Friday, March 6, 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy

I'm not a comic book guy, but I do love movies based on comic books. So, circa 2000, when it seemed all the comic book based movies were coming out, I started to learn a little about the basic stories. Of course I knew about Superman, Batman and Spiderman, I grew up watching their cartoons and TV shows. But before 2014, I had never even heard of Guardians of the Galaxy. 

I saw the previews and heard about it from friends, so the anticipation built up over the summer. I saw it for the first time sometime in September of 2014. So the review is LONG overdue. In my opinion, Guardians of the Galaxy is the best blend of Sci-Fi and fantasy since Star Wars (save for The Fifth Element, of course).

The story follows Peter Quill, or "Starlord," a human (Teran) (Chris Pratt) from Earth and his band of misfits on his odyssey through the galaxy. It begins with Quill locating an ancient relic called the "Orb," for a bounty. Unbeknownst to him, the buyer is a psychotic immortal hell bent on destroying planets and ruling the galaxy, with a side order of ethnic cleansing. A real lovable character. His quest lands him in prison (The Kyln) where he meets his motley band of characters. Their goal at first was to sell "The Orb" until they learned who the buyer really was, and what it really was. There are various parties along the way who lay claim to it, but rest assured, all work together to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands, in classic comic book-style narrative.

The film was extremely colorful both literally and metaphorically. There were a lot of scenes of space, obviously, and in most of them, they laid out breathtakingly colorful backgrounds of nebulae and debris fields. Mega color pop in every scene. The amount of detail in the planets and other celestial bodies was amazing too. In addition, Peter Quill and company are a colorful group in themselves, again, literally and metaphorically. Gamora (Zoe Saldana) is green, with a full head of multi-shade crimson hair; Drax (Dave Bautista) is a sort of purple with some kind of red scarring or tattoos; Rocket (Bradley Cooper) is a raccoon, and Groot (Vin Diesel) is a tree. Yes, that's right, a raccoon and a tree! It's very interesting to say the least. If you had pitched me this story five years ago, I would have assumed it was a children's story, but none such. It's made for grown ups. For being two feet tall, Rocket is a badass. And Groot was my favorite character. I guess I like trees.

The spaceships were all so interesting. The one I liked the best was called The Dark Aster:  Ronan's segmented, undulating black clad monster with no lights or shiny parts; dark and ominous. Though Peter Quill's ship was pretty cool, and the Novacore fighters that banded together to make a net to stop The Dark Aster were awesome!

The greatest thing about this movie was when I was watching it, I started getting the same feeling I did as a kid watching the original Star Wars trilogy. Excitement; exhilaration; like I was on a ride at a theme park. Overall, this film felt like an adventure, one that I would like to take over and over. I give it 8/10 stars, and eagerly await the sequel scheduled for sometime in 2017.