Monday, December 8, 2014

DVD/ BLU-RAY REVIEW: Guardians of The Galaxy

"Marvel's perfect execution of marketing, music score & casting propels Guardians of the Galaxy to the Blockbuster movie event of the year" 

Many fans and non fans were skeptical upon hearing about Marvel’s newest film “Guardians of the Galaxy” from director James Gunn, and quite frankly it is hard to blame them. It’s a movie about an intergalactic petty thief, a green-skinned assassin, a big purple maniac, a loud-mouthed hybrid raccoon creature and a mobile tree that can only speak the words, “I am Groot."

Although Marvel is a force to be reckoned with in terms of box office success, this film was definitely a risk for the studio, considering it is based on a comic series that is relatively unknown to most.

In addition, this project had no truly A-list stars like Robert Downey Jr. or Samuel L. Jackson to back it up; indeed, the most well-known actor involved, Bradley Cooper, provided only a voice performance for Rocket Raccoon. Technically speaking, this film had no right to be even remotely good, which makes it all the more surprising that it is easily Marvel’s best flick since 2012’s mega-hit “The Avengers.”

Much of the film’s success can and should be attributed to director James Gunn, whose previous filmography includes lower-budget indie films such as Slither and Super. Placing this big-budget space movie in the hands of Gunn was a risky move by Marvel, but it paid off spectacularly. Gunn’s quirky sense of humor and refusal to take the material too too seriously (there is a talking raccoon, after all) makes “Guardians” one of the most hilarious and creative big-budget movies to grace the cinemas in a long time.
There’s hardly a moment in the movie that is not side-splittingly funny — from a recurring joke about Kevin Bacon to Rocket’s regularly foul-mouthed interjections, Gunn has made this Marvel’s most comedic movie yet. While most of the movie is intended for laughs, there are genuinely emotional scenes to be found, particularly at the beginning and end of the film as well as the end of the film.

It is also worth mentioning that the special effects and action scenes are top-notch,however this is pretty much what audiences have come to expect from Marvel.

Chris Pratt, who is known primarily for his smaller roles in Parks and Recreation and Delivery Man, plays Peter Quill, the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy. He is what Robert Downey Jr. was to both the Iron Man trilogy and “The Avengers.” His performance is another major part of this movie’s success; his natural charisma, charm and comedic timing make him the perfect leading man, and watching him so effortlessly play this role makes it difficult to believe that it took him this long to get a starring part.

Zoe Saldana lends a fine performance as Gamora, the green-skinned daughter of evil galactic overlord Thanos. David Bautista also does a great job playing Drax, a character who lost his family and his home to Thanos; while this character could have easily been solely dark and brooding, Bautista and Gunn instead made the wise decision to give him some of the film’s funniest lines.

Bradley Cooper knocks it out of the park as Rocket, as almost everything that comes out of this little creature’s mouth elicits a laugh. Finally, although he only had two lines in the entire movie, Vin Diesel provides an amazingly memorable performance as the talking tree Groot, who is arguably the film’s most popular character.

The story is admittedly typical; a ragtag group of misfits learn to come together in order to prevent an evildoer from taking over the universe. However, the joy in this movie does not come from watching the story unfold, but rather from watching its characters interact with and learn from each other on a moment-to-moment basis.

There is a bit more to the story than previously described, but to go into more detail would ruin the film’s more emotional elements. In conclusion, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is by far the finest movie to come out of the summer season (as indicated by its incredible box office earnings), and it's Marvel’s finest film since “The Avengers.” WITIN RADIO gives it five out of five stars.