Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)One of the great things about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that it… More One of the great things about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that it allows lesser known characters to get their own movies and hopefully become popular with the general moviegoing audience. Before they got their own movies, characters such as Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America were popular within the comic book community. Now that they have their own movies and have crossed over thanks to The Avengers, these characters rake in huge box office numbers and have impacted pop culture. Now it's time for Marvel to bring one of their more obscure teams to the big screen, the Guardians of the Galaxy. When the film was officially announced two years ago, I scratched my head wondering who they were and why they were getting their own film. The goal of the film is to open up the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe after it had been teased in previous films. Guardians of the Galaxy successfully did this in a smart and entertaining fashion. The film tells the story of Peter Quill, a man from Earth who was abducted by space bandits when he was young. Twenty-six years later, Peter is now a space outlaw known as Star Lord. After Star Lord steals a coveted artifact, he is arrested along with other criminals who are after it. These include Gamora, a feisty assassin, Groot, a tree-like creature, Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, and Drax the Destroyer, a hard as nails warrior. The five get to know each other through a prison break and form a team with a goal to keep the artifact away from Ronan the Accuser, who plans to spread terror through the galaxy with its power. I figured I was going to like this movie from the trailers. The movie was marketed as an action comedy, a tone different from past Marvel films. And the film is exactly just that, a sci-fi action comedy. This is one of the funniest movies I have seen in a while. What makes this film work is how it does not take itself seriously. A movie with a talking raccoon and tree cannot be taken seriously! The film's marketing does a good job of not giving away a lot of the funny parts. This film has a great sense of humor. It's irreverent, sarcastic, and the way it uses pop culture references is clever instead of annoying. Seriously, every two minutes or so, I was laughing! The banter between the characters is entertaining to watch and I smiled just watching them interact. This movie has a script that is really funny but it manages to throw a bit of emotion into there. There were a few parts that gave me feels. Screenwriters, James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, created a great script. From what I've heard, the movie nailed the tone of the comic. If the comics are like this movie, then I'm definitely going to start reading them! The film has a great cast. Star Lord is played by Chris Pratt, a talented and funny actor who I really enjoy. He does a fantastic job in this film. He's like a mix between Han Solo, Indiana Jones, Tony Stark, and Flynn Rider. He's sarcastic and does not like to be messed with. He also is very funny. He has an admiration for 70s and 80s culture and that was a nice touch. He makes a few 80s references that were pretty funny. Pratt is able to pull off both funny and heroic seamlessly. In my opinion, Pratt could be the new face of Marvel Studios once Robert Downey Jr.'s contract is up. With this and next year's Jurassic World, Chris Pratt is sure to become a movie star. Next up is Zoe Saldana. This is her third sci-fi franchise after Star Trek and Avatar. She's a talented actress who knows how to bring strong female characters to life. She plays Gamora and she is such a cool character. She has good character development and she can sure kick butt. She's like the Black Widow of the team. Drax the Destroyer is played by wrestler, Dave Bautista. Other than The Rock, I'm not a fan of wrestler turned actors. Bautista is awesome as Drax. He's a great fighter with a good backstory. He was also really funny. In my opinion, Rocket stole the show thanks to Bradley Cooper's voice work. Cooper's adds a bit of a Brooklyn accent to the character and it works. It made Rocket sound a little more aggressive. Rocket is downright hilarious. He's sarcastic and irreverent and I loved every minute he was on screen. Vin Diesel played Groot through performance capture. Although Groot hardly speaks, I still enjoyed his presence. There were two scenes with him that had me laughing hard. Michael Rooker was enjoyable as Yondu, Star Lord's boss. It was pretty much Merle from The Walking Dead as a blue alien. His weapon of choice is a sweet and I would love to get me one of those. I thought Rooker was pretty funny. I liked his character. Karen Gilliam was awesome as the cyborg, Nebula. She managed to be beautiful and intimidating at the same time. Lee Pace portrays the villain, Ronan. Pace's acting was alright but he came off as just another villain bent on domination. He was a little better than Malekith in Thor: The Dark World but he could have been written better. Apart from Loki and The Winter Soldier, this franchise has had pretty weak villains in my opinion. I really hope they starting writing better villains. Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, and Benicio del Toro had small roles but they did pretty good with the little they had. The film rounded up a talented cast and there was not one bad performance. The film's talented cast was able to integrate very well with the film's impressive special effects. The film introduces to a galaxy with cool looking creatures and locations. The production design in this looks great. The sets are large and detailed and look like something from another world. Just by looking at it, it's obvious that the set designers turned to Star Wars for inspiration. The special effects on Rocket and Groot also impressed me. The actors did a good job communicating with a talking raccoon that wasn't there. Vin Diesel's motion capture work on Groot was also pretty good. The special effects artists made Groot look a lot like Diesel. Another great aspect about the film was the soundtrack. Since Peter Quill is a child of the 80s, his playlist consists of 60s, 70s, and 80s tracks. The film features tracks from Blue Swede, The Jackson 5, and The Runaways to name a few. When these songs come on, they are accompanied by some pretty entertaining scenes. It makes the scene a lot more entertaining to watch. Whoever selected the soundtrack deserves unlimited high-fives! Guardians of the Galaxy is currently the best entry in Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yup, Captain America: The Winter Soldier has been surpassed in my opinion. The film is hilarious, heartfelt, has a great cast, and has one of the best soundtracks in any recent film. These characters will instantly skyrocket to the Marvel A-List along with The Avengers. It's some of the most fun you'll have at the theater this year. Also don't forget to stay after the credits. I can't wait to see the team in their next outing. The best kinds of blockbusters are the ones that are both fun and well-crafted and Guardians of the Galaxy did just that. "I may look like an angel, but I'm sure as hell not one."
15 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes