“Guardians of the Galaxy” was a big risk for Marvel Studios. Unlike Iron Man or Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy was a relatively unknown comic book series to the general population and there was no guarantee that the movie would be a success. Thankfully, the film is arguably the best movie that Marvel has made since “The Avengers” and may even be the best Marvel movie of all time.
The story begins with Peter Quill, played by Chris Pratt, the self proclaimed Star-Lord. After he discovers a mysterious orb, he is intercepted by servants of Ronan, played by Lee Pace. Quill refuses to give them the orb and escapes their attacks. From that point on, a giant magnitude of events unfold.
The story, and the script as a whole, is brilliantly written. It perfectly mixes it’s moments of humor with it’s moments of drama. An audience may be laughing in one scene, only to be crying in the next. Surprisingly, the film never suffers from mood whiplash. Each scene flows seamlessly into the next. Despite telling a tale that spans the entire universe, the script is never overly complex or rushed. Its pacing is perfect and makes the film incredibly re-watchable. This is in large part due to the characters and actors.
Chris Pratt has been a great actor in many other movies, and he brings all of his talent into his performance of Peter Quill. His charisma is intoxicating and gives the movie much of its drama. He also serves as a great foil to Zoe Saldana, who plays Gamora. Saldana is no stranger to sci-fi movies, having previously acted in “Avatar” and the 2009 “Star Trek”, and she continues to excel in the genre with another great performance. Her energy and her facial expressions are wonderful. Some of her best work in particular comes when she acts opposite of Dave Bautista, who plays Drax. Bautista has mastered the art of deadpan delivery, resulting in many of the movie’s funniest moments.
Bautista’s humor is matched by Bradley Cooper, who plays Rocket. Cooper completely immerses himself in the absurdity of the situation, leading to a very fun performance. While Bautista and Cooper supply much of the humor, the films heart comes from Vin Diesel, who plays Groot. He only says the same line in the movie repeatedly, but does so with so many different inflexions that plenty of emotion still comes from the performance. The only disappointment is Lee Pace as Ronan. This is not the fault of Lee Pace, who is entertaining when he is on screen. The problem is that he is not given enough screen time to truly stand out. However, this is only a minor problem with a story and characters so full of humor and heart.
In addition to the humor and heart, the special effects and action scenes are top notch. The camera is kept far enough away so the audience can see what is going on, the action is upbeat and energetic and the effects blend in beautifully with the actors and real sets.
Like the effects, the movie’s soundtrack blends in wonderfully as well. The 80’s style upbeat rock and pop helps the film create its fast paced mood, as well as helping reinforce some of the movie’s themes with its lyrics.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is easily one of the best movies of the year thus far. Nearly anyone who enjoys watching movies can find something to enjoy in this film. “Guardians of the Galaxy” deserves a 9.5/10.