Marvel Studios has one again taken the hammer of Thor and have struck together another solid movie packed with all of the action one would expect, but "The Guardians of the Galaxy" also delivers as much heart as it does humor. Which it does it great abundance.
The movie takes a familiar tone, taking notes on what works from some of the great comedy/adventure flicks of the 80's that we grew up with. A theme that seems to influence much of the movie since there are many reference to that decade not only in dialogue but also in the movie's themes and artistic direction.
The second the title screen comes up, you know that the shit is about to go down!
Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star Lord), best known for his role as Andy Dweyer on "Parks and Recreation," proves to us once again that he has talent that goes beyond the role of the "goofy guy". "In Zero Dark Thirty" he successfully portrayed solider of honor and conviction while revealing a sense of empathy that allows viewers to see a part of themselves in the role he is playing. In this movie he is the center force that pushes the plot forward while creating handfuls of fun along the way. He did so well in the lead roll that by the end of the movie I was ready to follow him into space myself. It's not too hard to imagine that we'll see Pratt in more big budget films in the near future.
Both Zoe Saldana (Gamora) and Dave Bautista (Drax The Destroyer) did very well in their supporting roles, while seeming to embrace the core of the characters that have been developed through the source material, but it was the CGI members of the team who really stood out. Bradley Cooper's (Rocket) voice work on the the genetically enhanced talking space raccoon was excellent. Which was only made better by the spectacular CGI that helped bring this larger than life character to the big screen. Though, Rocket is only screen gold when he has his partner in crime.
Groot! played by Vin Diesel who only says the same three word repetitively throughout the movie, though he is the second top-billed actor in the film. He only had to say "I am Groot" over a thousand times (true fact) to earn that paycheck, but the pairing of two voice actors as well as the artistic team behind the visual presentation of the characters works so well that they could easily star in their own stand alone "Guardians" movie spin-off. One can only hope.
Director James Gunn, who also co-wrote the script with Nicole Perlman with influence from the comic books by writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, does a superb job at creating story that is so well laid out and executed that the two hour and one minute playing time seems like a very fast paced forty minutes. The nonstop action sequences are exactly the type of eye candy I would expect from a summer block buster. At the same time you can see Marvel continuing to build towards "Avengers 3", even though the second installment of the "Avengers" franchise will not be released until May 2015. This only makes me more excited because Marvel Studios has proven to us without a doubt that they know how to weave together a massive epic story over numerous movies, and several movies planned to hit production over the next five years I am beyond excited for what comes next.
Last year, Marvel continued to up their game with "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," and I wasn't sure if they would be able to deliver such a high level of excellence. I was so wrong. Gaurdians of the Galaxy is exactly what all fan boys have been waiting for and more. At the same time it can be easily enjoyed with people who are not familiar with Marvel's galactic titles. Though, there are some great references and Easter eggs placed through out the movie for all the peeps in the know. Even the after credit scene is a nod to one of Marvel universe's most unique character, once again showing Gunn's embracing of the 80's.
This movie was such a fun experience that the next day I went the movies to see it again because I knew, like all Marvel flicks, there are always extra things in the background to find and new subtle references to catch which gives this movie a very high re-watchable factor. If you're looking for some Summer movie fun then stop waiting around and get yourself to the cinema quick because "Guardians of the Galaxy" will and has propelled Marvel Studios into a much larger scale of story telling with every step along the way only getting better and better, enjoy!