Friday, August 1, 2014

Spoiler Free Diet: Guardians of the Galaxy

Seriously? A walking tree and talking raccoon? -- Yes. And they're awesome.
When the movie was announced, I was immediately worried about Rocket and Groot coming off as stupid, Drax being boring, and the rest of the cast being a bunch of unknowns.

The commercials leading up to the movie still managed to get me hyped despite this, and I was, thankfully, not disappointed.

Guardians of the Galaxy is awesome.

Not only was Rocket done well, the little rodent was endearing and funny and had a fully fleshed out personality. Groot a bit less so, but he was surprisingly animated for being a walking, sort-of-talking plant. He easily got the biggest laugh out of me the whole film. Drax not only wasn't boring, they managed to make 'The Destroyer' funny.

I'm not a fan of Soldana, but overall didn't have any issues with the character of Gamora -- her motivations were underdeveloped, but she gets a personal antagonist to balance it out. 

Peter Quill, Starlord, was perfect. "Nuff Said.

More than just daddy issues, but it'll do.
The big bad, Ronan the Accuser, was done very well. His motivations could have used a bit more explanation behind them (there's a decent chunk of history that is only briefly touched upon), but the movie did enough for its purposes, and he seemed to be a real badass.

This movie definitely corners the "comedy" aspect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it totally worked. Even the few outrageous moments were well delivered and in context with the character (Quill will appeal to any child of the '80s or late '70s).

As for tie ins to the greater universe, there were a couple of plugs that weren't super obvious, which was nice. I'm a bit surprised they didn't do more or introduce more, considering the setting. I won't spoil anyone's hopes of seeing certain characters at this time, but I could have definitely seen one or two extra, minimal introductions or nods that would have been easy to sneak in there.

The action was strong, the humor better, and the story surprisingly reasonable. The greater universe is done in tantalizing brush strokes that make it feel acceptable that 99% of the movie is spent away from Earth. I was surprised that they were able to introduce us to so many worlds, so many characters, and so many protagonists without leaving us overwhelmed. I know very little about the Guardians comics, but that didn't hinder my enjoyment in any way.
Very happy with the CGI and the ship battles especially.
It took The Avengers several earlier movies to build up a group dynamic. I'm already happy with the Guardians as they're presented in this single film. I don't know where they'll go from here or what other large story arcs really take place in the outer limits of the Marvel Universe, but I'm more than willing to check it out when Guardians of the Galaxy 2 comes out -- this one really surpassed my expectations and I'm happy it did.

Arbitrary rating 9/10. It loses a point for a moment towards the very end that I found a bit too over the top, and the after the credits scene (which, in my opinion, wasn't worth the wait. It's a solid reference and on par with what you might expect from this film, but it doesn't add anything by way of connecting to future films or the greater Cinematic Universe, which is my preference.

Go see this movie. Now.  

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