First of all, let me say that I doubt I could've possibly enjoyed this film any more than I did. I sat down in the theatre and thought, "What if I've overhyped myself and it isn't what I was hoping it would be?" Those thoughts were immediately put to rest once the film started. The film captivated me from the very beginning, purely because of how heart-wrenching the opening scene was. Then we see Peter Quill on Morag and I was getting a very space adventure/ Indiana Jones type of vibe from it. That was quickly flipped when the Walkman started playing. Never have I laughed so hard at an opening sequence to a film before in my life. I was now watching a movie that knew it wasn't going to be taking itself seriously and the film embraced that and used it to an advantage. An awesome moment in 3D was when Quill's ship is knocked about by a geyser and you see all his little pieces of memorabilia floating around the ship and popping off the screen at you. That's another thing, the 3D was fantastic! I never like 3D with movies but for some reason I always watch films in 3D and this time, the 3D was used to brilliant effect. Did I say 3D enough there? Anyway, the film managed to build the team in a very natural way and the first meeting of the greater portion of the team actually feels like a natural progression rather than something that's being forced. It's easy to believe that Rocket and Groot are bounty hunters who are going to take advantage of QUill's presence and Gamora's presence is also well-reasoned. The Avengers came together in a somewhat natural way, what with them being picked up by S.H.I.E.L.D. and everything but the Guardians aren't really even the Guardians till the last five minutes of the film.
The relationships between the characters are also a highlight and are handled incredibly well throughout the movie. From the very first moment when we meet Rocket and Groot, their friendship (though it is somewhat tenuous) is made immediately apparent. On top of that, we get to see the group progress together as individuals, all of them moving past their basic instincts to be something better as a group of individuals. Each character's progression is shown in intricate ways, with Gamora revealing that she has no compassion for what Thanos is doing, Drax realising that there is more to his life than revenge, Rocket getting worked up about being a "monster" and so on and so forth until you really do care for these characters not just because they can make you laugh, but because they're these bizarre people yet they're just like us. They're flawed and Gunn made it painfully apparent that they are. Not in a bad way, obviously. Next to all that, you had the culmination of all their progression when they stand together as a team in order to defeat Ronan, risking their lives for one another, but also the entire galaxy. It shows how truly far the characters have come from when we met them at the start of the film. No longer are they a group of self-centered individuals, they're a team of extraordinary people with empathy and compassion for their common man. The film is just as much a character piece as it is a space opera and both elements are balanced well and play their parts brilliantly.
The villains were a minor let down in the movie. The weakest being Djimon Hounsou's Korath The Pursuer, but we can put that down to henchmen syndrome. I was expecting a bit more development for Nebula and Ronan as well, but both get the short end of the stick in terms of development. I loved Ronan as a character though, I thought he was a no-nonsense badass psychopathic wannabe politician/terrorist. Nebula's survival leads me top believe she'll definitely be fleshed out more in a sequel and maybe she'll do what she's infamous for doing in the comics, but we'll have to wait and see. I was incredibly disappointed that Ronan was killed. I do have a new theory regarding the Inifinity Stones, but until more evidence comes around I won't be revealing that theory to the masses as right now it hinges on three occurrences. But nonetheless, I found Ronan to be a brilliant villain, but he could have done with a bit more development. And how could I not mention the gloriousness that was Thanos. His line, "I will bathe the starways in your blood!" was just immaculate. I have faith that Josh Brolin is gonna keep delivering the goods with Thanos, possibly making him the greatest villain in comic book movie history, right up there with Ledger's Joker and Hiddleston's Loki. To round up the villains section, I'd say we haven't seen the last of Nebula, I have a sneaking suspicion we haven't seen the last of Ronan (or Carina, if that expands my theory a bit more) and I can't wait to see Thanos in action rather than sitting on a throne and smiling but Josh Brolin has nailed it, in my opinion.
In terms of supporting cast, I loved pretty much every performance from all the actors. Glenn Close's Nova Prime is a welcome addition to the MCU and I love that John C. Reilly's Rhomann Dey is now a Denarian, the second highest rank of the Nova Corps, third if you count Prime and may be getting set up for future performances in the MCU. Benicio del Toro again delivered a great performance as the Collector who was so creepy and kooky he would've given the Addams family a run for their money. Michael Rooker's Yondu was a badass and that scene where he kills all those Sakaarans with his arrow was just jaw-dropping. And just because I'm a huge fan of Christopher Fairbank, let's have a hooray for the Broker!
As for the humour of the film and its overall tone, I couldn't have been happier. Marvel have had a trend of sacrificing plot for humour but this time, the humour actually helps with a lot of things and I never felt like it was out of place or unnecassary. Plus, Marvel have been called upon in regards to their humour being too childish. Well, with a reference to a darklight and a Jackson Pollock painting, that's about as far away from childish as you can get. Not only that but the humour is quite intelligent at times as opposed to being goofy at every single juncture. Of course there are goofy moments like Star-Lord dancing to distract Ronan and despite the fact that that broke tension, that tension was restored seconds later in a life or death situation that was executed perfectly. There was a perfect balance of humour and heart in the movie and I was almost brought to tears when Groot sacrifices himself to keep the rest of the team alive and his line, "We are Groot." Is really symbollic of the team's progression together and how far they've all come as individuals that they'd all sacrifice themselves for one another if needs be. And when the film needed to be serious, it was serious with no humour shoe-horned in to ruin a perfectly good scene.I also loved the soundtrack. Due to the fact I had been listening to the songs from the moment we knew they were in the movie, I found myself bopping along with the songs as they played in the film. And when humour did come into a serious scene, it was never something that ruined the essence of it. And how couldn't I mention Howard the Duck! Easily a highlight of the movie for me because all the nerds in the cinema just burst out laughing while the normal folk were like, "The [frick] is this?".
In regards to the movie itself, it was the movie I knew it would be and thn some. Sure there were flaws with the villains but the story, characters, visuals and tone all come together nicely to create one damned brilliant flick that's fun and enjoyable while continuing to strengthen the Marvel Studios brand and solidify the company as one of the best in the movie-making business. What would I give as a rating for the movie?
The film manages to stand on its own two feet with only a dew minor flaws along the way and for that, it must be commended. Here's to hoping Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will brng something fresh and new just like this one did! But what did you guys make of the movie? Be sure to leave your own thoughts on James Gunn's space epic down in the comments section below.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill 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, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter 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. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is presented by Marvel Studios and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gilian, Djimon Hounsou with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Commander Rael and Benicio del Toro as The Collector. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the film opens August 1, 2014.