“Guardians of the Galaxy” takes a step away from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Entertaining, humorous, with a surprising amount of heart, this movie is one wild ride. Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, the first women to be given credit for working on a screenplay of a Marvel film, and directed by Gunn, “Guardians of the Galaxy” stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and Dave Bautista. Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel voice the two main CGI characters, and arguably the most lovable two characters. Other well-known actors such as Lee Pace, Karen Gillan (Doctor Who), Benicio del Toro, and Stan Lee (in his usual brief cameo) help bring the movie to life. The storyline of a band of misfits coming together for the greater good is hardly original but “Guardians of the Galaxy” is fresh, exciting, and filled with charming characters who steal your heart.
Like most Marvel movies, this one centers around a white, male lead. In this case, Peter Quill (Pratt). Quill is smart, reckless, and, unsurprisingly, a womanizer. He teams up with kick-butt assassin Gamora (Saldana), sarcastic gun-wielding Rocket Raccoon (Cooper), talking tree Groot (Vin Diesel), and the very literal Drax the Destroyer (Bautista). These five quirky characters make up the Guardians of the Galaxy. Stuck together by a strange series of events, many of their interchanges are filled with tension, but the galaxy must be saved so they join together for the greater good.
The movie begins with Peter Quill’s tragic backstory, a necessity in most movies these days; the audience has to feel for him after all. Fast forward twenty-six years and the scenery changes from Earth to deep space. The audience now sees Peter Quill arrive on a deserted planet, where he discovers an Orb. He quickly discovers that he’s not the only one who wants the Orb and the rest of the movie is spent trying to keep the Orb from the villains to avoid galaxy ending consequences.
Of course, the movie needs villains. The screenplay lacks with its three villains who just aren’t as evil or interesting as some Marvel villains. Ronan, the main villain, is given very little backstory. Ronan wants to get lots of power so that he can kill lots of people. Classic villain story. Ronan is in cahoots with Thanos (who was briefly seen at the end of “The Avengers”), although Thanos’ motivations are unclear. Then there’s Nebula, Ronan’s assassin sidekick. She’s an awesome fighter, but she is not nearly as interesting as her sister, Gamora, even though she has the potential to be.
Flawless CGI more than makes up for the villains. Watching the movie is a breathtaking journey as you rocket through space and across the galaxy. Everything seems to flow seamlessly together and the CGI characters, Rocket and Groot, fit right in. Groot takes the cake with CGI, having some amazing CGI scenes centering around him, and the most visually brilliant parts of the movie are solely CGI. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is filled with colorful planets and interesting new species that bring the galaxy to life.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” contains humor and action-packed scenes, but also just enough serious moments to get in the backstories that make us cheer on the characters as they guard the galaxy against impending evil. Somehow the audience also manages to develop a serious attachment to Groot, who speaks the same three words throughout the movie. The film’s quirky soundtrack featuring catchy late 60s and 70s songs adds an ironic twist to the action and a comical aspect to the screenplay. The CGI is brilliant, and the storyline is good, if mostly predictable, but the lovable band of misfits who take the galaxy by storm are the real reason to go and see this movie.