Marvel’s latest offering on the big screen explodes, opening a whole new realm of possibilities.
Marvel Studios entered an uncharted territory when they decided to make a live action film on the Guardians of the Galaxy. When compared to the likes of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, Peter Quill and his gang is relatively unknown, as they usually thrive in the back alleys of comic book fandom. Often referred to as Space Avengers, the team comprises of Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot. But more on that later.
For its tenth offering, the comic book giant has given the viewers, what I feel, the most well-rounded superhero-themed movie in recent times. After watching the stupendous Captain America: The Winter Soldier earlier this year, my expectations with Guardians were definitely high. Most of it is owing to its charismatic lead hero, Chris Pratt. I love Parks and Recreation, and if you have watched the hit sitcom, you will relate to the fact that Chris Pratt’s character Andy is the most adorable man-child you have ever set eyes on. 30 pounds lighter, and ripped physically; Pratt retains his charm and gives us a goofy, yet butt-kicking Peter Quill, who goes by the code name Star-Lord. He is a part of a team known as Ravagers and goes about stealing space relics to make a profit out of the loot. But this time, he chews off more than he can bite, when he stumbles upon a mysterious Orb, which is coveted by everyone and no one knows why.
This, unfortunately, is all that we get in terms of a storyline. The Orb is special; that much is for sure, and midway through the movie, we understand why. The one who wants the Orb the most, however, is Ronan – an elite yet ruthless member of the Kree Empire, who wants to destroy the planet Xandar. Played by Lee Pace, Ronan is fearlessly evil and will stop at nothing to bring his adversaries down. So there you have it: A baddie needs a powerful weapon to wipe out an entire population, and our heroes must stop him before it’s too late. So while the plot is wafer thin, it is the way James Gunn has executed the script that takes your breath away. The movie is literally a comic book nerd’s fantasy come true, with oh-so-many Easter Eggs, that you CANNOT contain your excitement.
Now let’s talk about the rest of the line-up. Alongside Quill is Gamora – a green-skinned Zoe Saldanha, who does a great job as the mercenary with a tragic past. Though she seems a little chunky in some of the serious scenes in the film, she compensates with her amazing agility in the combat scenes. And let’s not forget; she is only the second female superhero after Black Widow in a Marvel movie. So credit where it’s due. Also, playing Gamora’s step sister, is Karen Gillan as Nebula. While she hardly has much to do in this film, I feel she will play a bigger role in the sequel.
Bradley Cooper unleashes all kinds of badassery as the talking Raccoon, Rocket. He is the heart and soul of the film, and James Gunn has capitalized wonderfully on the Motion Capture technology. Rocket gets some of the best one-liners in the film, and for him alone, the movie is a worth watch. Also adding to the cuteness element is Groot, Rocket’s aide and a tree-like sentient with cool powers. Voiced by Vin Diesel, Groot has only three words (I am Groot) to say throughout the movie, but the timing is priceless.
The most surprising of all is Dave Bautista’s portrayal of Drax the Destroyer. Bautista, or Batista, as he is called in the WWE universe, joins a long list of wrestlers, who turned to acting, probably because they have the natural frame to pull off the action scenes. But while others like Steve Austin, John Cena and Dwayne Johnson still have to show some serious acting chops, Bautista here is in full form as Drax. His metaphorical way of speaking and quick rage lets the audience connect with his tragic loss, and root for him till the end. Benicio Del Toro is seen again as The Collector (Formerly seen in the post credits scene in Thor 2), and we catch a glimpse of the supervillain Thanos.
Together, our five protagonist go from being prisoners to saviors as they battle Ronan and his army, with some help from the Ravagers and members of the Nova Corps.
The set pieces are realistic, and the flight action scenes are crisp. The movie undeniably has that Star Wars feel to it, which is a fresh welcome. Also, the review would be incomplete without a shout out to the mind-blowing soundtrack. Seriously, the movie gets a billion times better thanks to the background music, mostly because it uses 70’s rock and roll and pop tracks. By maintaining a light tone throughout the movie, director James Gunn makes Guardians believable, while also helping the Marvel Cinematic Universe expand.
In conclusion, Guardians of the Galaxy is yet another collective effort after the Avengers to hit the bull’s-eye, and everyone needs to watch it.
P.S- Stan Lee’s cameo is hilarious, and so are the two end credit scenes 😉