When Christopher Nolan gave the world The Dark Knight Trilogy he changed things, forever. After the gritty, realistic tone found in those films, every comic book feature that followed had to be dark and gritty, even if the source material is not very dark and/or gritty. While I have appreciated the darker take on some heroes, I have also missed the fun and craziness that is often found in comics. I have been yearning for light-hearted comic book-inspired fun. Some of Marvel's offerings such as Thor and the Avengers took steps in the right direction as far as restoring fun to comic book movies, but the studio's latest offering takes a astronomical leap in the direction of light-hearted fun. Even more incredible, The Guardians of the Galaxy also manages to secure it's place as one of the greatest comic book movies ever. Seriously.
If you have not read the comics, you were no doubt utterly perplexed when you saw the first trailer forGuardians of the Galaxy. I mean, it's not everyday you see a trailer for a comic book movie set to "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Swede. You also don't often see anthropomorphic raccoons shooting guns off the shoulders of ents.
Indeed, many people thought that adapting Guardians of the Galaxy was a huge risk. You know, as opposed to adapting a story in which a Norse God visits a small town in New Mexico or a story in which that Norse God's brother invades New York with a horde of aliens. Rest assured that Marvel knew what they were doing, and Guardians' weirdness is instantly endearing. That weird talking raccoon? His name is Rocket and he and his friend Treebea-- I mean Groot are the highlights of the movie. Think of him as a small furry Han Solo. He has vulnerabilities that show throughout the movie. I was amazed at how quickly I adjusted to the notion of a talking Raccoon. And his tall ineloquent tree-friend? Instantly lovable when you realize he is a big softy who would do anything for his friends, especially Rocket to whom I assume he must owe a life-debt. Wait a minute...
In all seriousness Guardians does have a lot of similarities with Star Wars, as in the original Star Wars. Like its predecessor, the Marvel Sci-Fi flick features a compelling villain as well as an incredibly unique and equally compelling ensemble of heroes. Each hero has motivations that are clearly, though somewhat too quickly defined throughout the narrative. Unfortunately, like Star Wars, the film also has a couple plot-holes and leaps in logic. But as is the case with the epic set in a galaxy far, far away, I guarantee you will be laughing so hard and you will be so entertained, you will hardly notice.
Some People want their hero movies to be extra gritty, with a nail-biting plot and incredibly poignant moments. Others just want to have a good time. While Guardians of the Galaxy actually contains a couple surprisingly touching moments, it mostly falls under the category of being a good time. It looks at all those dark, gritty comic book movies and says "You guys are way too uptight, get the sticks out of your butts and have some fun!" just like what Kevin Bacon said to an entire town in Footloose.
Everything always comes back to Kevin Bacon. Everything.
The Wrap Up
+ Awesome humor.
+ Unbelievably good soundtrack.
+ Rocket and Groot
+ Memorable Heroes and Villains
+ Perfect Pacing
- Some plot-holes
- Rushed backstories
With stand-out performances by Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt and Vin Diesel (yes he only says three things in the whole movie) the movie overcomes its minor faults to become the greatest, most fun blockbuster of the summer. Seriously, it is that good. What's more, it has something for everybody.
I give Guardians of the Galaxy an outstanding 9.5 out of 10.
Also you will most definitely want to stick around for the credits. You wouldn't want to duck out before the now obligatory Marvel after-credits scene.