BRU’S REVIEWS – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY PROTECTS MARVEL’S TOP SPOT August 4, 2014 – Posted in: Blog, Bru's Reviews, Featured Columns
All original written content is (c) 2014 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed is a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
THIS WEEK: Guardians of the Galaxy. You’ve seen the trailers for six months! Now the tale of Marvel’s “outer-space Avengers” comes to the screen. Featuring Peter Quill (Star Lord), a wise-cracking intergalactic outlaw, green hottie-assassin Gamora, tattooed muscleman Drax the Destroyer, cynical mercenary tech-genius Rocket Racoon and sentient tree Groot as they fight against planet-destroying Ronan the Accuser (originally from THE FANTASTIC FOUR). Basically Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye and The Hulk but with more distrust and funnier insults.
Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman. Directed by James Gunn.
- Let’s get the obvious out of the way: the special effects and makeup are tops as always. [FROM MIKE: Groot is probably better animated than Rocket (since he’s “just” an ambulatory tree vs. an anthropomorphic, familar-looking animal), but both still fit in with their live-actor counterparts.] The body art on Drax is just too cool. I’d want it if it weren’t made up of scars.
- Probably Marvel’s funniest flick yet. Quill and Rocket vie for the best quips but Quill gets the funniest gags. Even Drax, due to his taking everything literally (think Hymie the Robot from the old GET SMART! TV show) gets laughs. Not familiar with the comic version, but Chris Pratt was a perfect choice for this role.
- You “story” types and “pathos” lovers should be pleased along with us action junkies and fight fans. The story opens with a dead-serious tear-jerker to pull you in and then gets lighter from there, with some serious bits thrown in throughout to keep you grounded. (Tho the hoity-toity critics looking for SCHINDLER’S LIST in space will be disappointed and pan the movie for what it’s not, as usual.)
- Gamora (AVATAR‘s Zoe Saldana) and her psycho sister (DOCTOR WHO’s Karen Gilan) have the best butts in the galaxy. Great green glutes or beautiful blue booty, take your pick!
- Nice tie-in with the button of AVENGERS finally showing Jim Starlin’s character in full glory, though a small part. Also brings in The Collector (Benicio Del Toro) from the end of THOR 2.
- Stan Lee cameo as always, but with extra (funny) commentary by Rocket. [MIKE: Fellow fans of Jack Kirby will appreciate Ronan’s outfit. Of course, the filmmakers took liberties and made changes (adding some weird black stains to his face for example) but the basic Kirby design is there. Same with the Starlin characters.]
- Big ships and big guns, tons and tons of smaller spaceships and firepower. Some scenes could easily be from a video game.
- Just enough back story on each main character to care without bogging the story down. Doesn’t feel as much like an “origin story” as others.
- Bradley Cooper does a great voice-over for Rocket–if I didn’t know it was him I’d never have guessed.
- Some good 70s and 80s music throughout, thanks to Star Lord’s cassette Walkman. (If you don’t know what a Walkman is, Google it, ya whippersnapper!)
- Two words: Dance off!
- Stay for the button after the credits for a chuckle.
- [MIKE: Credits: “Based on the Marvel comic series by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.” Plus “thank yous” to Gene Colan (co-creator of the original Guardians with writer Arnold Drake) and many others who had a hand in comic-book character creation over the years. Say what you want about Marvel, but they BLOW AWAY DC for giving screen credit.)
- As with any heavy effects movie, some are better than others. There are a couple places where things look fake and not up to the rest. Not enough to take you completely out of it, though.
- Some of the relationship details between the villains, the planets and the daughters may be a bit confusing.
- A bunch of minor cursing, yet not one speck of nudity. So no reason to freeze-frame for this guy.
- Will audiences feel sympathy for a crying CG raccoon or laugh at it?
- I guess some of the scenes and dialog may be considered “corny” or “trite” by some, but it all fits within the context of the movie and characters. So if you’re expecting Sherlockian twists or Christopher Nolan complexity and crap, see something else.
- Glen Close was great as Nova Prime (head of planet Xander) but wasted as she barely has any screen time. Same with John C. Reilly, who probably had more lines in the trailers.
- Vin Diesel fans will be disappointed that he only says four words, three of which are repeated over and over, just with different intonations.
- [MIKE: I think Starlin should have received more credit considering he created or co-created at least three or four of the film’s main characters as well as some of the concepts/worlds.]
I didn’t pay extra fer 3D so I can’t comment on it, although the spaceship battles would certainly be cool with it. Finally, a film that made the months of trailers worth it! Definitely the funniest of the Marvel movies, and right up there with the top five in my book. Definitely better than IRON MAN 3 and the last two Spidey flicks. Another example of what Marvel does right that DC can’t (not every superhero flick has to be “dark”.) See it on the big screen now, then grab the video later if for no reason than watching the gag reel–which probably could be almost as long as the movie! Enjoy!
P.S.: Pascale loves drawing galactic heroes, villains and cuties. He’s even done a commission of Ronan for one lucky customer here on Wednesdays Heroes. What better way to celebrate Marvel’s 75th than an original art commission? Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, Xanderians, self-aware animals or vegetation. Bru’s already come up with a sentient giant shoe who steps on the bad guys, and all he says is, “I am Boot.” He’d team up with galactic race driver Star Ford, female turtle assassin Gamera, vegan tough guy Flax the Flattener, and talking butterfly larva Cocoon to form the Suckers of the Solar System!