Welcome to the Marvel universe – again! “Guardians” transports us back into the alternate reality where the characters are colourful, the scenery is breath-taking, and Zoe Saldana puts Orion slave girls to shame.
While it starts on this planet we call home for a bit of back-story, we are quickly taken a couple of decades and several light-years away where we are introduced to our swashbuckling protagonist Quill (played masterfully by Chris Pratt) on a mission. While on this mission we’re taken back to the 60s and 70s with a Walkman and a musical score that becomes an important part of the story: who doesn’t get their groove on with a little “Hooked on a Feeling”? At the end of this mission, Quill walks away with an artifact that quickly becomes central to the story – after all, everybody wants it – and some people shouldn’t have it.
Because Quill’s in the business of taking things that aren’t necessarily his – we’re quickly introduced to the rest of the ‘Guardians’ as they hunt him down. Gamora (Zoe Saldana: “Star Trek”, “Avatar”), the kick-ass assassin; Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper: “The Hangover”, “The A-Team”), the feisty genetically modified, cybernetically enhanced raccoon with a penchant for big guns, making a mess of thing, and laughing at other people’s expense; and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel: “Fast and Furious” series, “The Chronicles of Riddick”), or as we like to call him – “Hodor in space” – the tree-like character with a vocabulary of three words… in a specific order… “I. Am. Groot.” Apparently, Rocket has no problem communicating with him though – which is a good thing. While they don’t get off on the right foot – this group clearly has chemistry from the beginning and work together well throughout the film. Later on they are joined by big man Drax (Dave Bautista: WWE) who is just all kinds of depressing and hell-bent on revenge… which, good for him – somebody needs to be.
The villains vary in degree from a likable enough Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker: “The Walking Dead”) who is better with an arrow than Daryl Dixon could ever hope to be; to the misguided Nebula (Karen Gillan); to the crazy-in-the-head-I-want-to-destroy-worlds Ronan (Lee Pace: “Lincoln”, “The Hobbit”).
While a suspension of disbelief is needed as in any movie based on Comic books – James Gunn (Director) does a good enough job in what I would consider his first big film. There are some moments in the film which are excellent, and there are one or two which could leave you shaking your heads – but overall the pacing is consistent with the genre, the story-telling is easy to follow, and the casting was awesome: Pratt really does a great job playing off the cute/dumb routine, the play between the Guardians is fun at the very least. and Rocket is a quote generating machine. Along with the casting, this is one action-packed adventure. From the very beginning all the way to the end you won’t be disappointed if you want to see hand-to-hand combat interspersed with that meaningless banter we’ve come to expect, or if it’s space battles you want – there’s that too! More than enough to go around. All that being said, and we haven’t even talked about the special effects! It’s a big universe, and they make it seem even bigger: there are desolate areas in space, apocalyptic-type planets, Xandar – a colourful world populated by a colourful people – all-in-all, they did a great job and NASA needs to hurry up on that warp drive so I can visit these places.
To sum it all up: if you’re a fan of other Marvel movies you’ll like this; if you’re a fan of sci-fi movies you might like this; if you like movies in general you might like this (boy, I sounded like Jeff Foxworthy there almost… ah, what the heck), if you’re a redneck you might like this. Go see it: it’s good for a couple of hours of escape, several laughs, and if you’re the soft type you might even cry – but you won’t walk away disappointed.
~ J.T. Riles ~
Categories: Turn off your Phones!