Review

Guardians takes a large and ambitious step in expanding the Marvel universe, specifically the sci-fi space elements. Unlike previous Marvel movies set in the cosmos, such as Thor: The Dark World, Guardians is the first film set completely off Earth, and for the most part is a stand alone installment, not bogged down with to many ties to other characters already introduced in the Marvel cinematic universe. It’s definitely a breath of fresh air to see Marvel step outside there already established story lines and spend time expanding their world and future possibilities.

An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits-Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista). But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand-with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.

So the big question is: “Does this movie live up to the hype?” The short answer: “Yes”. Guardians of the galaxy is arguably marvels riskiest project to date and easily the most ambitious film since the avengers. All the rumors and interviews indicate that ‘Guardians of The Galaxy’ was Marvel president” Kevin feige’s passion project and it most likely received some special attention in comparison to some of the other projects the studio has in the works. If so, it certainly paid off, presenting a finished product that is pretty spectacular.

Director James Gunn and company have done a great job creating unique and entertaining film, and one of the most enjoyable IMAX films I have seen all year. I personally found the visuals stunning, and although others may be criticizing the film for it’s over use of CGI, I enjoyed every minute of it. The human leads do a great job interacting with the animated character like Rocket and Groot, and really help to bring those characters to life.

In my opinion one of the films strongest selling points is the fact that it doesn’t really feel like a super hero movie. This isn’t some super group selected by the government to go and save the day. Instead of focusing on origins or the normal trials and tribulations of an upcoming super hero, this is a story about is a story about an unlikely group of outlaws coming together out of necessity.

Even though it’s a bit heavy handed at times, Gunn does a great job humanizing characters like Rocket, providing some backstory and heart, while equally distributing screen time amongst the core cast. The relationship between rocket and Groot easily make them fan favorite characters and get plenty of moments to steal the show throughout the film.

As much as I enjoyed this film and feel completely comfortable recommending to almost anyone, the story still has it’s flaws. The villains are interesting but barely developed and based on the information given in the story, their motives are pretty thin. Once again we get a one and done villain with Ronan the Accuser. The character is fun to watch on screen and provides a tie-in to Thanos, but his motivations are simple and severely under developed. Rather than creating a villain the fans an connect to, such as Loki, we get Marvel’s tried and true formula of a vengeance driven villain. We don’t even really learn what it is Ronan is so upset about. The character serves his purpose in providing a reason for the “Guardians” to rally, but that’s seriously about it. Similar to Marvels previous ventures to the cosmos, the underlying motivation is once again an Infinity stone (note gem?), which at this point is nothing more than a plot device to drive the story.

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Speaking on behalf of fans reading the comics (which i know is risky!) I truly feel like James Gunn and company did a great job adapting the story to the big screen. I know some fans will be up in arms over slight changes to the characters or how the team initially meets, but honestly that nothing more than nit-picking. The character’s backstories vary from the comics and overall are slightly under developed but the broad strokes were all there, and the film captures all elements that make the comics so much fun. The bar scene on “Knowhere” is great example of Gunn bringing the pages to life and translating it for the big screen.

I am so excited about the possibility of one day seeing these characters interact with Tony Stark or Thor, and exactly how they will fit into the larger cinematic universe. Atleast for now we know that ‘The Guardians of The Galaxy’ will return to the big screen July 28th, 2017. And please let us know what you thought of the film or our review in the comment section below!



About the Author

Sean McAloon
I am a Philadelphia based journalist, who is obsessed with movies and television. I is also a comic book enthusiast , although i can't keep up with everything. I like to spend my free time trying to working on short films. I currently work as an editor for popculturemadness.com and darkmediaonline.com, focusing on entertainment news, interviews and public relations. I studied business management & marketing at Goldey Beacom College.