By Shelby Fielding (Lubbock,Texas)

 

A refreshing perception on a critically praised and profiting cinematic franchise is something that is an arduous process and concept that is only shared with us every once in a while by usually impacting us in a sequel or a reboot that leaves us craving for more. Films such as James Cameron’s Aliens, Martin Campbell’s Casino Royale, Justin Lin’s Fast Five, Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class, and as of recently James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy. This creation is an excellent example of a film that not only reinvigorated a franchise with freshness and the possibility of a new direction in the cinematic universe that is filled with a vastness of characters, locations, ideas, beliefs, and heroes of course, exploring the vast worlds of Marvel’s refined atmosphere of multiple universes and time zones. Guardians of the Galaxy served as a relatable introduction to this complicating world that arrives at our front door with some comical uses of dialogue of some complex characters whose pasts begin to correlate to the future. Starting to allow to them to open their minds to finally achieving relationships of loyalty with someone else to share their enormous adventures of lawlessness and gallantry.

Opening with a comical introductory sequence in which one of our most famous characters “Star-Lord,” begins expressing himself with a humorous dance number with the 1973 catchy tune of Redbone’s “Come and get Your Love.” Our opening credits role and the entirety of the sequence resonates with me as if to tell me that this one is going to be different than the others. With my laughs subsiding we are then launched into an entertaining action sequence of “Star-Lord” escaping the grasps of Djimon Hounsou’s character “Korath” that ends in a whimsical fashion of Quill realizing that his lady friend was in the lower deck of the ship during the entirety of this action packed sequence. This sequence is not only amusing and riveting but also a solid glimpse as to who this character is, and how he views things with him coming off as absurdly arrogant while being lovably idiotic at times.

This sequence also introduces us to this throwback score presented by Tyler Bates. With the era of the 70’s overtaking the film’s unique sound, to construct an immersive atmosphere that is a reminder not only of Quill’s age but also the tone of the movie’s screenplay, music that reflects the funny and enjoyable script that is filled with not only intriguing but originality. We then begin noticing the excellent direction shown by James Gunn with an enormous amount of focus put on the development of these characters. With multiple sequences being used as medium shots or close-ups of the dialogue shared between these characters and how they interact and share this immersive atmosphere. A sense of introduction fills the screen for the entirety of the one hundred and twenty-one minute run time. With all of these characters actions and gestures being symbolized as building blocks for their relationships with each other. A thoughtful design of this artistic direction.

 The astonishing filmmaking continues with remarkable visual effects done by the visual effects producer Aurelia Abate and her excellent team. That brings this original universe to life with a grounded realism of the screenplay. The performances are extraordinary with Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, and of course Bradley Cooper delivering enigmatic and energy filled performances that present themselves as organic with how they react to each other’s dialogue and improvisations. The only flaw that causes the film to be muddled is the lack of intriguement surrounding its antagonist of “Ronan” portrayed by Lee Pace. Presented as characters whose evil intentions surround around hatred and vengeance for reasons that are stated but never investigated further, causing this character to show itself as bland and stale in response to the heavily invested and dynamic characters of heroic team. This main villain acts as a blockade that prevents the film from growing into an exquisite example of filmmaking.

James Gunn hit an astonishing home run with Guardians of the Galaxy not only just with its impact of rejuvenation upon an already successful franchise, but also with its financial success of profiting $773.3 million becoming the fifth highest grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe in existence. This revitalizing of a franchise is an inspiring example on how no matter how successful you are as a creator, you should always be innovating yourself to continue constructing yourself as fresh as possible in your respective field of creativity. Some may call this a superb comic book genre film, but I refuse to enclose its greatness by limiting its successes to its genre. Instead, I appreciate for the ground it broke and its bravery to step out of the norm to create interest in its individuality as a film, which may have been James Gunn’s intentions the whole time.

Rating: 4/5

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