Guardians of the Galaxy: Marvel Studios Present…

Well, this movie is a testament to Marvel for taking any property and turning it into a blockbuster seen by frenzied droves. This relatively unknown property has reached super-stardom and is probably Marvel’s best film yet.

It is clear from the very beginning that Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel’s Star Wars. There is a sense of wonder created as wonderful starships scream past the frame. Star-Lord’s Milano is beautifully retro, with leather-backed seats, wood-paneling, and clunky instruments and dials that give it an authenticity and character. Not enough to challenge the Falcon, but a memorable ship to be sure. The locales are colorful and vibrant and oddball and weird and fascinating…they are just damn cool. The mining colony, Knowhere, made out of the corpse of a celestial being is exotic and industrial, foreboding and cool, a real smuggler’s den. Thanos’ Domain is an impossible realm, a throne room in the vacuum of space. The Kyln is a vibrant, dirty, filthy space prison. The prison break that ensues is one of my favorite scenes. The world of Guardians of the Galaxy is fully realized and is one I can’t wait to explore more.

The characters, themselves, are easy to invest in. Peter Quill (Pratt) is a lovable, amicable, smart-ass trying to find his way in a world alien to him. Gamorra (Saldana) is a killer with a conscious. Drax’s (Bautista) deadpan humor is great. But, the real stars of the show are the dynamic duo: Rocket Racoon (Cooper) and Groot (Disel). Rocket truly has beef with the universe, but tries to make fun out of the little lifespan he’s got, although his conception of fun is rather violent. Groot, smiling Groot, exudes strength and kindness, a real giant who is loyal to a fault. It is these two’s interaction with each other that makes this movie.

The writing, itself, is off-the-walls funny. Clever, engaging, this is one of the best superhero movies to date, taking bits from the space opera, summer action, and heist genres. The only part that it drops the ball is with its villains. It focuses so much on bringing these five characters together within the space of a single movie, which is an accomplishment in itself, that there is hardly any development for the villains. Ronan (Pace) and Nebula (Killian) are as generic as they come, but, ultimately, they are not a detriment to the film as a whole. But, the absolute best part of the movie is the soundtrack. Hearing classic 70's tunes that play at the appropriate times, working cohesively with one another and the movie’s score, which is composed in the vein of John Williams.

This movie has it all. Solid story, memorable characters, great visuals, and a killer soundtrack. Guardians of the Galaxy is the exemplar of summer blockbuster movies, and I hope more movies will aspire to reach its lofty heights. 9.5/10.

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