Guardians of the Galaxy
BY STEVEN PANZARELLA(@PROCREATESTEVE)
The Short-With the frenetic energy of its predecessors Guardians of The Galaxy proves that at the moment Marvel can do no wrong. James Gunn’s brilliantly funny script, and colorful direction make Guardians of The Galaxy feel less like a Marvel movie and more like what would happen if you asked George Lucas to add dick jokes to Star Wars. Gunn gets class A work from an excellent cast and a star making performance from Chris Pratt that makes Guardians of The Galaxy arguably Marvel’s best origin story and one of the best films of 2014 thus far.
It was not too long ago when we called Guardians of The Galaxy Marvel’s most ambitious entry. It’s a feature length space opera about a team of misfits lead by Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) that includes a green assassin (Zoe Saldana), a talking raccoon (Bradley Cooper), a talking tree that can only say 3 words (Vin Diesel) and a maniac seeking vengeance on two of the most powerful men in the galaxy (Dave Bautista). The film that’s directed by James Gunn, a guy whose two most popular credits are horror comedy Slither and a violent super hero movie in the vein of Kick Ass called Super. Yet no matter all of the reasons people thought Guardians would fail, it could be Marvel’s best movie to date. It’s all thanks to the hilarious script from James Gunn and first time writer Nicole Perlman, the duo create an incredibly colorful world filled to the brim with colorful characters. They also get great performances across the board but especially from Parks and Rec vet and Jurassic World star Chris Pratt, Pratt brings such charisma to role along with a fantastic sense that Peter Quill aka Star Lord quickly becomes one of the Marvel Cinematic Universes best heroes. In his own words Quill “is not 100% a dick”, and it’s his hilarious, star making performance as the anti-hero that sets the tone for one hell of a ride.
Supporting Pratt is an excellent cast including, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, the deadly assassin and “daughter” of future Avenger’s baddie Thanos (Josh Brolin), She is put in charge of recovering an “orb” that Peter Quill has just stolen, its contents interest Ronan “The Accuser” a tyrant attempting to gain control of the orb so that the aforementioned Thanos will destroy a planet of his choosing. Quill in the process of recovering the orb has a bounty on his head by his former mentor Yondu (The Walking Dead’s Michael Rooker). Trying to recover the bounty are Rocket, a genetically enhanced raccoon and Groot a talking tree that can only say “I am Groot”. They all converge on Quill at the same time which is how they come together. Cooper as Rocket and Vin Diesel voicing Groot manage to steal one or two scenes in the process but it is Dave Bautista as the vengeful Drax The Destroyer that shines most in the supporting cast. Drax takes everything very literally and isn’t moved by sarcasm or metaphor so Gunn and Perlman use that to gain some laughs but Bautista’s surprising performance sticks out the most. He is confident and light hearted during the funny moments and shows that he can take on some of the films more serious tones. The films main villain is “Ronan The Accuser” played by Lee Pace (The Hobbit), along with another daughter of Thanos, Nebula played by Doctor Who actress Karen Gillan. Pace chews the scenery as the villainous Ronan who might actually be the least memorable character in the film, especially after an impressive first scene featuring Thanos, who was the villain Joss Whedon alluded to in the post credits scene for The Avengers.
It’s Gunn’s direction that gives Guardians the feeling that this is not your normal marvel movie. If you thought the other films lacked certain colors on the palate then Guardians of The Galaxy makes up for that in kind. Gunn’s version of space is bright and colorful, Gunn uses the bright reds and yellows and greens to create an elegant backdrop for our characters to do and say some inelegant things. For example at one point Quill remarks that if you went around his ship with a black light “It would look like a Jackson Pollack painting”, and Gunn and Perlman get away with nonstop pop culture references and colorful bits of dialogue and its perfectly scored to the beats of classic 1970’s and 80’s rock songs. The films cold open is a dramatic abduction of the younger Quill that fast forwards to a hilarious opening scene to the beat of Redbone’s Come and Get Your Love. The soundtrack includes hits from Blue Swede, The Jackson 5, David Bowie, The Runaways, Marvin Gaye and more. It’s one of the better aspects of Guardians of The Galaxy and makes it that much more enjoyable.
Guardians of The Galaxy is one of those movies that you leave it feeling so good, you just want to go back in and see it again. It's a movie worth multiple viewings thanks to intoxicating visuals and a beautifully balanced action comedy that plays out flawlessly on screen.
Grade - A+