Action/Adventure / Reviews / Science Fiction/ Fantasy

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) review

Guardians poster

Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and his band of miscreants/outcasts, must save the galaxy from the threat of Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace).

Guardians of the Galaxy  is an invigorating and oftentimes hilarious space opera that charts a new direction for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  In glorious fashion, it introduces a group of outcasts bent on saving the galaxy from the evil plans of a religious Kree zealot named Ronan the Accuser.  This is Marvel’s Star Wars or Star Trek.  It is a rousing adventure that is not to be missed.

Director James Gunn (Slither, Super) has managed to do the impossible and make a film featuring heroes that only the hardest core of the hardcore comic fans will know anything about.  I used to be a huge comic collector.  Years ago.  While I haven’t kept up with them in the last 20 years or so, I do have more than a passing knowledge of comic book lore.  I had no idea who the Guardians of the Galaxy were.  I had never heard of Star-Lord or Groot (Vin Diesel) or Rocket (Bradley Cooper) or Gamora (Zoe Saldana) or Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista).  So, that being said, I walked into this film as fresh as anyone else and was pleasantly not surprised by the quality of the film, as the MCU has managed to make nothing but quality films thus far.  This is just one more step in their goal of creating one massive universe, and, like the other films before it, is a glorious step.

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-teamIn 1988, Peter Quill is whisked off Earth by a group of unknown aliens.  26 years later, he is a thief who steals an orb that everyone in the galaxy seems to want.  An assassin is sent to kill him and take the orb but is foiled by Rocket, a talking raccoon with a penchant for firepower, and Groot, an enormous tree that can only say “I am Groot”.  Of course, Rocket and Groot are attempting to capture Quill for the bounty on his head.  The four of them end up captured by the Nova Corps and are taken to prison where they meet Drax.  The five of them team up and escape the prison, retrieving the orb and taking it to a character known as The Collector (Benicio del Toro) who informs them that the orb is actually and Infinity Stone, a source of enough power to wipe out an entire planet.  Ronan the Accuser also wants the stone and eventually gets it from Quill.  It is then up to this group of convicts to stop Ronan the Accuser from using the stone to destroy a planet in his religious quest.

I’m not sure about other reviewers out there, but I have an increasingly difficult time reviewing MCU films.  They are all so interconnected that by reviewing them in any amount of depth, I run the risk of spoiling essential plot points that you are better off discovering for yourself by watching the film.

What we are looking at with Guardians of the Galaxy  is not a film that will lead into The Avengers: Age of Ultron.  We are looking at the film that will lead into The Avengers 3.  Yes, this film, somehow, sets up the sequel to a film that hasn’t been released yet.  I wouldn’t worry about that, though, while watching this film.  I would enjoy the space adventure and comedic tone that this film employs.  It really is quite funny and exciting.

I went to see this film in 3D.  I am notorious about not liking 3D in my films, and this was no exception.  For me, 3D is a distracting nuisance that very rarely adds anything to a film.  It adds nothing but said distraction to this film.  That being said, the 3D was very well done.  I’m not sure if this was filmed in 3D or post converted, but it was actually very impressive that it worked as well as it did.  I just don’t like the distraction of things flying at my face while trying to enjoy the film itself.

Guardians of the Galaxy  is a rousing space adventure that, once again, cements Marvel as the leader in crafting a comic book film universe.  At times breathtakingly beautiful, at time gut-bustingly funny, at times full of high adventure, this is a massive success for the MCU and for audiences that choose to take the plunge and discover just what the Guardians are all about.

***1/2 out of ****

BIZZAM!! Fun Facts!

  • Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Oculus), shaved her head to play Nebula in this film.  Don’t think that’s a big deal?  Look at her here:

Karen-karen-gillan-33846198-500-500

  • There is a brief cameo of Cosmo, a Russian astronaut dog.  He is actually dressed in his cosmonaut gear.
  • Stay after all of the credits of the film.  There is a majorly AWESOME cameo from another Marvel character that has to be seen to be believed.
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