Review – Guardians of the Galaxy

The-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy--Gamora, Groot, Rocket, Peter, and Drax walking down hallway

How does one define the perfect movie? Does it need action and adventure? Witty dialogue? Great music? The hero randomly dancing in front of his greatest enemy before calling him a “turd blossom”? Well, Guardians of the Galaxy has it all!

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy_cast photoOK, so maybe it’s not perfect, but it is good entertainment. It feels like the sort of action/adventure movies that came out in the 80s and early 90s, before everything had to be dark and serious. This was a movie that was just plain fun and surprisingly unpredictable. While the plot was your standard “heroes must find some special object to prevent total doom” scenario, it still managed to keep you on your toes with the many quirks of the characters taking scenes to places you wouldn’t expect.

One of its greatest strengths was the writing (co-written by Nicole Perlman, the first woman to write a Marvel movie). The dialogue especially was sharp and hilarious. I often missed hearing the next line because the audience was laughing too loudly over the last one. Though humor was one of the strong points, that’s not to say the film was without more somber aspects. There are moments that will definitely make you tear up (unless you’re dead inside). The heart of the film is in the duo of Rocket and Groot, who will make you both laugh and cry. Their friendship provided some of the most emotional moments.

The star of the show, though, was Chris Pratt as Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord. I’ve seen a few reviews describe him as like Han Solo but with a twist, and while the comparison is apt, he has less of Han’s swagger and more of the slapstick bravado of a Ninja Turtle. He’s not your typical superhero, going back not to save the world but to save his collection of classic rock music.

Though Quill stood out, all the characters were brilliant. The Guardians themselves were all misfits, thrown into prison and forced to work together. But as they bonded and discovered the full scope of their situation, they all found something inside themselves beyond their own selfish needs, leading to them fighting the good fight and not just trying to sell each other to the highest bidder.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-peter quill making obscene gestureBut what I really loved about this movie was how it didn’t bother to bring things back to Earth, like the Thor movies always insist on doing. Though Peter Quill is from Earth, and his music helps shape his character, Earth is really more of an afterthought. The Thor franchise always seems to hesitate in going too out there, like they’re afraid of scaring off viewers with too much wacky, off-the-wall space drama. Guardians of the Galaxy, however, revels in the space drama, with wacky and off-the-wall at its very core. And it worked. Instead of trying to make the audience connect with what’s going on by bringing things to a familiar place, Guardians made us connect through the human aspects of the characters—even the non-human ones—and basic, relatable concepts, like revenge and freedom from overbearing, evil adoptive fathers. The movie didn’t get bogged down with trying to make sure the audience understood every single thing that was going on; it gave us enough information about each thing and then let us get lost in the craziness of the characters and their adventures. Basically, it didn’t take itself too seriously, embracing its campy space soapiness and sending the audience on a wild ride. This feels like a new direction for Marvel (though they were never too dark and serious to begin with, like certain franchises that shall not be named), and one that I’m looking forward to seeing more of.

Have you seen the movie yet? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!