Guardians of the Galaxy: Star Wars comes early?

How plans change!

Now, to the estimated two people that actually read my previous post, which includes me, I promised to review Hercules. Then again, I can be a indecisive little tyke. To make up for it, I will be putting up another post on Monday as well.

As people living in and around Hereford will know, the £90m new development is now open and slowly growing. The Old Market now consists of several restaurant and clothing shops, with Vodafone, Paperchase and Waitrose joining in the fray. Just the other day, I had the prestigious pleasure of watching H&M open from the first floor of Debenhams. Dedicated shoppers waited outside a whole hour before opening time. Bouncers held back the fighting crowd of around thirty die-hard shopaholics clawing to reach the entrance. I think I heard gunshots fired from the sheer mayhem, but that’s another story.

Yesterday, I went with my brother to the new Odeon for the first time to watch Guardians of the Galaxy in 3-D. I am undecided about the whole “3-D” business in films. On the one hand, I do see how 3-D enhances a film and I also see how it is different from 2-D, but in the end, I am at the cinema to see a film and once I get into it, I’m more focused on what’s happening on-screen than what I see popping out at me like a limp jack-in-the-box.

Anyway, Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel’s next big blockbuster, featuring a ragtag group of criminals saving the world from evil. That’s it put simplistically. The team features Christopher Pratt as Star-Lord, an abducted human with a groovy 70’s cassette tape, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, a green warrior who believes Kevin Bacon is the savior of Earth, two bounty hunters consisting of Rocket (Bradley Cooper) a anthropomorphic raccoon and Groot (Vin Diesel) a vocabulary-challenged tree and Dave Bautista as burly showcase Mr. Literal (Drax).

I can’t wait anymore to say that this is the best superhero/sci-fi/whatever-you-want-to-call-it movie that I have ever seen. And yes, it’s like Marvel’s Star Wars saga.

I say this for a few reasons. One I would have to say immediately is the places that we see in the film. These usually come in the form of different planets, but even the insides of spaceships differ from each other. The audience know the good ships from the bad, and even those in between. It is good how the film makes the places defined and clear to the audience.

On the planets side, first, there’s a city-metropolis planet, like Coruscant. It’s the hub of the Nova Corps, who could be thought of as the Jedi Republic (I really need to tone down the Star Wars references). We see the upper-class of people here perfectly. The gleaming city of orderly-looking aliens help other characters stand out among the crowd as being not quite to their level. The film manages to give us a glimpse of the insides of shops, family homes and the “council” of the planet, which makes the whole place look believable.

We have the polar opposite, a floating head of a Celestial. Gamora, green assassin lady, helps to give an insight to the mining community. When I say mining, I mean the mining of bone and brain matter. Yum! The place consists of sleazy bars and pick-pocketing kids, where you can spend your day gambling on rat-like critters being eaten by bigger rat-like critters. [This post is sponsored by Galactic Galapagos Travels. Book today!]

From there, we have a galactic Indiana Jones temple, the moon of Alcatraz Prison and a few other little treats in store for the viewer. I really did enjoy all those places, and it felt like you were on an adventure through the stars.

The characters themselves were very believable. I was praying before the movie started to not make Star-Lord, 70s guy, a generic bumbling idiot who can’t hit the side of a barn from inside the barn. Been there, done that. Surprisingly, someone in the 21st Century realised we don’t want the idiot protagonist anymore, and making him more of a roguish hot-shot. While arrogant, he still is able to recognise good between evil, and made some good chemistry with the rest of the gang.

The best thing about the main five was the comedic act they had with each other. Granted, the writers probably had a lot to work with when you have Groot’s only words “I am Groot”, Rocket’s cocky and sarky nature and Drax unable to comprehend anything beyond a literal meaning. Gamora acts as the “sane” one here, which helps the comedy to not become too overbearing.

What made the group stand out was the conflicts they had with each other. Fights break out between the team, and you really do believe that it’s going to be hard for them to ever be a real team. The romance that you think is going to be obvious is stomped to the ground, which I liked as it did seem too hasty at the time. This all will help in the next film (or films) as it will give the writers something to make the team grow as their characters develop.

Marvel have been getting brave in a few of their films and have started to kill off a couple of major characters. In Guardians of the Galaxy, you do find some of the characters meeting their maker, but there were a few times that they cheated with the whole “probably-dead-not-really” cliché.

Pacing is always a gripe I find in most of the films I watch, but considering it didn’t cross my mind at all during the film, I give it a green tick in that check-box. I got enough of each place, exchange and fight. There were a couple of places I would of liked more content (the gambling game was pretty cool) but it really was a well-timed out movie.

If you’re an action junkie, you’ll like this film. Marvel don’t really hold back on the holes blown through chests and neck breaks during the film. There’s a wide variety of fistfights, knife-fights, gunfights, dogfights, glowing-red-needle-thing fights… the list goes on.

If I had to be nit-picky about the movie, I would say the villain didn’t appear very special. On the other hand, I don’t think the movie really needed a deep analysis of the bad guy. The bad guy is evil and he needs to be stopped. It can just be that simple. The film tried to up his evil by the mention of dead woman and children all the time, but I don’t see any dead woman or children, therefore, he didn’t impact me that much. His fight with Drax was redeeming, but after that, he just becomes Mr Generic.

In the end, I would give this movie full marks (that’s if I actually ever think of a rating system). I enjoyed it more than expected, it was believable, funny and entertaining and, come on, Footloose was mentioned! What can be better than that?

The only other thing I want to say is what you think of Guardians of the Galaxy. Do you think it will be better than Star Wars? Was it your favorite “superhero/sci-fi/whatever-you-want-to-call-it movie that you have ever seen”? Was there anything you disliked? I want to know in the comments below.

Anyway, my next Pick is a book review, so look out for that. I will see you all soon.

Vinci