Monday, August 11, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn, 2014) Review

Marvel still dominate Hollywood. It's even more clear with DC's recent idea to change the date for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice since it clashed with Captain America 3. Good idea! I would've seen Captain America 3 anyway so win-win. Now, we have to look at a film that features a talking raccoon, an anthropomorphic tree voiced by the Iron Giant and have been set the challenge of taking that idea seriously. I have faith in Marvel....right?

In the depths of space, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is an outlaw out to steal an orb for a high price. Turns out the orb is wanted by a madman named Ronan (Lee Pace) who sends out an assassin, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), to steal it from Quill. During their conflict, an alien duo of Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) attempt to kidnap Quill for the bounty but all 4 of them are arrested by Nova Corp. In prison, the 4 team up with a inmate, Drax (David Batista), who wants revenge on Ronan for murdering his family. The 5 inmates form a group to keep the orb safe from Ronan and deliver it to a safe location.

I'll get the one flaw out of the way quickly. To begin with, the plot is a little bit all over the place as the film has to establish not only all 5 team members but also the planets and civilizations. It's a bit crammed in for those with no idea of what the Guardians are about. However, those who keep up with their comic knowledge or at least kept up to date with his film should have no problem. On the flip side, this film is an absolute delight. It was clearly advertised as a comedy/action flick and it delivers on both aspects wonderfully. Sure, Avengers Assemble arguably had stronger action but Guardians of the Galaxy is a blast to watch. Every character in the film has a hilarious moment probably with Drax and Rocket being the two comedic highlights. Drax's is oblivious to abstract ideas while Rocket is just a high sprung rodent. The entire team consists of wonderful, flesh out characters which is commendable for one film.

The CGI is great as Rocket and Groot feel almost real due to the combination of the CGI and the strong voice acting. Bradley Cooper completely loses himself in the role and becomes Rocket while Vin Diesel is perfectly cast.  Chris Pratt follows Robert Downey Jr. in the sense that he does almost play himself but he's endearing and likable that you don't mind. Zoe Saldana does a good job too but David Batista, who I heard wasn't very good, actually delivers a solid performance. For someone who isn't traditionally an 'actor', I'm was very impressed with him. As this is a Marvel Cinematic Universe entry, you can expect a lot of references and connections between the films in the this franchise. They are a lot more subtle this time around as well as a credits scene that only the die-hard Marvel films will get (and I did so...I loved it). As you might also except, the soundtrack is amazing. As there are two soundtracks (vocal songs and background music), there was a chance that one would stand out over the other. You could argue that but I feel that both soundtracks are great.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a joy to watch from start to finish.The only flaw is the establishment of the plot and even then, you'll understand the second time through as will the comic book fans so it's basically a moot point. The CGI is fantastic and, combined with great voice action, makes the CGI characters feel real. The live action characters are also well developed over the course of the form. If you enjoyed Avengers Assemble, you will have a fun time with Guardians of the Galaxy. This was my most anticipated film this year and I wasn't disappointed at all. In fact, it exceeded my expectations. Man, we are doing REALLY well with films this year. I've already given 5 films either a 9 or 9.5. We are doing well. Maybe Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will break that streak.

A joy from start to finish. Everything works and is a delight to watch.

No comments:

Post a Comment