Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review

 Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) directed by James Gunn, is a film that is - and becomes - incredibly self-aware. The narrative consists of, in my opinion, three apparent clichés that are often found throughout popular cinema. However, Gunn's intention is just that. To pay homage to Marvel and their previous films before his. This is the format he is trying to display and, therefore, the film consists of these elements very in light of themselves. Guardians of the Galaxy can almost be summed up as: Star Wars (1977) meets The Fantastic Four (2005) meets The Three Stooges (2012).
Chris Pratt Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy Peter Quill
The film opens with our protagonist Peter Quill (played by Chris Pratt) losing his single mother to, what we assume is, cancer. Her lasts words to him are “take my hand”, which Peter is too afraid to do, and she passes on, leading Peter to emotionally break down and run out of the hospital where he is subsequently kidnapped by Yondu Udonta (played by Michael Rooker). The initial sub plot is now interjected with the lack of a matriarchal figure creating the future character that is Peter Quill: a current outlaw/thrifter that can never commit to one place. His mission from his force-adopted father Yondu is to steal a magical orb, the powers to which Peter is not fully aware. He merely knows the price people are willing to pay for it. When word of what Peter Quill has done spreads to Ronan (played by Lee Pace) a bounty is placed on Quill's head. In addition he orders Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana) to help capture Quill.
Guardians of the Galaxy Zoe Saldana
Gamora Guardians of the Galaxy
This is where the first inherent cliche is brought into the film: a gang of misfits coming together for a common goal. Quill has been spotted by two bounty hunters, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and they attempt to capture him. Meanwhile, Gamora also finds Quill. Three people are now fighting to capture one man. The Nova Capital police witness this distress and arrest all 4 of them. They now find themselves in a jail in which they are trying to escape. This is where the group now meets Drax (played by Dave Bautista) who recognizes Gamora as someone that works for Ronan and attempts to kill her, a situation that Quill immediately disables. We now have 5 main characters that we learn are all attempting to stop Ronan from obtaining the power of the orb that Quill had stolen, for Ronan would destroy their world and culture, portraying an underlying analogy of terrorism and the struggle to defeat it. The remainder of the narrative is driven based on the notion that this group prepares for an excursion to stop Ronan from obtaining the orb and thus, guarding the galaxy (see what I did there?)
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Guardians of the Galaxy 2014
The next clear cliche is, the frequent use of science fiction genre conventions. The first and most obvious trope is the setting of the movie being in space, more specifically the galaxy. We also have Rocket, an engineered Raccoon that "didn't ask to be made." It is very common for science fiction movies to have humanized animals that can communicate intelligently with those around them. Following Rocket is his sidekick Groot, a life like tree that can do seemingly impossible feats of transformation and strength. Once again, very prevalent in the science fiction world. In addition to these factors are the regular shootouts between space ships that occur.
rocket Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy Rocket image
 As the film's tensions grows closer to the climax, what acts as a soothing agent for the audience is interjected comic relief. To break the mold from the other movies of its' nature this film relies heavily on comedy . The frequent reoccurring elements of humor are the miscommunications between characters from different worlds and Peter's continuous referrals to 1980's American popular culture. My personal favorites include: the attempted explanation of common metaphor's to Drax because - as Rocket puts it - his planet takes everything literally. So, metaphors would "go over his head". To which Drax responds with, "nothing goes over my head. My reflexes are too fast. I would catch it."  And the other being, Peter Quill's explanation of becoming a hero to the rest of the galaxy through dance. He compares their adventure to the cult classic film: Footloose (1984). Saying, they need to be like Kevin Bacon. I like to think that's something we can all agree on.
Guardians of the Galaxy marvel
Marvel poster: Guardians of the Galaxy
Finally, every cliche element comes together at the end of this movie. Our heroes come to fight our antagonist in a final showdown, doing so with all of the classical tropes of a SciFi. Then, we are finished with a light-hearted joke and the implied release of a sequel.
marvel Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 poster
This movie overall, was an enjoyable watch for adults and kids alike. Great for kids, due to the common use of lewd, slap stick comedy and great for adults with its' classic genre conventions. Not to mention the constant Kevin Bacon references. For, Parks and Recreation fans as well, it was enjoyable watching Chris Pratt in the lead role as the lovable goof who comes through at the end of the day. Aside from Pratt, the acting (voice acting as well) was amazing throughout. The clear stand out was Bradley Cooper's portrayal of Rocket. This film was very hyped up and I expected a lot from it. I did enjoy the movie, however, it did not live up to my expectations. As aforementioned, while there were classic cinematic cliches apparent throughout the film, because Gunn's vision was to create a self-reflexive narrative the film was enjoyable for a wide range of audience. That being said, I recommend it to anyone who has yet to see it, although that seems like a very limited audience at this point and time. The underlying metaphors of defeating terrorism in Guardians of the Galaxy made the plot unfolding even more interesting for movie buffs and the knowledgeable audience. Overall, I give this movie a 7.8/10.

Guardians of the Galaxy DVD from Amazon

Guardians of the Galaxy [HD] Blu Ray

Chris Pratt Guardians of the Galaxy Thor the dark world poster avengers poster
Guardians of the Galaxy
Date published: 09/11/2014
7.8 / 10 stars

photo credit: BagoGames via photopin cc 
photo credit: BagoGames via photopin cc 
photo credit: BagoGames via photopin cc 
photo credit: BagoGames via photopin cc 
photo credit: bobkijasy via photopin cc 
photo credit: zennie62 via photopin cc

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