Guardians of the Galaxy is the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and it by far the most risky and out there film they have made yet.
Taking place far from Earth (or Terra as they call it) in parts of the galaxy Marvel haven’t really explored yet Guardians of the Galaxy focuses on a rag tag group of individuals who join up to save the galaxy. Parks and Recreation’s Chris Pratt plays the main character of Star Lord a human who was taken from earth when he was a child and now spends his time as a space pirate. Zoe Saldana plays Gamora a killer assassin who is the adopted daughter of the mad titan Thanos. Wrestler Dave Bautista plays Drax the Destroyer an extremely strong warrior who is out to avenge those who killed his family. Finally Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel voices Rocket and Groot. Rocket is a raccoon who has been modified into a expert bounty hunter and Groot well he is a humanoid tree who can only say ‘I am Groot’. This rag tag group fights against the evil Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and his assistant Nebula (Karen Gillian). On top of these main characters there is a plethora of side characters as well.
All of the actors are perfectly cast but the biggest standout is Dave Bautista as Drax. If you have seen some of Bautista’s acting ‘skills’ before this film you know how incredibly poor he is. However, he really managed to hold his own and becomes a highlight of the film. He is funny but serious and remains a brilliant surprise. Everyone else is brilliant in the film. Chris Pratt proves that he is going to be the next acting superstar and flexes both his acting and comedy muscles to full effect. Bradley Cooper is also great as well giving real character to Rocket.
The film continues the MCU’s aim of making super hero films that cover many genres. Thor covers fantasy, the most recent Captain America dipped into a political thriller and Guardians is a great space opera. I feel part of the success was the freedom director James Gunn had with the source material since it isn’t too linked with the other films.
The only main problem with the film is that is suffers from having a weak villain. Ronan, while being strongly acted, feels forgettable and shallow. His motives are not really explained well enough for any real depth. All we know is he is evil. This has been the problem with almost every MCU film the villains are just bland with the only memorable one being Loki.
Overall Guardians of the Galaxy is a great installment of the MCU. It is an extremely fun film but it contains a fully fleshed out universe and characters. It is an extremely ballsy move by Marvel to make a film like this but it shows how much faith they have in their characters and their universe.