Comic Book Movie Review – Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy posterDirected by James Gunn

Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman

Starring
Chris Pratt as Peter Quill
Zoe Saldana as Gamora
Dave Bautista as Drax
Vin Diesel as Groot
Bradley Cooper as Rocket
Lee Pace as Ronan
Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta
Karen Gillan as Nebula

I don’t actually remember why I was excited for this movie when it was initially announced.  I had never really read the comics.  (I do get the current iteration, but that’s because of the movie.)  I wasn’t familiar with the characters.  But I believe it was something about those characters that piqued my interest.  How can someone not be interested in that team?  You have one human, two alien humanoids, a raccoon, and a tree.  That’s not a grouping that you see very often…or ever.

I remember when the first trailer came out.  I called my wife over so she can watch it, too.  I start it, and she tells me that she had seen earlier today.  Thinking should wouldn’t want to watch a trailer again, I stop it.  She tells me to start it back up, because she wanted to see it again.  Within those 2 minutes, something great happened, and it was a bit of the marketing magic that surrounded this movie.  Audiences who had no idea who the characters were got enough of an introduction to whet their appetites.  On top of this, fans of the franchise were re-assured by the glimpses of characterization.  With this one trailer, my wife, who had never even heard of this property until that day, was legitimately excited about this movie. 

The subsequent trailers that we watched just reinforced this feeling.  (Side note, I don’t watch every clip that’s released for a movie because I don’t want to spoil too much of the movie.)  So, it was with very high hopes that we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy on Saturday.  Thankfully, we were not let down.

In a nutshell, the best way to describe this movie is that it’s fun.  It is a movie that you can truly sit back and enjoy.  And not the “turn your mind off and enjoy” that people use to try to get you to watch Transformers.  You can leave your mind on for this movie.  In fact, if you don’t, you may not enjoy it as much if you’re not thinking.

Essentially, the plot of the movie is the Guardians are all brought together by circumstance, surrounding Peter Quill’s (Star-Lord) recovery of an ancient artifact.  Of course, things don’t go as planned for anyone.  Ultimately, the team comes together to save the galaxy.  (Spoiler alert.)  I know it’s not much of a summary, but I really hate giving away very much of the story.  The journey is well worth it.

The characterization in this movie is spot on.  If I had a reservation heading into the movie, it was that Rocket Raccoon would feel off from the character I’ve come to know and love in the comics.  Would Bradley Cooper be able to pull it off?  The question was answered fairly quickly.  In fact, technically before we even see Rocket.  Rocket and Groot are commenting on people in the crowd, and it’s the perfect introduction.

Also in the wonderful characterization and acting department was surprisingly Dave Bautista’s performance as Drax.  Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from former(?) WWE superstar Batista, but the performance was wonderful.  I guess I was expecting him to mainly be in the background.  Sure he’s there, and he’ll speak every now and then, but the others will carry the bulk of the movie.  This wasn’t the case at all.  Batista, in playing the overly literal Drax, held his own with the more seasoned actors around him. 

I could go on and on about how much I like this movie, but I’m going to stop here.   I’m sure someone could find faults with the movie.  For instance, you may be tempted to ask why everyone in the Galaxy is speaking English.  To you I would just say shut up, and don’t be that guy.  Would you really want to read the entire movie?  I don’t think so.  Go see this movie.  You will have fun.  If you don’t then you may want to see a doctor, because I don’t think you’re alive. 

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