Note: This review contains minor spoilers.
In a different route that manages to move away from The Avengers, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy introduces an out-of-this-world (laugh at my corny joke) film that is the epitome of summer movie fun.
The film introduces a young Peter Quill in the late 80’s, a normal human boy on Earth who is forced to face his mother’s death before being randomly sucked into space by an alien spaceship. Fast forward into the future and we’re introduced to an adult-Quill, aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), who immediately shows off his snark as he steals a mysterious orb.
It’s all ultimately a very cliche’ story in the beginning — a group of very different characters all unceremoniously meet while trying to accomplish their own personal missions. Gamora (Zoe Saldana) is a green assassin who wants to sell the orb to escape her evil family, Drax (Dave Bautista) wants to avenge the death of his family, and partners Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) simply want to collect the bounty placed on Quill.
This is a wonderful mismatched bunch that creates some of the most humorous dialogue in a Marvel movie, and this is where Guardians shines. Mix the delivery of Pratt’s witty humor with the different characteristics of his companions, and you end up with several laughs. Fortunately the humor contrasts perfectly with the serious drama as the jumbled group of characters begin to understand that the galaxy is at stake. Ronan (Lee Pace) is an evil bad ass who answers to Thanos (who is an even more evil bad ass), but when he achieves more power from the orb, he becomes a nearly unstoppable force.
The two villains who feel slightly underwhelming are Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Korath (Djimon Hounsou). While impressive in their own solo moments in the film, both villains manage to fill in some nice action scenes that eventually lead into the climax of the film. They may have tied well into the story as a whole, but as villains they were slightly disappointing.
The two characters that shine the most are Rocket and Groot, a very positive note for the quirky film considering these two characters could have completely ripped this film to shreds. Cooper is perfect as the voice of the cybernetically enhanced racoon. His take-no-prisoners attitude contrasts nicely against Groot’s calm (and sometimes charmingly dumb) demeanor. For a character whose only repeated line is “I am Groot,” Diesel manages to emanate a charming swell of emotion.
The characters, who logically should probably hate each other, create a very believable and hilarious bond inside of a universe that sometimes doesn’t take itself seriously. The soundtrack and pop culture references add more quirk to the story, and while you soak up the fun, you may suddenly forget to breathe as the different worlds bring more depth and gorgeous quality to the film.
It’s obvious that Director/Writer James Gunn put a lot of love in this film, especially if his love can be compared to a kid in a candy store. Lots of fun was had in this movie’s creation. Guardians of the Galaxy is a spectacular mix of humor, drama, and entrancing sci-fi that delivers the perfect amount of fun. There honestly isn’t too much to criticize.
And as is usual with Marvel films, make sure you sit through the end credits…