My two sons and I went to Cinetopia today to see Guardians of the Galaxy on the giant 80 foot screen with the amazing Dolby ATMOS sound. I was not sure what to expect from this film as Marvel has yet to touch on this cast of characters in any other film. This was a fresh new banana that was a little green on the outside but still quite tasty on the inside.
I have very little experience with this Marvel series of comics. I can’t say whether the film is true to the comics or not. And, I don’t care. This is a well made film that will appeal to a wide audience. It is fast, fun, and fantastic.
The formula for this film as my son Nolan pointed out, runs parallel to the epic Avengers movie of a few years ago. That film however had all of its characters established in an impressive run of eight movies. This film had no such introduction. Yet it did have one thing on the Avengers; the opening scene introducing the main character and setting the tone for the entire film. This opening sequence may very well be the best of any of the films on this long list of superhero movies. Now let’s not forget that the opening scene for the Avengers features Natasha Romanov taking a call from Coulsen during an “interrogation” and in its own right is one of the best ever. But it did not tell us anything about the movie we were about to watch. It showed us that Scarlett Johanssen can pull off badass and look great doing it. It gave us insight into her character and it was brilliant. But Guardians’ simple and fun opening told a lifetime of tales about our “hero” to be in the short span of a few minutes. We start in 1988 when Peter is just a boy in a somewhat dramatic scene (no spoilers here) and quickly cut to 26 years later and a now grown Peter in a scene that is part ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and part ‘Risky Business’. The music and the action drives home the core value of our protagonist as well as any opening sequence in any of the movies on this list featuring a newly introduced character.
The opening is followed by 120 minutes of great cinema. This movie moves at a fast pace, maybe a touch too fast at times, but never to an overly frenzied spectacle. In a very short period of time we are introduced to a full cast of “heroes” and director, James Gunn manages to give us characters we can feel. This is no easy task and many a good movie has failed to properly develop characters in this kind of group setup.
Marvel has always done a great job of injecting humor into the sometimes dark themes that permeate the super hero versus super villain dichotomy of this genre. Guardians manages to be a genuinely funny movie from start to finish. This movie never really takes itself too seriously and that is what makes it so damn good. Fantastic Four (2005) ranks high on my list because of the smooth flow of humor and smart-alec remarks very similar to this film.
Our main character is absolutely lovable and quite the badass in his own right. At the end we are given a hint that he is more than he appears to be, and you will of course want to stay all the way to end of the credits to find a most peculiar revelation that may foreshadow the return to the silver screen of a quirky character you never would have guessed.
One bummer is that the film cast two gorgeous women in Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan but they are so “alienised” that we can’t really appreciate their goddess-like great looks. Oh well, that’s OK this movie is top-notch and has found its way to the top ten on this list of nearly seventy superhero films. It is that good and you need to go see it, right now!