Dee Discusses: Guardians of the Galaxy

Posted: August 17, 2014 by Dee in Dee, General Media, Movies, New Movies, Reviews
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I’m going to be honest and say I won’t be unbiased in this review. I loved this movie. I loved every second of this movie. I’m usually fairly good at finding criticism of movies I love, but right now none of them are coming. Okay maybe a few minor notes that I’ll put at the end of the review. But mostly, Guardians of the Galaxy is an incredible film. The hype is for a reason. Go and see it. It’s one of those movies that it sincerely baffles me when someone else doesn’t like it. So that’s why I’m noting right up front I’m biased. Also get this soundtrack if you haven’t already, I’ve been rocking to it for days. I’ll do a full analysis after the summary, and why I think this movie did so well in the theaters and with audiences. First up, let’s take a closer look at Marvel’s latest hit.

The movie starts right off making us cry. Wow that was unexpected. We meet child Peter Quill (eventually Chris Pratt) who watches his mother die from cancer, and doesn’t take her hand when she begs him for it before she dies. He’s too scared. He runs out of the hospital, heartbroken, and he is captured by an alien vessel. The band he joins is called the Ravagers. They are led by Yondu (Michael Rooker), who becomes a rough and violet sort of father figure for Quill. Eventually he grows up to be a selfish but lovable rogue who still has his mix tape from 1988 that he takes everywhere. It reminds him of Earth and his dead mother, who gave it to him. He steals a special orb on a job that’s supposed to be for the Ravagers, but he wants the pay out only for himself. He runs into a group of mercenaries for the Kree fanatic Ronan (Lee Pace). Ronan wants to wipe out the Kree’s moral enemies the Xandarians, despite a peace treaty between the two planets. The powerful alien known as Thanos (Josh Brolin) has promised Ronan do destroy Xandar if he gives him the orb. He’s sent his two daughters, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan), to help Ronan. Gamora volunteers to go after Quill.

The buyer drops out once he finds out Ronan is looking for the orb, and Yondu puts a big price on Quill’s head. Bounty hunters raccoon lab experiment Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and giant tree Groot (Vin Diesel) target Quill, and there’s a fight between them, Quill, and Gamora, who shows up to steal the orb. All four of them are taken to prison since they were stupid enough to have this fight in broad daylight on the Nova-run Xandar. Who are the Nova? They’re an inter-galactic police force who have their major base on Xandar. The four of them are sent to the most dangerous prison planet, the Kyln. They decide to band together because Gamora was turning against Ronan, she wants to sell the orb to a higher bidder. Thanos destroyed her planet and forced her to be raised as his child, she has no love for him. They also meet fellow prisoner Drax (Dave Batista), who has a vendetta against Ronan for killing his family. They break out of the Kyln and fly off to a place called Knowhere that’s off the map. There they meet the Collector (Benicio del Toro), a figure we all saw in the end credits of Thor 2, who collects rare items (and people).

The Collector explains that the orb is one of the Infinity Stones, super powered items that can do immeasurable damage. The Tesseract is one of them, for example, and if a normal person tries to wield one, they will get torn apart. It takes a very powerful person to survive touching one. After an obvious demonstration from the Collector’s slave, who dies in the attempt, the Guardians plan to flee. If Ronan gets his hands on it, he’ll destroy an entire planet. Unfortunately Drax called Ronan while drunk, planning on fighting him as soon as he gets there. He gets his ass handed to him instead. Quill sacrifices himself to save Gamora, and Ronan’s forces get the Infinity Stone. The Ravagers pick up Quill and Gamora, and they talk their way out of dying by promising them a big score: take out Ronan and get the Stone. Rocket, Drax, and Groot try to ‘save’ their companions by threatening to kill the whole ship. Not the best plan.

The Guardians know it’s a suicide mission, but choose to fight Ronan to save Xandar. Quill reaches out to the Nova to tell them what’s coming. I’m not going to get into too much detail at the end here, because you really have to watch it to understand how brilliant it is. But needless to say there will be a sequel and it’s already been announced. And I am so excited about that. This movie did incredibly well at the box office. I think it’s mostly because  no one knew what to expect.  We have high expectations of Marvel, but at the same time, Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t a hugely known comic series. I remember how baffled a lot of us comic fans were, hearing that was the next one to be made. So it was a welcome surprise to see how they did something completely different, with a strange group of characters, and knocked it out of the park. Bravo! Marvel hasn’t made a wrong step yet. I’m betting on Ant-Man being the failure.

This was definitely the funniest movie they’ve made, which is saying a lot since Iron Man was very funny when it first came out. But the ensemble here is priceless. They all add to the major story and have some fantastic one-liners. Everyone is listing Rocket and Groot as stand outs, which I agree with, they’re both really great. Fantastic voice acting by Bradley Cooper there, and the motion capture is excellent. Chris Pratt was not well-known before starring in this, and he does a great job. He’s like an average man Han Solo, he’s not quite as suave or smooth as Han, but that’s part of what made him charming. I do wish that Drax and Gamora were allowed to be a little more badass. See the thing is, those two have informed abilities. In the comics they’re much stronger and more dangerous than their counterparts. We’ve heard they’re legendary killers. But only a little of their skills are shown off in the movie, and they seem to be on even ground with the others. I get they wanted everyone to appear on the same level, but neither of them really screamed ‘epic galaxy-wide known badasses.’  I’ve heard some criticisms of Ronan, saying he was pretty flat, but I think that was necessary in comparison to the rest of them. It might’ve been useful to explain more of the Kree/Xandar problems, so we really understood who he was and what his reasoning was.

What I want from the next movie is fleshing all of the characters out more. We got their basic stories and personalities now, but I’d really like all of them to get the same treatment Quill did. It was necessary for us to have more of his story this movie, since he was the Earth character and the leader, the one we were supposed to connect to first. But now it should be an ensemble story, and that means others should have a chance to shine. Gamora and Drax have a lot more reason to get vengeance against Thanos, so I’d like them to get center stage on that side, especially Gamora. I know we’ll probably have Quill finding his father, but I’d like that to be a B story at most, because we’ve seen it a dozen times and the A story should be bigger.

Overall this was an amazing movie experience and I want to see it immediately. Everything was exactly what I wanted. The characters, the tone, the graphics, the music, the quirkiness, and the furthering of the Marvel universe, it was spot on. This lovable group of losers has won over casual and expert fans alike. The response to the movie proves that Marvel knows what they’re doing, and I really have to respect what they’re accomplishing here. Plus, my fangirl heart can’t take more of this. AKA please more, please more. I’d give this movie a solid A. Must be seen. Only real problem was that the end credits disappointed me. I  understand why they were that, but I think they could’ve done better.

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