Director James Gunn’s vision and execution of this movie is virtually perfect. He takes five characters that 98% of the audience has no prior knowledge of and makes you fall in love with all of them. Marvel has always been known for their humorous moments, but never had they gone to this level of comedy. Guardians is just flat out hilarious. Yet it has every bit of the epic feel we got from The Avengers. I would be doubled over in laughter and five seconds later would be yelling “Holy Sh*t!! The movie just flowed perfectly and made us all feel the full spectrum of emotions. The action was absolutely top notch as the fight choreography was great and the big space battles were jaw dropping. If I hadn’t just seen Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, I would say this was the best CG I have ever seen, and the gap isn’t that wide. Perhaps the most brilliant thing about the movie though was the use of it’s soundtrack. I don’t know if a soundtrack has ever been used more effectively in a movie. Not only is it full of 80’s songs that we all know and love, it is there to establish when Peter Quill left Earth. It’s there to remind you of the bond between mother and child. And it’s there to remind you of the most wonderful thing about music. It’s there to bring two people from completely different walks of life together under one common bond. Have you stopped singing Hooked on a Feeling yet? I haven’t.
The ridiculousness of the characters are easy to judge as absurd before ever seeing the movie, but never will a movie change your mind so quickly. Raise your hand if you thought Dave Bautista playing Drax would be a strong candidate for best character. If your hand is raised, put it down because you are a dirty liar! Yet he was! His dialogue and delivery was perfect. Sure it’s easy to dismiss a gun toting smart mouthed talking raccoon. But then you get to know Rocket. He didn’t ask to be what he is. It was done to him and we feel just how alone and vulnerable he is. Bradley Cooper was simply amazing in his voice acting role as Rocket. A sentient tree that knows three words (and one very important fourth one)? Groot is only one of the most charming characters we have seen in a decade. With only three words, you always feel exactly the way he wants you to feel. Those three words made me laugh, and they made me cry. A too serious completely green woman? Gamora is everyone that has come from a rough family life and that is trying to be better than those that raised them and watching her redemption story is endearing to us all. Sure we all love Chris Pratt as Andy from Parks and Rec. But did you know he could play a total badass? He was perfect as Star Lord. He wasn’t just a wise cracking intergalactic criminal, he was every man. He is an outsider that doesn’t really belong anywhere and he is just doing the best he can while he tries to find his way. And that is really what this movie is all about. Guardians is for everyone, but is especially for the outsiders. For those of you, excuse me, those of US that have ever felt like a loner, an outsider, a little bit different, as someone who doesn’t always belong, this movie was for us.
Guardians of the Galaxy completely stands on it’s own as an amazing movie, but it’s implications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole are far reaching. Thor introduced us to the cosmic element of the Marvel world, but Guardians blew the door wide open. The story possibilities and characters that are possible for us to see now are almost limitless. Guardians reintroduced us to Thanos and really put the spotlight on the Infinity Gems, starting a ride that won’t stop until we get to Avengers 3 in four or five years. James Gunn completely made the movie his own, but he also perfectly crafted it to fit seamlessly in the Marvel world. The amount of easter eggs throughout the movie are staggering and some will play a part in the future (Adam Warlock anyone?!?). The eventual pairing of the Guardians and the Avengers is enough to make my head explode from excitement. Can you imagine Iron Man and Star Lord trading quips? Hulk and Rocket side by side? I can. And it’s amazing. What this movie does for Marvel as a whole is just the cherry on top though. Even if you don’t care about the other properties, Guardians of the Galaxy is for you. Sure the title of the review is a play on a line from Rocket in the movie, but it’s also very true. There is nothing like Guardians of the Galaxy. And it’s damn near perfect.