Eat your heart out, Blue Swede and Redbone. “Guardians of the Galaxy” helped bring both of these bands, and more, into relevancy for millennials and superhero film fans.
This film is more than just a nice music playlist, though. It provided the freshest breath of air for the Marvel Cinematic Universe at the time. Director James Gunn (Scooby-Doo, Super, Dawn of the Dead) was tasked with taking a relatively unknown Marvel entity and slapping it onto the Silver Screen.
And he succeeded.
Not only did Guardians become a fan favorite after it was released, but it made moviegoers fall in love with actor Chris Pratt. As Starlord, or Peter Quill, he brought with him a charismatic attitude with sprinkles of humor that provided comedic relief and, really, what the movie’s formula needed.
Young Quill is seen sitting in a hospital, listening to a tape: “Awesome Mix Tape Vol. 1.” He’s visiting his dying mother. He is comforted by his grandfather (Gregg Henry) and is joined by Pop-Pop as he looks onto his mother. She gives him a present and asks for his hand. Too scared to reach out, Quill runs away, outside of the hospital. A spaceship abducts him and we fast forward to Starlord in action.
Yeah, that escalated quickly.
The movie mixes a fun gang of characters and doesn’t make you feel like you’re just watching the Chris Pratt show. Actress Zoe Saldana plays Gamora, the alien that Quill eventually befriends. Both are eventually after the same objective: Take down Ronan (Lee Pace).
Groot (Vin Diesel), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker) comprise the core group that makes this film wickedly fun. The writing and dialogue is nothing short of infectious. There’s a fluidity between each quippy joke and semi-serious conversation.
I was initially nervous that “Guardians of the Galaxy” was too unknown and the movie would play catch-up with the universe it’s set in. Not the case in the slightest. We were just on a ride from the opening minutes until the post-credits scene, learning about these characters as we went along.
The knock against this film is the feeling that nothing can happen to our favorite group of outlaws. Ronan is a sort-of world destroyer (yeah, yeah, the dance-off to kill him was fun), but he’s a bit underwhelming as a villain.
The film, also, doesn’t give much backdrop on how Starlord got to where he was, besides mentioning Yondu looked after him a bit.
None of those negatives were enough to make me upset at this film. It’s virtually impossible that you haven’t seen this film, but if you’re in the minority, buy it or rent it. You’re in for a trip with one of the most fun films Marvel Studios has produced.
Plus, I’m not sure I’ve ever loved a mystical, CGI tree as much as I did before this film.