Imagine “The Avengers” and “Star Wars” had a child and it listened to nothing but music from the 1970’s and 80’s. That’s pretty much what “Guardians of the Galaxy” is, and it’s about as awesome as you imagined when you read that description.
Directed and written by James Gunn, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is yet another film set in the Marvel Universe. It stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper as the Guardians, a group of rag-tag intergalactic criminals who set out to save the world from a radical tyrant.
The first time I saw the trailer for “Guardians”, I thought it was a joke; like a parody skit from a late night show. It was so sarcastic and over-the-top and self-referential that it couldn’t be an actual film. But it was, and the final product is as entertaining as that first trailer implied it to be.
Everything about “Guardians of the Galaxy” has been done before, yet the film manages to be fresh and new all at the same time. The heroes in the film, despite ranging from a walking tree to a talking raccoon, are more relatable than the average superhero. They curse, get drunk, and debate not saving people because it would endanger their own life. You know, people stuff.
Gunn, who directed “Super”, a film where a regular guy becomes a vigilante hero, has written a script that doesn’t forget about its hero’s humanity, as well as their humor, and it is what makes “Guardians” such a fun ride. Honestly, this is one of the funniest films of the year. All the Marvel movies have their share of wit and humor, especially “Iron Man”, but “Guardians” is different. It’s just plain zany. Characters will say things that on paper shouldn’t work, or may seem awkward in a superhero film, but on screen it turns to gold (“I have a plan! I have…I don’t know, 12% of a plan!”).
The only true flaw in “Guardians of the Galaxy” is the use of filler scenes. While I was never bored, and at times was having the most fun I had had at a cinema all year, there are a few scenes that just felt unnecessary, and created some pacing issues. If the film had been an hour 45, instead of pushing it to the two hour mark, I think it would have been perfect. But hey, I’m not complaining I got an additional 15 minutes of seeing a raccoon shooting a machine gun.
The villain was also very Darth Maul-ish in that he looks cool, but in actuality has a cliché plot and is just a puppet for the main villain of the series. But that’s neither here nor there.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is like everything you’ve seen before in superhero and science-fiction films, yet unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It’s stupid, cliché, and over-the-top all while being brilliant, original and relatable. I honestly had a blast with this film and feel no guilt saying that it is just as good, and slightly funnier, than “The Avengers”. In a month of the year that normally has studios dumping out trash, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is anything but.
Critics Rating: 8/10