This Saturday I went to see the newest marvel studios comic book movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. No doubt, you have heard it is good. If you haven’t seen it, and there is even a remote chance you will like it, then you should because you will.
Guardians is not an especially deep movie. It was made to be fun, and full of geek chic references, with just enough heart to make you feel for the characters when appropriate. I can appreciate a movie that attempts to be entertaining without pretension, while still being relatively smart.
Here are the high-points of the movie for me.
- Dave Bautista: Bautista hails from wrestling. He is a large, muscular individual who really, really shines in the fight scenes. No surprise there. However, I was stunned at how good an acting job he pulled of in this movie. His character, Drax the Destroyer, does not understand metaphor, which leads to some of the film’s more humorous dialogue. Bautista shows comedic timing and acting skill pulling these moments off, puling him in the class of wrestlers that can act (out of their element), which really only contains the Rock. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.
- The Cast: As a whole the cast was very good. Not a single one of them seemed to be phoning it in. Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel pulled off oddball, fully cgi non-human characters in a fashion that was both believable and enjoyable. I don’t even like Racoons.
- The Return of the Rogue who did Good: The reformed rogue is a very strong archetype in american film and literature. Think Han Solo. Yet lately, as we drown in the cynicism of the post 9/11 security agencies and start to tally up the cost of their James Bond complex, our rogues on film and television, and in novels have become more cynical and less fun. It is good to see a character like Star Lord, a rogue with a taste for the good life but a decent heart nonetheless, make it to the big screen once again. Chris Pratt does a great job with him.
- Setting, Set Design, and CGI: Guardians of the Galaxy is almost wholly set far from earth. It is wonderful, made up stuff that only has as much relation to the real world as you want to read into it. The CGI is brilliant, but it does not outshine the actors like in a Michael Bay picture. They do a great job of creating alien vistas, strange spacecraft, beautiful and imposing aliens, and awesome action sequences. I was particularly impressed with some of the clever references hidden away within the background. I suspect the film contains many Easter eggs.
- Misfits, Freaks, and Losers: The best part about Guardians is how they play up the idea that while the Guardians may be powerful, they are also rejects and outcasts who have lived sad and ugly lives. The story is about them banding together, similar to the avengers movie, and becoming a team that is greater than the sum of its parts. In this case however, the Guardians are people that no one really wants or expects to have on their side, as opposed to a group of heroes with ego problems.
In all Guardians of the Galaxy is a pure blockbuster for me. It did not unseat Winter Soldier as my favourite marvel movie, but it is damn fun and certainly worth watching.