‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (Film)

 

‘GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

All Heroes Start Somewhere

I am Groot. I am Groot. I am Groot. I am Groot. I am Groot. I am…

(laughs) Okay, I’m not going to write like this throughout the entire review. 😀 ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is a brand-new film in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ film series, featuring a new set of Marvel superheroes from the comics. But this is not a typical Marvel superhero film as you’d expect.

I saw this movie at the cinema in 2014 with my best mate Stephen, not knowing what to expect when I saw it. I was pretty blown away by how this film turned out. The Guardians of the Galaxy were superheroes I was very unfamiliar with, yet I found how easily I could get into them in this film.

I didn’t purchase ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ on DVD/Blu-ray after I watched it at the cinema. It was when I purchased the film as a part of the ‘Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe – Phase Two’ DVD box set. At the time of seeing this movie at the cinemas, I had no idea it was connected to the ‘MCU’ film series.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ stars Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord with Zoe Saldana as Gamora; Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer; Vin Diesel as Groot and Bradley Cooper as Rocket. The movie was directed by James Gunn, who wrote the first two live-action ‘Scooby Doo’ movies in 2002 and 2004.

Watching ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ at the cinema was a completely different experience compared to the other Marvel superhero movies I’d seen before. I never read any of the comics featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy. For one thing, this was a superhero team that was not created by Stan Lee.

The Guardians of the Galaxy were created by Dan Abnett (who also wrote ‘Doctor Who’ audios for Big Finish and the BBC) and Andy Lanning. The Guardians first appeared in ‘Annihilation: Conquest #6’ in April 2008. I stopped reading comics then. This had me know less of the Guardians in the film.

I enjoyed seeing the movie when I saw it in the cinema. Although saying that, it didn’t make me fall in love with it and the Guardians of the Galaxy as a superhero team. How can I put it? I did feel rather detached from these superheroes, possibly due to knowing less about them from the comics.

Mind you, that shouldn’t be anything to worry about since the film is easy to get into anyway and it’s pretty watchable and entertaining. However, I don’t see the Guardians of the Galaxy as ideal role models for superheroes, since they do tend to be rather jerky or described as ‘a-holes’ in the movie.

Yeah, they say ‘a-holes’ in outer space. Yet some of the character use the s**t word at times. 😀 Also, as this was a movie set in outer space and not on Earth, it made me less worried about what was going to happen in alien environments. The movie had a ‘Star Wars’ quality to it with some zaniness.

But it was still good fun all the same. Anyway, the movie focuses on the story of a young boy named Peter Quill who loses his mother as she dies from cancer in 1988. Running out of the hospital upset, Peter soon gets abducted by alien Ravagers. He’s taken from Earth and he spends 26 years in space.

After that time, Peter becomes an outer-space rogue and adopts the alias of Star-Lord. In the film, he’s hired to steal an orb from the planet Morag. After getting attacked and failing to deliver the orb to his client on the planet Xandar, Peter soon meets this green-skinned assassin lady called Gamora.

Peter also meets a pair of bounty hunters including raccoon Rocket and tree-like Groot. Very soon, Peter, Gamora, Rocket and Groot get captured and taken to the Klyn penitentiary. They also meet Drax the Destroyer. Very soon, the five form to become the team called the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Like I said, the movie has a zany quality to it. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ could have been a moody ‘Star Wars’ film in the ‘MCU’ series. But there are many moments of humour featured throughout the film as well as danger, peril and action scenes to keep you gripped from the start to the very end.

The film does take a while in setting up and establishing the characters with their identities and relationships towards each other. Sometimes it’s a challenge to find aspects in each of the five that are likeable when they seem so jerky. But when the five form as the team, they do become heroes.

Chris Pratt stars as Peter Quill/Star-Lord in the movie. Earlier in 2014, I heard Chris Pratt voice the character of Emmet in ‘The LEGO Movie’. At this point, Chris Pratt was getting to star in some highly popular movies and becoming recognisable in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ as well as in ‘Jurassic World’.

Peter Quill/Star-Lord does come across as arrogant and full of himself, especially when he’s out there in space being a rogue. He loves his 1980s music, which he plays on his walkman and he’s carried that with headphones since he was abducted from Earth. He sees himself as the ladies’ man.

It’s interesting to note that Peter Quill could easily be seen as a mix of Han Solo from ‘Star Wars’ and Marty McFly from ‘Back to the Future’. Behind that tough exterior, there is a certain sadness in Peter since he lost his mother when he was little and he has never got to the chance to reconcile the loss.

Zoe Saldana stars as Gamora in the movie. In sci-fi circles, Zoe is well-known for playing Uhura in the ‘Star Trek’ reboot movie series as well as starring in the 2009 film ‘Avatar’. At first, I thought Gamora was a female version of the Hulk called She-Hulk. But as I discovered, this was not the case.

Gamora is an orphan who was trained by someone called Thanos (we’ll get to him some other time) to become an assassin. She’s a tough cookie and knows how to fight. She’s someone who doesn’t have a snappy sense of humour and appears to be pretty difficult to get on with on a personal level.

In the film, Peter Quill has a go in trying to connect with Gamora on a personal level, sometimes saving her life and even trying to seduce her romantically. This film could easily have seen Peter and Gamora as a potential romantic couple. That didn’t happen sadly but it was intriguing to watch here.

Dave Bautista stars as Drax the Destroyer in the movie. Drax is a muddy grey skinned warrior with red scarring patterns on him. He is seeking to avenge his family’s death. In the Klyn penitentiary, Drax sees Gamora, knowing she worked for Ronan the Accuser, the person who had killed his family.

Initially, Drax is determined to seek out his revenge on Ronan, no matter what it takes. The character of Drax can also seem to be pretty literal-minded. He doesn’t understand metaphors or sarcasm when Peter Quill uses them. It makes for funny and amusing scenes to watch throughout the movie.

It comes across in the film that Drax is pretty athletic, due to Dave Bautista’s physique of course. Drax also has this funny laugh whenever something amuses him. Peter and Gamora are giving him the look when they crash into an enemy spaceship during the film’s climax, which was very amusing.

“I am Groot.” And of course there’s Vin Diesel as Groot in the film. “I am Groot.” Groot is a tree-like humanoid who is the accomplice of the raccoon character Rocket. “I am Groot.” Groot doesn’t say much in terms of dialogue. “I am Groot.” He only has three words whenever he speaks in this movie.

“I am Groot.” Yeah, those are the three words. “I am Groot.” Out of all the Guardians of the Galaxy characters, Groot is the gentler one. “I am Groot.” Despite saying only three words, Groot has a noble compassionate heart inside him. “I am Groot.” This is very surprising considering that Groot is a tree.

“I am Groot.” Groot has a close friendship with Rocket, even though he gets on Rocket’s nerves at times. “I am Groot.” Groot can only do some unexpected seemingly stupid things without anyone realising it. “I am Groot.” But he’s a valued member of the team and can be pretty resourceful indeed. “I am Groot.”

Bradley Cooper stars as Rocket the raccoon-like bounty hunter and mercenary in the movie. Rocket often reminded me of Rattrap from ‘Beast Wars: Transformers’ when I heard him. Rocket is genetically engineered with cybernetics within his raccoon body. He also likes to carry so many guns.

Rocket does seem to be jerkier than the rest of the group. He can be funny at times, down to ‘the most real authentic, hysterical laugh’ of his entire life that he seems to have. 😀 There are times when Rocket can’t work well as a team member and has conflicts with Peter Quill and Drax in the film.

But when Rocket is one of the team, he’s willing to play his part. It’s amazing how the filmmakers managed to incorporate a CGI animated raccoon character into a live-action film. Rocket with an attitude problem as well as a tendency to use lots of guns and fool around at times is quite fun here.

The film also features Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser. Lee Pace also played King Thranduil in ‘The Hobbit’ film trilogy by Peter Jackson. It was nice to see him in this movie and he at times played an intimidating villain in Ronan. However, I did feel Ronan didn’t have enough motivation to spend on.

There’s also Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta, a blue-skinned bandit who is the leader of the alien Ravagers. He also seems to be a paternal figure to Peter Quill when he and his Ravagers abducted him from Earth. But it is indicated that Yondu may have mistreated Peter as a boy when growing up.

Karen Gillan stars as Nebula, an adopted daughter of Thanos who was raised with Gamora as siblings. Of course for me, Karen played Amy Pond in ‘Doctor Who’ with Matt Smith. It was unusual to see Karen Gillan in a villainous role in a superhero movie; appear blue-skinned and being a cyborg.

Djimon Hounsou stars as Korath, who is a Kree ally of Ronan the Accuser as well as a feared intergalactic hunter. Korath appears early on in the film when catching Peter Quill/Star-Lord acquiring the orb from Morag. Apart from that, there’s not so much to say about Korath’s character.

John C. Reilly stars as Rhomann Dey, who is a corpsman in the Nova Corps, the Nova Empire’s military and police force on the planet Xandar. Rhomann Dey first arrests Peter Quill with Gamora, Rocket and Groot on Xandar. He later then assists the Guardians when they’re fighting Ronan’s forces.

There’s Glenn Close as Nova Prime in the film. Wow! Glenn Close is in this?! She played Cruella de Vil in the live-action films, ‘101 Dalmatians’ and ‘102 Dalmatians’ by Disney. “Ha; ha! Woof, woof! Ha; ha!” It was intriguing to see her playing a corps character on the planet Xandar for the Nova Empire.

And of course there’s Benicio Del Toro as the Collector in this movie. The Collector previously made a brief appearance in ‘Thor: The Dark World’. He has a certain connection to the six Infinity Stones. One of them is inside the orb that Peter Quill gains when he and the Guardians deliver it to him here.

The film also features Josh Brolin as Thanos; Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Yondu’s first mate in the Ravagers and Alexis Denisoff as ‘The Other’, Thanos’ vizier from ‘Avengers Assemble’. There’s Gregg Henry as Peter Quill’s granddad; Laura Haddock as Meredith, Peter’s mother and canine actor Fred as Cosmo. 😀

The action sequences; outer space scenes and CGI animation are well-directed by James Gunn in the movie. The director excels in delivering a unique outer space superhero movie that can also be considered a space opera but with elements of zaniness to make it feel pretty colourful and so juicy.

The outer space worlds of Xandar; the Knowhere and such are pretty well impressive in terms of its alien visual style. The make-up for some of the alien humanoids featured in this movie is pretty intriguing and unusual to watch. It’s surprising how detached Earth is from events happening in this.

There are plenty of visual effects galore in this movie to make it an outer-space spectacular for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. But that doesn’t spoil the enjoyment of the story and the characters we see in this movie. The CGI and visual effects help support the story instead of hindering it in any way.

The movie ends with the Guardians thanked for saving everybody’s lives on the planet Xandar. Their criminal records are erased; Ronan is defeated and Peter Quill gets his spaceship back so that he and the Guardians can fly off to rescue some more alien planets in space. Nebula is still alive somewhere.

The DVD special features of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ are as follows. There’s an ‘Exclusive Look at Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ as well as a deleted scene called ‘Fake Laugh’.

On the Blu-ray for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, as well as an ‘Exclusive Look at Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, there’s also an audio commentary with screenwriter/director James Gunn; making-of featurettes; more deleted scenes and a gag reel.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is a pretty unique and unusual Marvel superhero movie set in outer space that is more of a space opera with zaniness. I’m glad I saw this at the cinema back in 2014. I enjoyed it! I may not have fallen in love with it as others would’ve, but this is a pretty entertaining film to watch.

‘THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY WILL RETURN!’ This sounds like a James Bond movie. 😀

There’s a post-credits scene where the Collector is sitting in his now destroyed archive somewhere on the Knowhere. He has his two remaining living exhibits including Cosmo the canine cosmonaut who I found cute and…Howard the Duck, voiced by Seth Green?! Howard the Duck is in this! What?!

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ rating – 8/10


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2 thoughts on “‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (Film)

  1. Timelord 007

    Brilliantly reviewed Tim, like you i knew very little about this comic book franchise & thought from seeing the trailers this was going to be a bit to wacky.

    Thankfully GOTG is a rip roaring adventure, the cast are immediately likeable & share a warm dysfunctional chemistry, the action is spectacular & the climax had me in bits when a certain character makes the ultimate sacrifice i admit tears were streaming down my face & again during one of the post credit scenes & Howard The Duck finally features in decent movie lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Very pleased you enjoyed my review on ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. Yeah I was past reading Marvel comics by the time this movie came out. I didn’t know what to expect, but seeing it at the cinema was an enjoyable experience.

      I’ve grown to like the Guardians characters over the years and I’m pleased they met up with the Avengers characters recently in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. The dynamic is interesting and I like how they continue to work as a team despite being dysfunctional towards each other. I’m glad you enjoyed the action and found one of the character’s self-sacrfice emotional. Not sure what the future of the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is going to be like with ‘Vol. 3’ now being put on hold. Yeah I know they’ll be in the ‘Avengers 4’ movie, but I still wonder if ‘Vol. 3’ is going to be made. It probably will somehow.

      I’ve not seen ‘Howard the Duck’ the movie under George Lucas, but I’ve seen reviews and not heard good things about it. I was just surprised he made an appearance at the end of this film. 😀

      Many thanks for your comments, Simon.

      Tim. 🙂

      Like

      Reply

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