Guardians Of The Galaxy = Two Hour NERDGASM!

Guarding the Galaxy in style!

Guarding the Galaxy in style!

I was planning on that title being my entire review of Guardians of the Galaxy, but it simply does not do the movie justice.

If you’re a regular Pure Geekery reader, there’s a very good chance you’ve already seen the movie.  However, I’m still going to leave this review spoiler-free.

Marvel took a very big risk making Guardians of the Galaxy for several reason.  The biggest risk is that among casual Marvel fans, the characters aren’t very well known (personally, my only exposure to them was via an episode of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes).  Almost just as big a risk, if not bigger, is taking the Marvel universe into space.  Up until now, all Marvel movies have taken place on land (I’m refraining from saying Earth due to Thor movies taking place on Asgard).  With news reports saying that the movie brought in $94 million domestically it’s opening weekend (almost $30 million higher than its original estimate of $65 million), it’s clear that this risk has paid off.

What I find most impressive about this movie is that I felt completely invested in every member of the team.  Every single one of the Guardians has a relatable type of pain or vulnerability.  Every one of them (with the exception MAYBE being Groot) has experienced a loss/lack of family in one form or another.  They feel alone, and like outcasts.  They’re clearly not traditional “heroes,” but with strong relatable bonds to one another, they forge a friendship and strength that takes them down a heroe’s path.  Director James Gunn managed to  get this all across in two hours, which is ridiculously impressive considering it took four full movies before the Avengers had been developed enough for them all to appear in a movie together.

The standout character of this movie is Rocket Raccoon.  He goes through just about every emotion one can feel, and Bradley Cooper absolutely knocks it out of the park in the voice work of the Rocket.  Guardians of the Galaxy is absolutely hysterical, and I’d say the majority of laughs come from Rocket.  A combination of the stellar voice work along with realistic, stunning CG animation turns Rocket into the character that just about any audience member can find a way to relate to.  You look past the fact that he’s a talking raccoon due to how strong the character is fleshed out, and I think he really makes the movie.

Chris Pratt IS Star-Lord.  He’s strong, he’s got personality, wits and a healthy dose of sarcasm about him.  He’s got cool toys, a ship, and isn’t afraid of getting in trouble to do a job.  He’s a very Han Solo like character in all the best ways.  I’ve loved Pratt on Parks and Rec for years, and it’s clear now that he can open a movie as a star.  His career is going nowhere but up from here.

Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel put in solid performances as well as Drax, Gamora and Groot respectively.  Groot ends up being both the most simple and complex character at the same time.  Incapable of communicating verbally other than saying “I am Groot!,” his actions speak louder than any words could ever say how much he cares about his friends, and that he will fight for them without hesitation.  At times, I thought Bautista and Saldana’s characters played a little flat.  Drax taking everything literal got a little old after a few times, but by the end, he redeemed the one trick with a little more complexity to his character.  I wish Gamora would have been given a chance to kick some more ass in the movie.  She has one really good fight scene, but I think she could have done more than they let her.  There’s always next movie.

The acting community has definitely taken notice of the power of Marvel as well.  Known actors who generally open movies as the star, like Glenn Close and John C. Reilly took smaller roles as Nova Prime Prime and Corpsman Dey respectively to get in on the fun.  Even better is that with limited screen time, they make the most of their roles.  In particular, I really enjoyed Reilly’s character the few scenes he popped up in throughout the movie.

There’s really no reason to not see Guardians of the Galaxy.  You get action, you get laughs, and you get true heart-felt drama from numerous characters throughout the film.  If you haven’t seen it yet, get out of your chair right now and go see it yesterday!  If you have already seen it (which I assume will be the case for most readers), go see it again.  You’re bound to catch something you didn’t the first time, and it’s a movie worth experiencing on the big screen more than once 🙂

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