It’s finally here: Guardians of the Galaxy. I’ve been waiting anxiously for this film to come out ever since I saw the first trailer and realized just how quirky, hilarious, and absolutely awesome it was going to be. And it didn’t disappoint. I got to see Guardians yesterday, and it was everything I had hoped for it to be and then some.
To be honest, I (like many others) originally thought a Guardians of the Galaxy film was a bad idea. They’re not a very well-known superhero team. Very few people have ever even heard of them. And I didn’t see how Marvel was going to manage to fit the Guardians into their greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, which already has the greatest superhero team of all time, the Avengers. So I wasn’t initially impressed by the idea. But when that first trailer dropped, I realized this wasn’t going to be your typical Marvel movie, and I began to get very excited.
The truth is that Guardians of the Galaxy is a very “off” movie, especially coming from a company owned by Disney. Guardians is gritty. It isn’t a straightforward good-guys-versus-bad-guys action film. It’s a space opera about a band of misfit criminals who are forced to band together and fight for the sake of the entire galaxy. And the whole thing is set to a soundtrack of popular music from the 70s and 80s. It’s extremely quirky, and that’s what makes it so compelling.
The main character of Guardians is Peter Quill also known as Star-Lord (played brilliantly by Chris Pratt), a young space bandit who makes a living traveling the galaxy and ripping people off. A good deal of the movie revolves around his journey to get a hold of a precious orb that he is attempting to sell for a profit. Along the way, he teams up with Gamora (Zoe Saldana), an assassin who also happens to be the estranged adopted daughter of Thanos, a major Marvel villain; Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a genetically-mutated racoon with a love for firearms; Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), a humanoid tree who serves as Rocket’s bodyguard; and Drax (Dave Bautista), a man with a grudge and a hilarious inability to detect sarcasm. Together, these five discover a plot by Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) to harness the power of the Infinity Stone hidden within the orb and wipe out billions of people with it. In order to stop Ronan, they must work together as a team and take their places as the Guardians of the Galaxy.
As I said before, this isn’t your typical Marvel movie. Guardians is rougher than any other MCU film to date. The Guardians aren’t the Avengers. They have rough histories. They make morally questionable decisions. They curse a lot. These aren’t heroes. These are misfits who are forced together and have to work as a team to save the galaxy. And this makes for a much different feel than a movie like The Avengers.
Probably my my fsvorite thing about Guardians is how aware it is of itself. This movie has some downright weird parts. For example, the opening sequence shows Quill searching a deserted planet for the orb. While he’s searching, he’s listening to music on his Walkman and dancing around. Not really what you’d expect of a world-renowned space bandit. Much of the film’s humor comes from its utter ridiculousness and the fact that the characters themselves recognize the insanity and point it out.
Not that Guardians is solely a comedy. There are some heartfelt moments, too. Each of the characters goes through some sort of growth during the film, and they all have true, raw emotions hidden behind their rough exteriors. For example, there’s a scene where Rocket touches briefly on how he came to be the way he is and laments his very existence. It’s powerful, and it gives you something to think about.
And with Guardians, as with every other Marvel film, the creators had to include some elements that set the series up for the future. I feel like Guardians did a good job of moving the Marvel Cinematic Universe along while also setting itself up for a great sequel. As far as the MCU goes, Guardians really serves as the introduction to Thanos, who appeared briefly in a mid-credits scene in The Avengers and will become a key villain for the series in Phase Three, and the Infinity Stones he is trying to collect. The movie also introduces some interesting questions about Peter Quill’s father, which will probably be answered in the already-announced Guardians of the Galaxy 2, coming July 2017.
Overall, I really liked this movie. If you’ve enjoyed the Marvel movies thus far, you should definitely check it out. Don’t ignore Guardians just because you don’t recognize the name. The movie is very fun, and it’s different enough from the other films to be interesting while still being accessible and moving the overall series forward. Be aware that there is more language in Guardians than in usual Marvel movies, but nothing so bad that I couldn’t recommend the film. Check out Guardians of the Galaxy, and let me know what you think of it. Thanks for reading, friends, and have a great weekend!