Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy finally hit theaters tonight. Find out what we thought.
|"At last, the final evil ball thing."|
That's pretty much Guardians of the Galaxy.
From James Gunn, mostly a writer of quite a few oddball films, Slither being my favorite of his directorial contributions, Guardians is nothing if not extremely charming and quite a load of fun. For those expecting much in the way of intriguing Marvel lore, leave your brains at the door for this one. While Guardians is a blast, no doubt, nothing is very interesting in this film. There isn't an epic plot arching us into a new era of Marvel's massive universe. This is more like the half-time show.
Each member of the cast is exceptionally memorable, iconic even. Villains and heroes alike all fit into their own snug corner of cool. This film feels exactly like what you imagined in your eight-year-old brain when you and a friend brought your buckets of random toys over and used your bedroom as the host planet of an intergalactic space battle. You had Battle Beasts over here fighting slimy Ghostbusters creatures. Then G.I. Joe's over there fighting Inhumanoids. You weren't exactly Shakespearean storytellers, it was just a lot of smashing and throwing, but it was awesome!
The production design overall is to thank. I wanted to pluck each vehicle, creature, and set right off the screen and take home the miniaturized versions of them to pretend I was a kid again. They pulled no punches making every color, weapon, city, and futuristic mechanism pop off the screen.
The cast, as dynamic and unusual as the heroes are, fit cozily into this play set. Chris Pratt kinda leads as the
|"You mean this evil ball?|
Now I have three!"
The charm and wit never stop barreling down this mountain of bad guys and sensationally realized vistas. The cast, in every way, whether villain or hero, with only a brief appearance or starring role, all leave an outstanding mark. Like Star Wars, this is a fiction packed with fresh, unforgettable characters in almost every scene.
As lovable, and fascinating as this is on a superficial level, unfortunately, Guardians is not without a couple of shortcomings. The fight scenes are framed far too close, and stitched together with far too many cuts to give us a gripping sense of the action. I was disappointed to frequently see close-up elbows, shoulders, and faces, instead of full-figured choreographed melee battles. On the other hand, whenever someone got into a spaceship, or floating thing with guns on it, the action ramped me back up to the edge of my seat.
|"At last! Now I possess the|
pair of evil balls! I've collected
the whole set!"
But that won't matter to most audiences, and for this film, maybe it shouldn't? After all, I can say without question this is the funniest Marvel film to date. In fact, I wouldn't necessarily call it an action film, it's just an exceptionally ambitious sci-fi comedy. And if it's just that, then that's pretty darn great in my book.