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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Her Review:

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), known mostly to himself as “Star Lord,” is little better than a common thief.  Things for Peter get a bit hot after stealing a mysterious orb.  He unwittingly becomes the target of the evil known as Ronan the Accuser.  Meanwhile by taking the orb Peter has also put a price on his head.  To evade both Ronan and the bounty he is forced into an uneasy truce with a group of criminals and misfits that include Rocket (Bradley Cooper), a gun-toting raccoon, Rocket’s companion Groot (Vin Diesel), a tree like humanoid, the seductive but deadly Gamora (Zoe Saldana) who was once in alliance with Ronan and the revenge driven Drax (Dave Bautista) the Destroyer.  Together they form a rather unruly band that in an attempt to sell the orb realize that it has the power to destroy the cosmos and in whose hands the future of the cosmos now lies.  Starring Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Dijmon Hounsou, John C. Riley, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Haddock, Sean Gunn, Peter Serafinowicz, Christopher Fairbank.

Guardians of the Galaxy has the Marvel golden touch but don’t be fooled by the Marvel logo this film gets down and dirty with healthy dose of wit and humor to go with the patented comic book bangs and kabooms.

Considering all the hype surround this film, I have to say it lived up to the expectations it set…for the most part.  I was definitely entertained and when it was all said and done I felt like another film was necessary because I grew to love the rogue characters the film embraces.  That is the foundation for this movie – the characters.  Without them I doubt it would be even half as interesting considering the plot is rather pedestrian and holds a slight “haven’t we seen this all before feel.”  Quill, Rocket, Groot, Gamora and Drax are definitely what makes this movie work.  They have that air of trouble makers but  you can’t help but love them because they mean well even though they aren’t the good guys all the time.

Character development aside I think the casting was spot on.  Pratt manages to pull off the dual personality of Quill with all the grace and charm the character requires.  Saldana shines as the, thank god, not so standard bad ass chick.  Cooper and Bautista don’t disappoint either.  For me though it was love at first “I am Groot.”  I love the Groot character.  Somehow a character that says literally 5 different words the entire movie managed to be the funniest and most lovable oh and did I mention totally awesome character of them all!  I can’t necessarily attribute all the success to Diesel because while he voices the character I don’t know how much of the facial expression was just CG or was done using the cool mapping technique using Diesel as the face.  Either way it doesn’t matter, Groot was my favorite character by far.  Combine all the characters and performances and you come up with a group that is witting, charming, funny, fierce and surprisingly lovable.

Wit and charm are definitely appealing but not even those qualities can hide the minute flaws in this film.  Perfect is hard to expect from  something of this nature so I wasn’t surprised when at times I found the plot to be a tad generic and the story a bit slow to develop.  Being interesting 100% of the time is often boring though so perhaps the lulls in Guardians make the crazy and funny moments all the sweeter.  If I had to pick on anything else about the film it would be that despite the amazing characters their personal stories get kind of tangled up at times and can be a tad confusing.  You eventually figure it all out and then obviously note that they are leaving some stuff out because there are going to be more films but they could have perhaps done a slightly better job of flushing the back stories of the characters out.  For instance I don’t think I ever really understood why Ronan was so bad.  I mean what made him so angry?  Some ancestral killing or something like that but I don’t think I ever truly worked that one out to feel as if this guy was the ultimate villain to destroy the world.  Safe to say I wasn’t all that worried.

Guardians of the Galaxy will more than likely make my top ten movies of the year because when its all said and done I see movies to have a good time and I definitely had a good time watching this one.  Oh and bonus the soundtrack was probably one of the best; can’t beat those classic songs!

9/10 Stars – Definitely came out of hit “Hooked on a Feeling” and that feeling was a good one! 😉

 

His Review:

Up to this point in 2014, fellow Marvel movie Captain America Winter Soldier was the best movie I had seen and for good reason.  Well that no longer is the case.  Now, unlike the X-Men movies I trash because I grew up with the comics, I know nothing about Guardians of the Galaxy so that is probably why I loved it so much.  I’m sure there are people out there yelling at the screen that something wasn’t right, but it was perfectly good to me.

First off, for those video gamers out there, this movie reminded me so much of Mass Effect and that is a huge plus!  From the different alien races to the space action, it just hit that niche very well.  Secondly, on top of all the action, special effects and good story, this movie was funny!  Chris Pratt is quickly becoming the most likable guy in Hollywood (he was the voice of Emmett in Lego Movie).  He cracks great sarcastic 1-liners left and right, and the charm of Groot will win over the ladies.  My favorite character by far was Rocket, the Raccoon loud-mouth who is sarcastic and obnoxious (but in a good way).  This band of misfits work together and they are what drive this movie.  I think another reason I really liked this movie is because it doesn’t feel like the other Avengers’ movies.  What I mean by this is it isn’t just 1 super hero with special powers doing the same old thing (like we see in Iron Man mostly).  These characters are unique in their own way but don’t really have special powers so we can relate with them.  They just are who they are and I really liked the contrast of everyone together.  Now the enemies have special powers, but they aren’t on the screen nearly as much, so this movie is all about the “Guardians.”

A couple of (nitpicky) dislikes that really have no bearing on the movie, but are just things I noticed.  First off, I don’t see how this movie is fitting in with the next Avenger’s movie.  I know this movie is part of “stage 2” but last I heard, none of these characters join the Avengers so how does that work?  Secondly, why was Vin Diesel marketed so much as “the voice of Groot” when Groot hardly talks?  Just didn’t understand that one at all and lastly, and similarly, Benicio Del Toro as the Collector is in 1 scene (for like 5 minutes).  I wish they used him more as it was another big deal when he was cast… I know these are very minor things, and I agree they are minor, but they are things I noticed that made me scratch my head.

All in all, this movie is charming and awesome!  This is everything that Captain America was earlier this year, but with color and spunk!  I normally don’t care of military films (which is what Captain America is all about,) and because of the sci-fi nature, Guardians of the Galaxy (for now) is the best movie I’ve seen in the year 2014… but the Ninja Turtles hit screens next week, so we shall see!

9/10 Stars – Colorful, charming, funny, action-packed and full of spunk… this band of misfits are a welcome change to the world of Marvel, and to my personal top 100 of all time (pending changes to come!)

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