IanTheCool's Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Official-Photo-Rocket-Raccoon-Prison-Lineup

Guardians of the Galaxy! Marvel films go cosmic as this adaptation of a lesser known comic series tries to insert itself into the movie canon. Thoughts?

A new Star Wars?
Lets face it, Guardians of the Galaxy really, really wants to be the new Star Wars. It has characters which very obviously fill the roles of Han, Chewie, Luke and Leia. It even has a scene where the bad guy is in a room having a conversation to an even worse bad guy on a giant screen. But more importantly, it has that fun space opera feel to it. Its hard to succeed at matching the quality of an iconic film you so badly want to be, and while ultimately that quest is doomed, they put forth a strong effort. And who knows, they may end up being the “star wars of the decade”.

Great characters?
Yes, great characters. At first glance this seems like they could have easily just gotten some neat-looking characters with shallow personalities and throw them together in a team. But the five heroes here actually do have distinctive personalities beyond their looks (which are very, very diverse).

Chris Pratt did a great job as Star Lord. He manages to strike the humour in his lines just right, and created a character with bravado hidden behind a calm and easy exterior. Pratt has proven he is very comfortable in the leading man role.
Gomorrah had a decent enough arc, but there seemed to be more that could be done with her. Drax was sort of the same, but Drax had the running joke of taking things too literally that I found very amusing. I really liked that they tailored his speech patterns to the limitations of the actor. It worked well.
Rocket was awesome. He had an edge to his humour which was refreshing in a Marvel film, but he was also a character you could get behind. And I really liked his relationship with Groot the walking tree.

Lame villain?
Yeah, sorry. I have to say that Ronin was a rather lame villain. He looked like Data from Star Trek in make-up. We don’t really understand his motivations and that is a problem. He just acts like a typical buy guy, and that’s a problem. He doesn’t have very cool minions. Nothing about him really stands out other than being the needed antagonist. We got one scene with Thanos, but that was enough to make me wish he was the villain instead.

CGI Fest
Lets just take a step back and look to see where we are when it comes to movie special effects. Twenty-some years ago, a robot who turned into silver blob was a big deal. Then a realistic T-Rex made leaps and bounds. As we moved into the 21st century, films like the star wars prequels and lord of the rings were using special effects to create fully-developed characters.

And now, it seems like practically everything on the screen is CGI, to the point where it doesn’t even seem to phase us. Thats just the way movies are now. I look at this film, and see spaceships everywhere, wacky locations, CGI raccoons, and while its all fun to engage in, that wow factor isnt really there, because we are just so overwhelmed with it now. Its just a matter of pure quantity.

I’m not to say that it was bad CGI, because it wasn’t. What I’m saying is that it was hard to appreciate when there is just an explosion of it at any given time. And there were flaws. Sometimes Rocket’s movements seemed off for example. But a problem that arises from this is that all those ships and locations dont really feel real. This was very evident during that ship battle at the end. But when 97% of whats on screen is CGI, flaws are gonna happen.

Its just interesting to see the point where we are at now.

Overall?
I liked it quite a lot, and this is because I really liked the characters. Without the five guardians, this would be just another generic blockbuster romp albeit with a little more imagination involved. But it elevates above that by giving us a superhero team where all 5 characters are great and on somewhat equal footing (though clearly Star Lord is the main dude). Will it be the Star Wars of the decade? Who knows.

8/10

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6 Responses to “Guardians of the Galaxy”

  1. Good review, like what u said about th CGI.
    You might like this:

    http://bradscribe.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/life-and-crimes-of-rocket-raccoon/

    Cheers!

  2. Good review Ian. Had so much fun with this. Maybe too much fun, but hey, so be it!

  3. Bit disappointed with this movie to be honest. Liked the wacky and irreverent humour but didn’t think it went far enough – for me this one stuck a little to rigidly to the Marvel formula albeit in a different tone. I also felt the characters were a little too thinly drawn but maybe character development will come with the sequel – it was always a big challenge to introduce five new heroes all at once. I seem to be in the minority on this one though! Nice review Ian.

    • I understand the Marvel formula, and I feel that’s a legitimate complaint. I think a slightly more different storyline would have elevated this film. But I actually thought the character development was pretty good despite the lack of time for all 5 of them.

  4. Sorry for the late comment. I forgot to do the review and I have bookmark folder with all the reviews in.

    Anyway great review. I Loved the film. Great music and very funny :D


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