Guardians of the Galaxy plays as a gnarlier, more rugged version of The Avengers. But, only will that thought hit you after the credits have rolled.
You won’t be put off by it though; Guardians of the Galaxy is a boatload of fun nonetheless. It’s only worth bringing up because when a generic formula is paired with this much originality, the combination can’t help but flare. Then again, I sort of expected this mould. It’s a formula these Marvel yarns will follow until their popularity starts to dwindle. That will happen…never.
It’s a pleasing narrative layout, and it allows each hero and villain to shine. It also gives exciting fights time to appropriately build leading to spectacular outcomes. Most importantly, there’s enough wiggle room for the assigned filmmaker to add their hints of creativity.
“Assigning someone to direct” sounds like a stiff protocol, but it couldn’t be more different here. Guardians of the Galaxy’s director is James Gunn, and finding out that news made me incredibly happy. Gunn started out as a Troma lackey, penning the screenplay to the cult flick Tromeo and Juliet. If you thought Guardians of the Galaxy was wild, wait until you see his imagination pressed under hardly any supervision. It’s a bizarre treat.
Gunn’s fresh talents gained him more opportunities to further his career. He wrote other movies such as the Dawn of the Dead remake, and he also went on to direct other cult hits such as Slither and Super. He got roped into last year’s Movie 43 debacle and directed the film’s scathingly obnoxious segment Beezel, but the less said about that annoying animated little cat, the better.
Being one of the few to walk away from 2013’s gross-out anthology with hardly any bruises, Gunn redeems himself with Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m thankful a mainstream project wound up in his hands, but I have no idea how it happened. Troma filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman shows up briefly in Guardians of the Galaxy. Maybe Stan Lee and him “do coffee” once a week.
As someone who’s followed Gunn’s career by happenstance, I’m able to see where he’s laid his trademark humour on this Marvel project and how he identifies with the on-screen smart-aleck outsiders. It’s a clear view even if you’re new to the filmmaker’s quirky party.
The charismatic Guardians are made up by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and two rambunctious cohorts voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. They’re rough and tough, and any one of their characters would love to play a baddie in this universe. The thing is they all suck at it.
The crew are a group of anti-heroes who steal and mouth off, but are also charming and hold their own struggling flaws. It’s nice for a film to stay consistent with its characters, and not have them joshing into the sunshine by the last act. These characters do make a transition into becoming more like heroes, but they’re still jerks.
They’re all gunning to find – and possibly steal from the others – a cherished orb that holds great power. The orb can be even more dangerous when grouped with the others. But, all is not revealed. At least, until the next Avengers movie, where this movie will most likely play a vital role in that sequel’s structure.
There aren’t too many of those moments in Guardians of the Galaxy. Those instances where you feel like you’re watching pieces of a bigger picture rather than a standalone movie. We only really feel that when characters played by Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, and Benicio Del Toro grace the screen.
For the most part, Guardians of the Galaxy holds its own. The brand of jokes are snarky, but hesitate to upstage anything else about the production. Everyone and everything looks great, effortlessly fitting within this torn-up space-age world. To top off the satisfaction, action sequences are tense, uplifting, and uproarious- though the close cinematography resists to benefit those seeing this in IMAX 3D. It’s still worth shelling out the extra coin, however, to get lost within these vivid interstellar landscapes.
Guardians of the Galaxy marks another spot in Marvel’s cascade of superhero flicks: it’s the first one I wouldn’t recommend to young children. It’s a nice change for the film to not stray away from uglier aspects, but the surly language and the intensity during some standoffs may be too much for some kids to handle.
Instead, I see Guardians of the Galaxy as a film targeted to people like me – entertainment seekers in their mid 20’s. People who are looking for a well made throwback defining what makes a Summer blockbusters so exciting. To those movie goers, Guardians of the Galaxy is that movie that will make you feel like a kid again.