Minor Spoilers Within
I’ll fully admit that I don’t know all that much about Marvel’s The Guardians of the Galaxy. I am currently reading the Brian
Michael Bendis run that is currently going, dabbled in the 2008 run; but have never even touched the issues from 1969. My familiarity with the team has come about from hearing the film was being announced to be made into a movie. The reason that I really wanted to get behind these characters though, was when I heard that James Gunn would be directing the film.
I’ve always been a fan of James Gunn. I grew up with schlock like The Toxic Avenger and Gunn got his start at Troma. He wrote films that were wildly entertaining and definitely not for mainstream audiences. It’s kinda hard to pass off a hermaphroditic slasher film to the general public (Terror Firmer). Yet, Gunn could also downplay it and come out with films like Scooby Doo and the Dawn of the Dead remake. But his real genius lies in things like his work at Troma, his own take on the superhero genre, Super; and finally, Guardians of the Galaxy. This is a James Gunn film that Marvel and Disney threw millions of dollars at to get made.
Gunn and co-writer Nicole Perlman have created one of the best science fiction fantasy films I’ve seen since Star Wars. They kept the disgusting humor that Gunn does so well and kept it grounded in a film where the characters are off in another world. This IS the comedy film of the year, sorry 22 Jump Street. Dave Bautista had the comic timing of a seasoned veteran, and Chris Pratt got to play Andy Dwyer from Parks and Rec with chiseled abs and a swagger that matches Mal Reynolds from Firefly. The Jackson Pollock line had me literally slapping my knee in laughter.
Another great thing in the writing is that even the minor characters were able to shine. John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, and Peter Serafinowicz were all great additions as members of the Nova Corps. Gunn even put his brother, Sean, in the film as Yondu’s right hand man, Kraglin, and he was a welcome addition to the cast. It helped keep everything well-rounded and not just focused on the main actors. Michael Rooker did a great job as Yondu and I loved his homage to the original character with his deadly arrow and red mohawk.
Yet, I don’t want to take away from any of the Guardians themselves. Zoe Saldana was amazing as Gamora. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to look at her in another color other than blue, but the green suited her well. She was badass and sweet in the moments that the script needed her to be. The scene where Peter plays her music from his walkman was one of my favorites. Bradley Cooper as Rocket, was well, just the best. I’ve always read Rocket as being British, but from now on, it will be Cooper’s voice in my head as I read the character. Vin Diesel sold the hell out of “I Am Groot” as well.
Finally, Lee Pace and Karen Gillan. Nebula did a good enough job and will be back, but I’m so used to Amy Pond being cute and funny that Nebula sometimes came off as being too robotic; though that could have been intentional given her cybernetic enhancements. Pace on the other hand was incredible. His lines were delivered with such bravado and he was truly a menacing character. Ronan the Accuser is probably my favorite Marvel villain to date outside of Loki. Oh, I’m forgetting, Josh Brolin as Thanos. For the first time we fully see the mad Titan in all his glory, I was a little whelmed. Brolin delivered his lines well enough, but he wasn’t quite as menacing as I had expected him to be. I also feel that we’re not going to see too much of him again until Avengers 3…if we’re lucky.
The score of the film was brilliant. Tyler Bates delivered as he always does and the Awesome Mix Tape was pure epicness. I went out and bought both the score and soundtrack after the movie ended and have been listening to them non-stop. The Mix Tape itself is another character in the film and without the great songs that Gunn was able to get, the film wouldn’t have been the same.
– Nathan Fillion played that big blue guy in the prison scene
– Howard the Duck was voiced by Seth Green in the after-credits
– Thanos currently has two infinity stones at this point, he’s not even close to getting that gauntlet
– The Ravager’s navigation voice was Rob Zombie
– The older looking prisoner yelling was Troma president Lloyd Kaufman
– James Gunn was the maskless Sakaaran and Tyler Bates was the Ravager Pilot
If you haven’t already seen this film, go out now and see it. It’s the best thing that Marvel has done and coming from Avengers and Cap 2; that’s saying a lot. It was an origins movie without the padding, a science fiction film that didn’t get too spacey, a superhero movie film without the patriotism, and has set the bar incredibly high for what’s next in Phase 3. Given that it’s Avengers 2, I’m not too worried that Marvel will rise to the occasion. Kudos to James Gunn, Nicole Perlman, Kevin Feige, and everyone else who made The Guardians of the Galaxy come to life!
Be sure to also check out Doc Palindromes “Not a Review” as well HERE.