15 times since purchasing the dvd. Every few weeks, I feel this compulsion to sit down and reconnect with this group of ragtag misfits as they save the world. In some ways, if this group of misfits can come together to save the galaxy, then I can somehow come together and accomplish my dreams. This film has very much earned it’s 8.5/10 rating from me, entertaining for children and adults alike.