“Franchise Retrospective: Guardians of the Galaxy”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is one of the most anticipated films of the year. With its release a mere days away, I’ll be reviewing the original. Is it indeed one of Marvel’s best?

There’s something to be said for the audience of the source material. It wasn’t the most popular comic. When the film was announced people were excited because of Marvel and their track record, but it wasn’t necessarily for the film itself. Once it dropped, fans were in for a pleasant surprise, and some found their new favorite Marvel film. 

I believe it is. I’m a fan of when filmmakers can blend an array of genres into one movie. James Gunn did just that in the directors chair on the original Guardians. It’s hard to pin it down to one specific thing. Is it a comedy, a space epic, or an action film? Gunn did a great job melding them into one great comic book adventure. Visually it’s amazing to watch. It’s a bright color pallet, which is indicative of the films overall tone. What really puts this film over the top is the action sequences. They are grand in scale, and you’re glued to the screen because you care about the characters. 

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is a Han Solo type. A scavenger who is after an Orb that is the apple of a lot of people’s eye in this universe. It’s a game of keep away between The Guardians and Yondu (Michael Rooker). It’s fun in that regard. Quill has a great back and forth with Gamora (Zoe Saldana). It’s a relationship that grows over the course of the film, and you enjoy watching them evolve together. Saldana delivers a great performance. She conveys the characteristics of a strong woman. Definitely one of the more bad ass characters in this universe. 

You can’t talk about this film without Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper). They have a hilarious rapport, with Groot only being able to say “I am Groot”, it adds levity to some tense scenes. Arguably the show stealer was Dave Bautista as Drax. People were a bit reserved with this casting. He hadn’t done a lot of films up to that point. Gunn used him the right way. Playing up his physical attributes and hiding some of his dramatic shortcomings. Bautista was a great addition to this cast. It was good to see him succeed on such a high level. It’s more of a comic relief role because of how wooden he is in every situation. It could be the best or worst of times and Drax is straight down the middle. 

The soundtrack here also just knocks you down. Every song will be stuck in your head leaving the theater. It’s as identifiable as the film and its characters. If the soundtrack in the sequel is even half as good, they’ll have another hit on the iTunes Charts. 

Guardians of the Galaxy felt a lot like A New Hope. The way the characters end up coming together, all for different reasons to accomplish a goal was very reminiscent of that. The visual effects, were brilliant. They made Groot and Rocket look like living breathing characters in this world. It’s a funny film from start to finish, and the chemistry between these characters make you fall in love with them. Guardians does rank towards the top of Marvels best. 

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