NOTE: This is a SPOILER-FREE review. Please mark "*Spoilers*" in the comments section with any comments which may spoil the overall plot.
First of all, before even talking about the film itself, can I just completely curse the UK marketing team for Marvel? I mean seriously, all I’ve seen the past month is the same reoccurring gritty and (an attempt to be) bad-ass trailer – something which not only wrongly portrays the entire film, but also ridicules the plot of the film.
The film isn’t dark, the film isn’t just for bad-ass action; James Gunn knew that. Guardians of the Galaxy features a talking humanoid tree repeating only “I AM GROOT”, a skilled genetically engineered Racoon, a human boy from the 80’s who happens to survive space life whilst providing references which only the people of Earth would understand. Which is why the film isn’t dark: it’s bizarre, fantastical and isn’t seriously toned – but that can only be said in a positive note.
What can I say about the film other than ‘you will love it’? Immediately the film starts in a heart-wrenching manner, introducing us to the backstory of the “mighty” Star-Lord (Peter Quill). After which there isn’t a distinction between which scenes are action and which is comedy, every scene will have a perfect blend of both. The only way to approach the plot is to be satirical, knowing how different the set up to this movie will be compared to past MCU films, they had to mock the unusual and make everything comedic. Notably Chris Pratt and Bradley Cooper present a magnificent job in bringing on-screen comedic chemistry into the mix, the whole cinema theatre bustled in laughter during super intense scenes – something which these actors executed perfectly!
The action was intense, the cinematic style during the scenes were beautiful and there were perfect one-liners to keep us viewers on our toes during these scenes. The resolutions to most of the fight scenes were unusual to an action film, once again taking a more comedic rather than serious approach. The way these action scenes were handled, I couldn’t imagine any other MCU protagonist doing other than perhaps Tony Stark. Despite how engaging the action was, the threat in the film never felt genuine enough; yes there was a big bad character who’s committed evil acts and must be stopped, but everything with that was so generic that even the humour couldn’t evade my half-disappointed thoughts. It’s not until the final act of the film where you feel the antagonist is actually becoming a threat, and you begin to worry for the characters. However you shouldn’t fear, if you push past the fact of the less fearful enemy, then you’re sure to enjoy the action-packed and hilarious romp which these scenes offer.
The transition from many of the characters from the comics to the movie was handled wonderfully. Each character felt their own and none of them made me roll their eyes, the film felt like it’s own and represented the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe beautifully. One little peeve I do have with the characters, is the way how Thanos was presented. Seeing as he’s to have an significant role in the upcoming Avengers sequel, it seemed only right for Thanos to be properly introduced and set up for the new movie – just as how Loki was given the first Thor movie to be introduced before becoming the antagonist in ‘The Avengers Assemble’. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case, Thanos is hardly seen or even featured, but rather has a more ‘behind-the-curtains’ affect to the film.
The question you may be asking is ‘was it better than The Avengers?‘; the answer of course isn’t that simple. There’s a lot more happening plot-wise, I feel I enjoyed the humour more in this film and the team of ‘the Guardians’ definitely seemed completely more fun to watch than the Avengers, but I’m still voting ‘The Avengers’ as the better choice. Why? The reasons are very small differences, don’t get me wrong I loved both equally, but I feel that the threat in ‘The Avengers’ was something that’ll always impact me. Watching the “death” of Agent Coulson, seeing the destruction of New York, becoming excited how the team which took years of films to assemble were finally working together; that’ll always impact me. Yes the Guardians do just as well as a job in being entertaining and bringing charm all over the screen, but that slight difference has made me choose The Avengers instead. Yet seeing as it’s a small personal difference, I wouldn’t actually argue with you if you were to tell me you preferred Guardians of the Galaxy over The Avengers, seeing as each had their own notable victories.
The after-credits scene?
If you’re in a rush, it’s not something you necessarily have to stick around for. The scene doesn’t link to any (official) future Marvel projects, it’s just a little tongue-in-cheek reference to a familiar character (who didn’t exist in the MCU until this very scene).
+ Exciting, wonderful, heart breaking and hilarious. The perfect mix of emotions which just brought upon an entertaining viewing.
+ This has literally made it on my list of the top Marvel films, yes I have that little debate about The Avengers / Guardians of the Galaxy, but I had one heck of a time watching it!
+ The script was well written, it managed to bring the excitement & the chemistry of characters which The Avengers took years to build up, with these newly (for the MCU) introduced characters managed to build in minutes.
– More Thanos… please?!