Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

After the post-credits sting from Thor and Avengers Assemble. We finally see the two characters make their appearance in a feature length film. I am of course referring to Thanos (Josh Brolin) listening to Loki’s pleas (from Avengers) and The Collector (Benicio Del Toro), from Thor) collecting the tesseract.

One thing that is cleared up pretty much immediately during Guardians of the Galaxy is how Peter Quill (Starlord) came to become an interstellar traveller known as Starlord (Chris Pratt). And the opening scene can be quite emotional, a young boy in 1988 listening to ‘Awesome Mix Vol. 1’ on his walkman, has his mother die in front of him and then he is taken by what is revealed later on as group of ravagers led by Yondu (Michael Rooker).

Even Yondu looks cool.

Even Yondu looks cool.

Twenty-Six years later Starlord is looking for the orb that is seen in the trailer, where he mocked for being called Starlord by Korath (Djimon Hounson) an associate of the this films antagonist Ronan The Accuser. (who is badass – with a name like that, what can you expect?). Chris Pratt playing our hero of sorts in this film, I imagine would’ve played up to his loveable idiot character that is associated with him, Andy Dwyer out of Parks and Recreation, and he does in sorts, singing and dancing to his walkman all those years later whilst booting these weird lizard creatures.

My feelings towards Guardians of the Galaxy was odd. I wasn’t in no way looking forward to this film or franchise, as I just see a money making quip by Marvel. Yet they swindled my money away from me. The casting is odd too, having Vin Diesel utter the words “I am Groot” x amount of times, Bradley Cooper voicing a bad-tempered raccoon with an accurate shot, Dave Bautista (Batista from the WWE franchise) playing Drax, a grieving father and husband. Finally, Gamora, Quill’s (eventual) love interest, however an assassin initially sent by Ronan to retrieve the orb ends up becoming a Guardian of the Galaxy. (Worth noting she is an adopted child of Thanos (the big dude Ronan answers to) after he killed her family, but she plans to backstab Ronan)

Ronan-the-Accuser-in-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy

The story revolves around this mysterious orb that Starlord tried to sell but as soon as the buyer learns that Ronan is after it quickly retracts his intention to buy. Of course he also being trailed by Yondu who is also after the orb after Peter double-crossed him, the film soon becomes a cat and mouse with Yondu and Starlord. The orb contains an infinity stone, that essentially harnesses the power to destroy planets. Funnily enough this is what Ronan wants to do on Xander after this peace pact goes sour between Xander and Kree (forgive me if I’m wrong. It’s been a while). That being his primary motive in this film and it is made abundantly clear. Something that a lot of villains seem to lack in Marvel films, they just do it for hatred of the protagonist I feel. Whereas Ronan, wants power and to crush Xander for his people, however sadistic his plan is. The infinity stone is pretty powerful as it destroys Taneleer Tivan’s (The Collector – Benicio Del Toro) assistant as she goes nuts on him.

Without an introductory series of film unlike the Avengers, the story for the characters is lacking in sections. Although there is mention of Rocket Racoon’s history and Gamorra’s backstory. The only one we truly get to know is Peter’s as the story surrounding his mother becomes full circle at the end. Either way, they team up like in Avengers, but for odder reasons. Drax to get at Ronan, Gamorra for the same reason, whereas Rocket’s and Peter’s is for money and Groot is just Rocket’s travelling plant.

guardians_of_the_galaxy_wallpaper3

However, regardless of these introductory section for each of the characters, there is more of a connection with the audience, including Peter Quill’s story about his mother, Rocket Raccoon’s drunken confession and the backstories involving Gamora and Drax. These four characters have had more heart than I’ve seen in quite a few marvel films in recent times. And as we know with Marvel, the casting of Chris Pratt was for an influx of comedy seen on the screen. Including how he manages to stop Ronan The Accuser seeking his goal, it’s pretty funny I must admit.

As for my favourite casting of this film. I was a big fan of Michael Rooker’s work on The Walking Dead and this is no different. His character of Yondu was splendid, he was funny but terrifying at the same time and his arrow was something to marvel at. The other cast I’d have to talk about is Dave Bautista as Drax. I found this character to surprising as I expected his casting was because of his build to match that of Drax the Destroyer, however, he was one of the funniest characters in the film including this little quip below.

“Nothing goes over my head. My reflexes are too fast. I would catch it”

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised with this film. And I was annoyed with this. Because I went in disliking this idea of snapping up filming rights for anything with the Marvel print on it (Just look at a the proposed Marvel films raining onwards until 2017). However, striking the right chord with Marvel films doesn’t happen often and this film had it. It didn’t include the grit and surprising storyline of Captain America 2, but included the right amount of comedy, emotional storyline and had cast surprisingly well, including Drax as Bautista played him surprisingly well. Out of the two Marvel films released this year, it’d be a difficult decision, but I’d probably opt for Guardians of the Galaxy.

How did the comic book fans find this interpretation? I’d like to know what they thought about it.

4/5

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