Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2014 blockbuster superhero/sci-fi flick from Marvel Studios. It follows the adventures of Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord (played by Chris Pratt) as he comes into contact with a mysterious orb that everybody in the galaxy seems to want. Quill forms an alliance with a couple of random aliens as they attempt to prevent the evil Ronan and his forces from obtaining the orb. Guardians of the Galaxy has all the hallmarks of a Marvel movie. It has interesting characters, intense action scenes, spectacular special effects, humor, heart, and a sense of adventure. But it’s a bit of a letdown, especially compared to The Avengers.
The plot is fairly typical of most Marvel films. The main characters find a mysterious object of unimaginable power and must form an unsteady alliance from all the bad guys who want it too. The good guys find it, the bad guys find out they have it, the good guys go on the run, the bad guys go on the chase, the bad guys get the object, the good guys get it back, there’s some inevitable betrayal and the bad guys get it back, all hope seems lost until the good guys come up with a plan, they put their plan into action, there’s a climactic fight scene where everything is at stake, and the good guys get the object back and win, then there’s fifteen minutes of credits rolling, followed by a thirty second long scene that teases the next Marvel movie.
The cast is not to blame for the movie’s failings, but maybe their chemistry is. They don’t have any. Chris Pratt describes his character as a combination of Han Solo and Marty McFly, but he lacks the charisma of Harrison Ford and the charm of Michael J. Fox. He shouldn’t be the centerpiece of a major Hollywood franchise. Zoe Saldana plays Gamora, an alien assassin who first tries to kill Quill and then ends up joining him. Zoe Saldana is best known for playing a blue alien in Avatar, and she gets to showcase her acting chops by playing a green alien in this movie. Dave Bautista plays Drax the Destroyer, an angry brute of minimal intelligence. He doesn’t bring much to the team, but he provides the film with some of its funniest moments. Vin Diesel plays Groot, a CG tree with only one line of dialog that he repeats throughout the movie. Bradley Cooper plays Rocket Raccoon, a furry little alien that resembles a raccoon but isn’t really a raccoon. He had the potential to be the film’s best character and he has his moments, but nothing he does really stands out.
One thing that bugs me is the Walkman motif. Quill has a Walkman with a mix tape that his mom gave him before she died. He listens to the mix tape for over twenty-six years in space. The tape would fucking deteriorate. The sound quality would be terrible. I don’t know why they couldn’t have used a Discman instead of a Walkman. CDs have much better sound quality and are way more durable then cassette tapes. Kids today don’t even know what a Walkman is. They’ve never seen a mix tape. CDs aren’t that popular anymore but kids still know what they are.
Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t a bad movie. It’s not a good movie either. It’s just a summer blockbuster, and that’s disappointing because I expect more from Marvel Studios. See it if you were planning on seeing it, but I wouldn’t recommend wasting your money if you’re on the fence about it.
Critically Rated at 11/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young