I’m going to be honest. When I first heard about, and later saw the trailer for this, I thought it looked kooky. That was before the light bulb moment of realizing this is set in the Marvel universe. Things were aligning.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) MCU Film Review
When Peter was a kid, he watched his mother die of cancer. The pair of them shared a love of mix tapes that Peter now carries with him like a lifeline. The same night his mother dies, mysteries spaceship abducts him! Years later, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) still marches to the beat of his mix tapes. He’s got cool space weapons and he hunts treasures in the galaxy. Soon he becomes the most wanted man in the Galaxy. First, his former mentor catches up with him, then the evil Ronan (Lee Pace) – who, by the way wishes to destroy the Galaxy – sends his assassin Gamora (Zoe Salanda) to find him. Shortly thereafter, bounty hunters Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) attempt to capture him. The Galaxy’s law apprehends Peter, Gamora and the bounty hunters, for their troubles, they are thrown in jail.
While in jail, the group devises an escape. Before making the break, everyone first realize Gamora is an asset, and together they break free They’ve got work to do. Along with their foursome, they team up with Drax (Dave Bautista) who is reeling from a loss he wants avenged.
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This film is crazy. I’m not sure there is another word that can accurately sum it up. Still, there is definitely a charm here that one might not expect. Even if it’s unexplainable, it does answer why this is one of Marvel’s highest-grossing films. The cast alone is reason for curiosity. Chris Pratt isn’t the same kind of “familiar” as some of the other Marvel headliners, but he IS the Star-Lord. Other cast members include Glenn Close and of course, the always brilliant Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Selfie). Most of the actors are unrecognizable because of the make-up. Karen especially is hard to recognize, especially when movie trivia reveals she shaves her head for the role. Every once in a while, there’ll be some flash of expression that makes me go, “ah-ha! There’s the girl we love. Amy Pond is baaack!”
Addictive as this world is, probably its strongest pull is the humor. Throughout the entire film, it makes me smile and giggle over each small thing. Whether it’s Rocket’s crazy character or the interesting pop culture references, there’s a lot of funny bone laughs. The film plucks Peter (from earth) into space during the eighties, which gives the film a lot of options to revisit the past even while set in what we’d consider a more “futuristic” world. Some of them I totally pick up on, others I don’t.
Surprisingly for all its quip-y teasers and trailers with attitude, this flick does have poignant messages. The end might even inspire some tears. That said, don’t let these comments fool you, this film is primarily enjoyable without the aftereffects of disappointment. I’m don’t think I’d pick this as my favorite Marvel universe, however I cannot nitpick this story. The only thing I did think is lacking are the “secrets or mysteries” of Peter’s past. Most films go backwards in their pursuit to better their characters. This one doesn’t. Peter’s only link are his tapes and he’s particularly protective of that link.
The relationships (with exception to the romance, which I don’t particularly care one way or another about) have good writing. This is especially true of Rocket and Groot. I know it sounds strange, but their friendship is really cute, and meaningful. The ending even ties into that with a message of new life after tragedy. Oh, and of course, the music is fabulous! Everything is catchy with a beat. With a sequel in production, and a long-range plan for Marvel stories in the future, meeting these Guardians is nearly a requirement for all fan girls. Just sayin’.
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Content: there’s some crude humor playing into some of the culture references that no one but Peter gets, and an obscene hand gesture. Peter is a womanizer, learned through various implications. Sci-fi type “action” plays a large role in the story. There’s destruction, good guys die, and there’s hand to hand combat. The standard smattering of profanity is also present in sh*t, a**, etc. Guardians of the Galaxy is PG-13.