Guardians of the Galaxy is a gamble. In Marvel’s intricately planned phases, the big names are safe. Thor, Iron Man, Captain America. They can be relied upon to draw big audiences and big bucks. Put them together and you get The Avengers, the third biggest film of all time. Iron Man 3 was awesome, Thor 2 was cool and Captain America 2 made Steve Rogers someone to look on in awe. Guardians of the Galaxy is a film based on a limited run comic consisting of B-list characters at best. When it was announced as the final film before Avengers 2, I was surprised to find that extensive googling was required to work out how they fit. So it’s somewhat of a wild card in the mix. But note to self, even with the shadow of the Avengers hanging over every subsequent film, never doubt Marvel. Because Guardians of the Galaxy just became the best thing since the Avengers.
I’m gonna seriously have to try and limit what I say here because not only do I not want to spoil it for you but this could very easily turn into a wordgasm of joy. You ever see that Borderlands 2 trailer where they talked about getting ready to joypuke your face off? That’s the level of reaction this film just reached. So to keep it short, let’s run through the checklist.
Casting: Perfect. Zoe Saldana smolders in the kind of way that will burn you to death. Chris Pratt is both hilarious and heroic and steals some dude’s leg. Yeah, that happened. Dave Bautista, in his first major league acting role, brings a surprising tenderness to a guy called the Destroyer and also gets to have a lot of fun with the fact that Drax doesn’t exactly understand metaphor. And on the animated side, you’ve got Rocket Raccoon and Groot. Voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel respectively, these two are some of the most fun characters Marvel has produced as yet. Rocket’s about as brilliant as you’d expect a genetically altered super soldier raccoon to be but its in his interactions with Groot that he really shines through. Vin Diesel puts a frankly astonishing range of emotions into the three words “I am Groot” and Bradley Cooper somehow plays off it to an astonishing degree.
Soundtrack: Superb. It rocks through the ’80s in the most glorious of ways. Just trust me. That Hooked On A Feeling track you heard in the trailer? You’re gonna be singing “ooga chaka ooga chaka” for a while.
Direction/Writing: Did I mention it’s the best thing since the Avengers? Seriously, with the near blank slate that the creative team had due to people’s relative ignorance to the team, they let loose and came up with a bubbling brew of joy. That’s not to say the film doesn’t have it’s dramatic moments. It doesn’t pull the punches when it needs to hit you in the feels. But overall, GOTG is all about the fun and it delivers this in spades. Jokes land left and right and the interplay between the team is stellar. (Please forgive me, I swear their jokes are better than that.) This is Star Wars through the lens of Marvel. These guys aren’t real superheroes. They’re just the best they are at what they do.
As, at this point, are Marvel. While DC are busy brooding over their dead parents and colour filtered Wonder Woman (no disrespect there, she does look quite badass), Marvel have just rolled out quite possibly the best film of the summer, if not the year. Everything about Guardians is on point and it’s just everything you could ever want from a film with a super solider raccoon and a walking tree. What could well have been Marvel’s first hiccup since the Hulk films is instead one of the best cinematic outings they’ve produced. So please go and see it. Because despite being Marvel, people’s ignorance of the characters may well lead to them dismissing it. And if they do they’re gonna miss a film designed to reignite your love of the superhero genre and reaffirm the joy of Marvel movies. Wholeheartedly, Guardians of the Galaxy is here to fill your heart with glee. And then you can joypuke.