By Devin (USA)
guardians-of-the-galaxy-4

 

Guardians of the Galaxy is one of those movies that defines what the movie going experience is all about, and it’s the kind of film that I’ve been waiting to see for a long, long, LONG time. At first glance the story may seem fairly generic, group of unlikely heroes meet up, find mysterious artifact that can cause unspeakable destruction, ruthless bad guy wants said artifact to kill millions, heroes decide they must stop bad guy, multiple battles ensue. But is this really the main plot line? Nah. What this film is really about is a group of tortured souls who come together and form something that none of them have ever really had before, a family.

For a summer blockbuster, it is surprisingly touching but in a suitably low key way, as well as gut bustingly funny. Much of the humor comes from the interplay between the titular ragtag band of heroes. Speaking of which, there’s Peter Quill played by Chris Pratt, a narcissistic space junker with an ego the size of a planet who desperately wants to be known across the cosmos as the legendary outlaw “Star Lord”, Gamora played by Zoe Saldana, a green skinned alien assassin looking for redemption, Drax played by Dave Bautista, another deadly green skinned alien out on a quest for vengeance who also takes everything literally, EVERYTHING, Groot voiced by Vin Diesel, a humanoid tree with a heart of gold, and finally, Rocket voiced by Bradley Cooper, a wise cracking talking raccoon with an arsenal of firepower that would make The Expendables crap their pants, seriously he’s like the John Rambo of raccoon’s. These 5 actors all nail their roles, specifically Chris Pratt who manages to give balance to all the ass kicking and wise cracking with genuinely emotional scenes. Even more impressive is that he has successfully shed the “man child” stereotype that I always associate with him due to his character Andy Dwyer on the show Parks and Recreation.

This was one of my fears for the film, but it wasn’t the last. I was skeptical of whether or not I’d care about the character of Groot, since he is only capable of saying one line (“I am Groot”) over and over throughout the film. Thankfully Vin Diesel managed to breath personality into those 3 words as well as facial expressions thanks to motion capture technology. Oh and did I mention that this film looks absolutely gorgeous?

Director James Gunn has done a bang up job of creating a new cinematic world for audiences to be fully immersed in. The amount of detail and care to make this world seem real is ever so present, I was sucked in immediately from the opening scene of Star Lord skulking about a dark temple while listening to “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone. Yes, the entire soundtrack is comprised of funky songs from the 70’s which not only differentiates this film from others, but also becomes a part of the storytelling.

I cannot recommend this movie enough, it is Marvel’s best yet. You will not find any other movie this year that can compete with the sense of fun and spectacle that Guardians will give you, it is absolutely amazing.

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