AN EMPIRE OF WORDS


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Wonder Woman (2017)

As DC tries to combat the ever-expanding Marvel Universe, they have begun by building towards the Justice League film. In the meantime, we are treated to their standalone backstories. Wonder Woman is the latest film to get the treatment with Gal Gadot returning as the legendary Amazonian.

What I have recently disliked about the comic book movies is that they all seem to be using the same framework. (mainly the Marvel Cinematic Universe) But what is more enjoyable about the DC Cinematic Universe is the darker and grittier undertones they have taken, which was present in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman even though the latter wasn’t as enjoyable.

Wonder Woman is continuing this trend, but referencing the picture that was seen in Batman vs Superman with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) herself stood with four men during World War One. Before Wonder Woman leaps into how Diana found herself there, they divulge in the backstory and the mysterious land of Themyscira, home of the Amazons.

What was great about Patty Jenkins’ interpretation of this story was that there was enough in the narrative to allow for the audience to interpret things themselves, something that has been missing in my recent cinema outings. And there was some gorgeous graphics in the opening sequence as Queen Hippolyta (Connie Neilsen) reveals the origin of the Amazon race and of the battle between Zeus and Ares.

Zeus cast out Ares, and hid the Amazons from the world until Ares rises again. The rest of the Amazons and Diana train on the beautifully landscaped island of Themyscira away from the worlds view. That is all until Steve Travers (Chris Pine) crash lands on their private island.

And this is where the film really picks up the pace as Gal Gadot and Chris Pine come into their own as characters. Gal Gadot becomes the focal point of her scenes as Diana believes that the atrocities of war are at the hand of Ares, the God of war. Although he has found a new form in the body of General Ludendorff (Danny Huston) as his sidekick Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya) concocts a poisonous gas capable of killing everyone. Diana forces Travers hand in taking her to front line to help the war effort and she just looks fantastic whilst doing it.

It has to be said though that she isn’t objectified in anyway, she rather manifests Wonder Woman as a character in such a way that she is incredibly strong and rather independent, especially as she continually defies her mother and Steve. With Batman v Superman the film felt long, Wonder Woman on the other hand doesn’t. This could down to the enjoyment of the characters and the narrative actually being enjoyable instead of the usual cut and paste method Marvel and DC films are currently using.

As I mentioned, the DC Universe films like to be grittier and Wonder Woman has majority of the film centred around World War One. Patty Jenkins effectively manages to instil the atrocities of war and it really works from the dirt of the Belgian trenches to the empty celebrations of a victory for one evening.

My only grief is the overbearing music that is used. The musical cues aren’t established very well, as it clearly tries to evoke emotions at the correct times and at times this took me out of the picture and made the enjoyment considerably less-so.

Gal Gadot is truly a wonder as the titular character as the film progresses into it’s climax. The final third of the film looks as though it is going to enter the realms of similarity as with previous comic book films, it still tiptoes on those, but doesn’t dive head first into it. The chemistry between Chris Pine and Gal Gadot is electric, especially as Jenkins’ captures Steve Travers occasionally glancing at Diana with astonishment at her beauty, but not in that objectifying way that I mentioned earlier.

Just as I thought I was losing patience with comic book adaptations, Wonder Woman comes along and manages to give some life into a merciless machine. I realised after coming out of the cinema that Wonder Woman tried something new, it left the comedy (that has become a staple point for comic book films now) to a minimum and perfectly integrated it into the film. This worked and garnered appropriate laughs when needed, but on a whole, Wonder Woman was an enjoyable and terrific watch and this has to be down to the enjoyable narrative and brilliant characters that can be connected with.


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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

One of the biggest surprises of cinema happened in 2014 with Guardians of the Galaxy. No one anticipated the buzz that happened and it was the marvel film on everybody’s list. Fast forward three years and we have the sequel to the very popular first instalment, with the promise of being bigger and better.

Chris Pratt and the gang ignited the screen with the hapless group saving the galaxy from the ferocious Ronan in the first instalment. This time they are back, some months down the line acting as mercenaries. One of the biggest enjoyments of the first instalment was the soundtrack of 80s forgotten tracks, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is no different opening the screen with Mr. Blue Sky and Baby Groot (Still voiced by Vin Diesel) dancing round whilst chaos is happening behind him.

It’s unsurprising that after the success and enjoyment of the first instalment that the director and writer James Gunn returned to direct the sequel. And it quickly falls into the similar sort of framework that has become synonymous with Marvel films.

It is also unsurprising that the film goes full swing with the comedy, with Baby Groot, Drax’s (Dave Bautista) forwardness and the awkwardness of Peter’s (Chris Pratt) mannerisms to Gamora. (Zoe Saldana) The trouble here is that because Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is trying ridiculously hard to replicate the success that the first one had, the jokes begin missing rather than landing.

And unfortunately the problems continued. It did not seem to know which direction it wanted to head for the narrative and was pulled in four or five different directions. Between the mashing of the multitude of stories in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 there was the clear theme of family, but I felt as though this was lost between the constant chopping and changing between the narrative.

Not to mention that some of the stories are more intriguing than the others, including the relationship that blossoms between Yondue and Peter throughout the + two hour runtime but also former antagonists joining the ranks of the Guardians made for an intriguing change of pace, but something that was quickly cast aside.

One of the biggest things that was going to be anticipated in this film was the soundtrack. After the roaring success of the previous one, this one had to live up to the expectation. And it did to a large degree, as it included some forgotten hits, including Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain, which was brilliant, but wasn’t as toe-tappingly infectious as the first soundtrack. Alas, this could be down to the huge expectation on its shoulders.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 quickly fell into that feel the first one had, as the actors are reprising their roles but as the emphasis seemed to be on the gags rather than the story. It was missing that chemistry I felt was present in the first instalment. I did welcome Kurt Russell’s Ego, though as he was the most charismatic of all during his screen time.

Although there was the ‘main’ overarching story that guided the film to it’s natural climax, I felt myself waiting for it to end. Alas, I felt largely underwhelmed when it came to the credits and post-credits stings laced throughout the names. I knew it would be difficult to live up to the expectation, as the first instalment was such a surprise, whereas this one had the buzz leading up to it’s release. If the film had garnered a relatively straightforward story without the intermittent blasts of other stories, it could’ve been a whole lot shorter, and probably a whole lot more enjoyable.

For me, it seemed as though Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was trying to live up to the expectations that had been set by it’s cooler and better older brother. It worked largely as a film, but I could not help the underwhelming feeling I had. The action sequences were great and exciting, but laced with needless comedy. James Gunn seemed to have overindulged us with the comedy, which is just carrying on the now-unsurprising framework that has been set by the previous Marvel films.


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Logan (2017)

Wolverine has been the character from the X-Men to receive the most action, from his early days in X-Men to his own trio of spinoffs and of course Hugh Jackman returns to the character we are all so familiar with. However Logan takes on a different task, as it is seemingly set in a not so mutant-friendly world.

What is different to the Wolverine we all know and enjoy, is that he looks incredibly dishevelled, covered with cards and to some extent, broken. But it’s still the same old character as he gets locked into a battle with some Mexicans trying to steal the lug nuts of his car. Thinking we would be treading familiar ground with this battle, I was shocked as Wolverine’s claws slash through one of the unsuspecting Mexican arms, and before one can even process this, someone else’s head is pierced with the same claws.

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My favourite superhero franchise has always been the X-Men Universe and this still holds true with the never-ending onslaughts of films by the Marvel Cinematic Universe (ugh). The X-Men Universe housed some of the better heroes and villains during its seventeen-year franchise, but never exhibited this grotesque violence that was appearing on the screen.

But it was just so great.

You can almost feel the weariness of Hugh Jackman’s new-look Wolverine, as he cannot keep up with the speed of battle like he used to. But what becomes clear is that he also taking longer to heal as he pops out shell casings in a truck stop bathroom and wipes the pus from his knuckles. Part of this comes down to Jackman giving one of his better performances. We all know him as The Wolverine, but Logan is the first film since X2 that I’ve been impressed by the character.

As I mentioned previously, my thoughts are that the X-Men Universe has always housed the greatest villains, like Magneto and Brian Cox’s William Stryker. Logan keeps up this trend, as the antagonist is one of the most intriguing, hate-inducing and cocky characters I’ve seen recently. Boyd Holbrook is definitely in his element as Donald Peirce, the man intent on catching X23, or better known as Laura (Dafne Keen).

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The trailers seemed to ruin the big reveal of Laura and her use in the story, which was a shame, as I would have preferred the surprise that would’ve come with it. Her character is really enjoyable and the chemistry that she has with Wolverine/Hugh Jackman is just fantastic, as they become enjoyable to watch interact with each other.

James Mangold managed to take the film in a very different and intriguing direction over the two hours or so that the film was running for. Aside from the upping in the ratings of the film, it is a visceral and haunting look into our beloved hero Wolverine slowly dying before our very eyes. The method that he took the narrative in was not ground breaking, but the characters that he filled the story with were the perfect, without shoving anyone’s character into too much exposure.

Although the basis of the narrative was not very inventive, it was still laced with a couple of well-crafted twists including ones that were ruined by the trailers and ones that were not. Mangold managed to take this film and place it in this surreal future (as it was set in 2029) but leave you with enough intrigue about the past events. I wouldn’t say Logan needs required viewing of the previous instalments of his spinoffs, but it would help as it gives you more of a feel of the characters in terms of Wolverine and Patrick Stewart’s Professor X.

In amongst the rip-roaring action that unfolds in Logan (which is just superb) Mangold managed to create this surreal future with some beautiful shots of Mexico, making the world seem as though it has become a barren wasteland, echoing the word from Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s not often an out-and-out action has the ability to use stunning visuals and create an intriguing storyline that in some instances you really can become wrapped up in.

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Logan is a really enjoyable film, which doesn’t lean too heavily on the comics I felt (but then I don’t actually read them) but rather embraces the violent nature of Wolverine, especially in that first scene. In parts I thought it began to drag it’s feet through the two-hour viewing time, but the enjoyment of the characters mixed in with a few plot twists made me forget those parts quickly.

Mangold has managed to create something that hasn’t previously been attempted in the X-Men Universe and for my money it worked every step of the way. It’s grotesque use of violence was perfect and fitting for this aging veteran, but the antagonists worked perfectly as well. If you’re a fan of Wolverine films and X-Men in general, then this is the perfect film as you see Wolverine is all his glory, but also not so much in all his glory. It’s almost as if he’s human. Almost.


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Suicide Squad (2016)

Due to the overconsumption of films from the war waged between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Cinematic Universe, I wasn’t that bothered when Suicide Squad was first announced. Less bothered when Will Smith was heading the charge. Then the temptation grew with cast photos of Jared Leto’s Joker and Cara Delevingne’s Enchantress.

Villainous characters have always been my favourite when it comes to cinema, as they have to more interesting story rather then the standard framework of the typical ‘hero’. A film about Anti-Heroes banding together to save the day? Fantastic. Sounds right up my street. What could possibly go wrong?

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Suicide Squad plot takes place shortly after the events of the Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice as Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) begins to formulate her plan to bring together the baddest of the bad in the war against the ‘metahumans’. Each character is then introduced including their rap sheets with little background, other than Will Smith’s Deadshot and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. 

It’s clear who the studio wanted to run with.

Deadshot and Harley Quinn are made to team up with Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Killer Croc (Adewake Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) as an expendable task-force. Although it’s not that basic, there is an intertwined hatred of The Batman (Ben Affleck cameos) and the Harley Quinn/Joker love story happening. Amanda Waller’s grand scheme goes a bit pear shaped when the Enchantress (Dr. June Moore played by Cara Delevingne) escapes from the clutches of the watchful bodyguard and lover Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) and starts to reek havoc on Midway City. Hence the expendable crew.

Jared Leto’s Joker was probably the most intriguing character throughout the film. Decked head to toe in the finest clothes and flashiest jewellery, his shrill laughter striking the very soul. His relationship with Harley ventured on an intriguing backstory and teased just enough of it to keep the hope alive that Suicide Squad’s narrative may get interestingbut unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

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For me, the problems really lay with the narrative and the characters trying to band together, only witnessing chemistry from the very dysfunctional relationship between Robbie and Leto. (I would really enjoy a spin-off exploring this) Suicide Squad’s narrative seemed to have an abundance of anticipation and build up, for a very meagre finale. Played out correctly, this could’ve been the best finale to date as it had the flashy sequence to go with it, just not the narrative, as the villains plan is only brief shown and discussed for a matter of seconds.

One noticeable difference between the two franchises (Marvel & DC) is the comedic value that is taken away from the two films. Marvel is miles ahead in the comic relief, but DC makes up for the lack of comedy with the grittiness shown in it’s film, most noticeably as the grizzled Batfleck is very rough around the edges. However, Jai Courtney provides that comic relief as he doesn’t offer much else than a boomerang, a pink unicorn and a drinking problem.

Careful now, there may be spoilers up ahead. 

Although it sounds like I’m slating the narrative, parts of it worked for me. The Witch or Enchantress worked for me as a character, including her background and her relationship with Dr. June Moore, but I feel it wasn’t used to it’s full potential, much like the rest of Suicide Squad. El Diablo didn’t have nearly enough hype surrounding his character considering he probably was more impactful than the rest of the team. I really would’ve being interested in a narrative involving his character more.

As the film ran it’s course, it occurred to me that I did not care for any of these characters and their fates. Whether this was due to how the narrative played out and how the Anti-Heroes fitted in, I couldn’t tell you, but I simply could not care less regarding their outcomes. (Maybe except for the Joker)

End of spoilers.

I was left feeling largely underwhelmed by Suicide Squad. The direction the film was poorly thought out and seemed a jumble of narratives happening at once. There are enjoyable parts to the film, including the adrenaline-fuelled action sequences which are entertaining and Margot Robbie’s performance as Harley. However, Will Smith’s ‘Poor Old Me’ routine became really tiring, very quickly. The characterisations were interesting from afar, but for me, it seemed as though Deadshot and Harley Quinn led the charge leaving the rest in the dust.

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There are some enjoyable parts to Suicide Squad but unfortunately the joyous sections are vastly outweighed by the frustrating narrative, annoying characters and confusing message the squad are trying to convey.

Unfortunately for Suicide Squad, I feel that films of this calibre and containing an ensemble of heroes (anti or super, whichever) are always going to be compared with Guardians of the Galaxy due to the how enjoyable the Chris Pratt-led Marvel film turned out to be after little expectations.


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Batman v Superman: The Dawn Of Justice (2016)

The long awaited sequel to Man of Steel and the re-imagining of Batman has finally landed on our screens and it’s all thanks to Zack Synder. After being disappointed with Man of Steel, but excited for Affleck’s Batman I braved a screening of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice among the dire reviews the film has been receiving.

Due to the reimagining of Batman, the origin has to take place, but this time it settles for a quick snapshot of scenes of how Bruce Wayne became an orphan. However, the basis of Dawn of Justice takes place 18 months after the battle in Metropolis between General Zod and Superman. Superman becomes a controversial figure during this battle as his warpath ruins people lives. (namely those working for Wayne Finanical) 

Thus out of the wreckage is born the rivalry and hatred emanating from Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck). My biggest fear for this film, after hearing the introduction of Wonder Woman and Aquaman was it to become a big glut of superheroes each competing for screen time, much like Avengers Assemble. 

It’s safe to say, this did not happen, as the bulk of the story relies on this rivalry (and I mean rivalry in a very loose term) as Synder only teases Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman story enough for the mystery to remain unsolved regarding her true nature. This all comes about as Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) pits Batman and Superman against each other leading into the big hurrah. I won’t say much more due to potential spoilers in the story.

The story and how it unfolds was completely different to what I was initially anticipating. I struggled to think how Lex and Diana (Wonder Woman) would fit into the story as the two men waged war on each other, but the story flowed nicely teasing and introducing their characters at apt times and even packed out the action sequences to good effect.

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Understandably this film is not perfect by any means. For me, there seemed to be a lot of ‘filler’ like Bruce Wayne training whilst cutting the kryptonite. The film is a whopping 151 minutes, and when it boils down to the last 15 minutes or so, it begins to wear thin as they set up for the upcoming Justice League film.

One big triumph for me is the fact they haven’t relied on the slapstick and comedic flair that has become a natural part of Marvel films. DC on the other hand relied on the action-packed sequences and creating these strong, intriguing characters and not to mention taking a serious approach to these characters. Affleck’s rough-around-the-edges Batman was fantastic and seemed to show a relentlessness toward villians. (Bale’s Batman specified no killing) Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor was strange. I am by no means an avid comic book fan, but Eisenberg’s Lex seemed over the top and far too easily agitated. I expected a smooth, slick and composed Lex Luthor, not one showing sporadic thoughts and continually venting nonsense throughout his scenes.

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Synder has a talent of creating these vast worlds and the cities of Metropolis and Gotham are as dizzying and immersive as expected, the true triumph however is the ‘dream’ sequence and Superman’s montage of saving people, as these are some absolutely gorgeous scenes. This coupled with Hans Zimmer soundtrack is always bound to add to the enjoyment factor, but there was something else about Zimmer’s soundtrack, creating intoxicating beats, including one track that wouldn’t go amiss in Mad Max: Fury Road. 

As I said, this film is by no means perfect, but it’s still really enjoyable. A creative reimagining of the Batman franchise, with Zack Synder heading the charge and the creation of worlds is a joy to watch unfold. For mainly plot reasons and spoilers, I don’t want to divulge in the story, but apart from a few standalone points, the story is enjoyable and carries itself over the rather daunting 151 minutes. Unlike the Marvel films, this is the beginning of a serious approach to the superhero universe, rather than the lighthearted undertaken by Marvel.

I left the cinema feeling rather positive, but a little confused with a few of the plot points including the dream sequence, Lex’s peculiar behaviour and why they included the Rocky-esque montages. Background knowledge seemed to have played a part when visiting this film, but doesn’t hang too heavy over the films head, but may help with a few of the more finer plot points. That being said, with the strong characters, immersive landscapes and gorgeous Zimmer soundtrack, the positives outweigh the negatives for me.

Affleck’s Batman was everything I wanted it to be and was possibly my favourite thing about this film. 


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Deadpool (2016)

Marvel’s slow takeover of the cinematic universe is continually expanding. This time is has expanded further into the X-Men universe (kind of) with Deadpool. Deadpool first appeared, played again by Ryan Reynolds during X-Men Origins: Wolverine as a re-imagined version of Wade Wilson.

Tim Miller (director) went back to the drawing board for Deadpool and found himself with the comic books. Now, I have no interest in the comics of any of the Marvel universe and just enjoy the releases in general. I’m told Ryan Reynolds and Tim Miller re-imagined Deadpool is lifted directly out of the comic book, which was extraordinary after watching this film.

Make no mistake though, this is not a superhero film, it’s more of an anti-hero film that makes you laugh. Not only does Deadpool as a character hit back with quick comedic-quips, the film pokes fun at the rest of the superhero films currently being churned out of Hollywood. Instead of stating who is directing the film, or who is starring in the film, it has “A Hot Chick”, “A Gratuitous Cameo” and even “The Comic Relief” which has been true for the recent efforts by Marvel.

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Whether the story of Wade Wilson becoming Deadpool is true to the comic, I could not tell you, but I can tell you it’s pretty interesting with the throwabout nature of the story continually skipping backwards and forwards with the past and present. Deadpool (played again by Ryan Reynolds) is counting as he picks off mercenaries with twelve bullets, but then tosses us back to how he went from Wade Wilson to Deadpool (in comical fashion of course) as he turns the last mercenary into a kebab.

Wade is introduced as an ex-special forces man, who have been all around to world, even to Jacksonville and eventually meets the love of his life Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). This all comes crashing down when Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer, this becoming the cause and effect of Wade becoming Deadpool. He becomes the superhero (or anti-hero depending which way you look at it) at the hands of Francis, head of a seedy operation mutating humans into having superpowers.

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And so Deadpool is born.

However, Deadpool isn’t a direct cause and effect of the comedy that is associated with his character, the film is comedic from start to finish, even as Wade Wilson. Even his relationship with Vanessa is comedic as they continually try to ‘outdo’ each other in regards of upbringing. They’re first encounter is a joke as Wade remarks about putting ‘balls in holes’ but then takes her to play Skeeball. Deadpool as a character only accentuates this comedy, with his extraordinary fighting style and obliviousness to the fight in hand, exemplified by him commenting on the leather in a car fight and his comical relationship with Dopinder, the Asian taxi driver that accepts the currency of a ‘crisp high-five’.

It is impossible to not laugh at this film as I believe the comedy is so simplistic but hits all the notes and tones coupled with this movie. Ranging from fart jokes to slap stick and even situational comedy. My only issue is the story isn’t the strongest. Personally, I think the best storyline in the Marvel world thus far is Captain America: The Winter Soldier but with the rate that film hits the comedy notes, the story isn’t as important.

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Understandable without a strong story, the characters aren’t going to be as strong, as everyone but Deadpool take a backseat in this story. Admittedly the origin part of Wade becoming Deadpool was interesting, but after that point the rest of the story falls flat and can be largely guessed what will happen.

Admittedly, this has been my favourite Marvel outing so far as the film is just excellently funny and I personally haven’t heard a bad word about it yet. The comedy is fantastic and just downright hilarious. Since Marvel films have pretty much copied the framework of the Phase One films (from what I’ve seen anyway) Deadpool was a refreshing change of pace, especially the continual breaking the fourth wall and poking fun at The Green Lantern and other Marvel franchises.


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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)

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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.

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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