Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

gotg1

Like many highly anticipated anime I know next to nothing about and intentionally try not to learn ahead of time, I was very excited about going to see Guardians of the Galaxy. I had a feeling it was going to shake up the monotony of the last few Summer blockbusters I’d paid good money to see, and boy, did it ever.

Yes, this film crammed a bunch of shit on the screen, and yes, since this is the first time the director has done anything this huge before, it isn’t all perfect, but GotG has in spades what so many films—including other Marvel films—have lacked: genuine heart, soul, wonder, and side-splitting comedy in impressive harmony.

gotg2

Franchises in the same vein as GotG I’ve cherished, like Farscape and Firefly, put out (relatively) big-budget cinematic romps in The Peacekeeper Wars and Serenity, respectively. But those efforts failed to capture the magic of the TV shows they were based upon, and only served to remind me how how difficult it is to capture said magic.

GotG isn’t hamstrung by a deep and acclaimed canon (at least for me) or abrupt television cancellation, so it feels new and fresh. It has no past failure it tries desperately to redeem here, so it never feels like it’s trying too hard. But it takes some of the best qualities of Farscape (human pop culture in an utterly alien universe), Firefly (cleverly juxtaposed genres).

gotg3

The band of underdog misfits becoming the family they all lacked before they met each other is not a new premise, but it’s executed pretty damn nicely here, because for all its eye-popping visual effects, the film never for one second forgets that the characters are the most important thing in this film, and takes care to make each one of the titular Guardians sympathetic, likable, and hilarious.

Some big-budget films are often strained by their own sense of self-importance or dead-serious tone. Not here. Don’t get me wrong, GotG never plays like one big guffawing joke that takes you out of the fantasy. I fully believed the fantastic galaxy and everything in it. The film just found that sweet spot between cheese and awesomeness that so many films fail, often miserably, to find.

gotg4

Really, it reminded me most of The Fifth Element, my favorite live-action film, which also combined stylish, otherworldly visuals and barely-controlled chaos with a firmly-grounded human heart. Eric Serra’s score, which ranged from ethereal to zany, brought all its disparate elements (no pun intended) together the same way the 70’s pop music does here.

To conclude, GotG was the most fun I’ve had in the theater in a long time, and I’m elated by the fact that a sequel is already in the works. I haven’t gone into too many details about the plot and characters because I urge you to check it out for yourself. If your recycling bin nets you rewards like $2 off movie tickets, like mine, so much the better!

9_brav

Advertisements

Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

2 thoughts on “Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy”

  1. I’d go a step farther and say it trumps all the other Marvel films by including their (miserable) universe building material/easter eggs without requiring any knowledge of them to enjoy and understand the movie AND isn’t shackled to dated, anachronistic source material. (Cap’Mericuh, Thor)

    As the other editors at Rabujoi well know, I’ve actually really hated most of the Marvel Films and criticized their reliance on predictable convention and/or arbitrary narrative decisions. (cap’n crash in Ice… because… reasons?) GotG is certainly conventional but man, it does it without being obnoxious or melodramatic about it, which goes a long long way to making it a fun view.

    thumbs up!

  2. While I am on the fence with oigakkosan, let’s face it: the post-credits scenes in Phase 1 built up the hype for The Avengers. The Avengers delivered. Much of what he refers to as “dated, anachronistic source material” is actually what interested many of the viewers (me included).

    So there, I’m biased. Surprised?

    Probably not, and that was a trick question. The answer is irrelevant.

    Here’s what can’t be denied. GotG was a great movie, and (as oi-chi has said) it did it _without (much) of the hype_. I had my doubts that GotG would work out, based on the early trailers, but James Gunn pulled out an epic win for me.

    Love ’em or leave ’em though: Marvel, as a film studio, is really hitting it big with its live action movies.

Comments are closed.