Well, Guardians of The Galaxy is definitely a film that everyone has been looking forward to for a very long time. The MCU could finally continue and this installment was going to give us a lot of data for the series. Of course, all of the characters are essentially new to the franchise so it was still a little risky. Guardians of the Galaxy ended up being another solid entry into the MCU and I’m ready for a sequel, but let’s take a more in depth look at it. I aim to keep spoilers to a minimum and will do my best to avoid them entirely, but I recommend watching the film before you read my review…just in case.
The film starts off with a scene on Earth as Star Lord is abducted by aliens when his mother passes away. Years pass and he is now a wanted man by many individuals. He finds a mysterious artifact in a tomb and now he is in a lot of danger. Ronan sends Gamora out to go take the orb from Star Lord while Rocket and Groot want to get the main character for his large bounty. After they bond and fight, the heroes realize that they’re going to have to team up if they want to have any hope of stopping Ronan. Can these individuals team up to face the enemies that no single hero could face alone? Let’s hope so!
Star Lord is the main character of our tale. His character seems to be based off of Captain Kirk’s to an extent. He shares traits with many of the classic heroes, which is likely intentional. He was definitely one of the more interesting characters, but every time he would have a really cool scene that would almost make you a fan, he would do something to negate it. As I mentioned earlier, he shares some traits with Kirk. One of these traits is unfortunately the fact that he flirts a whole lot. His first scene has a rather anticlimatic moment where we realize that he isn’t the only person aboard his ship. The scene really didn’t have a point and it was just so we could see how far Star Lord had fallen.
When he’s not flirting, Star Lord can be a pretty cool character. His mask is pretty epic and he’s a surprisingly good fighter. His plans aren’t bad and he was able to hold his own against Gamora and the others. The fact that he went after his MP3 player at one point was also a pretty cool scene. He typically made sure to do the right thing and he was a solid character for the most part. I just couldn’t like him by the end because the flirting was a little overdone, but he’s still a charismatic lead.
Gamora is an interesting case as well. Her character personality was all right, but I felt that her reputation was undeserved. Everyone seems to know her because of how skilled she is. The problem is that she never looks that tough on screen. Sure, she beats up a few prison guards at one point, but she typically loses the big battles. While she had the upper hand against Drax the first time they met, she never really had any other impressive moments. Her battle against Nebula was good of course, but I don’t see how she fell for the classic thunder rope trick. She also seemed pretty worried the whole time she was in prison. Those were some pretty tough odds, but they mentioned how she had been genetically altered so I figured that the extra power and speed would serve her well.
Personality wise, she’s definitely more heroic than I had figured. I definitely didn’t mind that since it was unexpected in a good way, but it did seem rather sudden. I guess Ronan has never tried to do something this large before or she may have defected sooner. As long as she doesn’t let Star Lord get to her in the sequel, she should stay as a decently good character. I do expect her to look more impressive combat wise in the sequel though. For “the world’s deadliest woman” she only appeared to be slightly stronger than Black Widow. We can expect her DC counterpart (Wonder Woman) to be a little more impressive so Gamora’s going to have to play catch up.
Rocket is a character that Marvel has worked hard to promote. He has a pretty solid fanbase so his portrayal in this film was definitely going to be looked at in detail by his fans. I like Rocket, although I wouldn’t call myself one of his bigger fans. I can see the appeal of the character and I’m always up for another Sgt. Rock. Rocket is shown to be the smartest member of the group and he has a lot of experience. He has broken out of many prisons before and he knows how to take them over from the inside by using Groot.
His drunk scene seemed pretty out of place though and it was a way of expanding his backstory a bit. I could have taken a pass on that part. His backstory is definitely pretty grim, but it should hopefully not appear on screen as the reference is probably all that we need to know about it. It’s definitely hard not to like Rocket from the start. His thunder zap against Star Lord was pretty good and he’s always confident. He’s a little weak physically compared to the others, but he’s always got Groot at his side so he does well in fights. It’s no stretch to say that he’s definitely the best member on the team.
Drax is probably my least favorite member of the group. It’s close, but I just never cared for this depiction of Drax. Remember the good ole days where he had a cape and his abilities were more on the level of the Hulk or Vision? I don’t know exactly when he changed, but ever since the reboot of his character began…they never looked back. This Drax is more of a generic warrior who likes to fight. You can say that he’s the power member of the group.
The problem is that he’s pretty weak. You can’t compare him to other fighters like Thor or the Hulk. He’s probably around Captain America level in physical power and I would easily take the Avenger to win a fight between them. Drax spends the entire film getting crushed by the opponents. Gamora nearly ends him, Ronan is on a different level, and Korath also throws him around for a while. This is because Drax doesn’t really have any technique to his fighting and he just relies on brute strength. He seems a little out of place in a comic book film.
Power aside, I also don’t really care for his personality. He doesn’t really know a lot about Earth and traditional customs, but we already have Gamora for that angle. (At least music wise) He’s not very smart, but Groot already serves that purpose. Drax really doesn’t add anything to the team and that’s probably another reason why I don’t care for him. I would have preferred Adam Warlock or Captain Marvel to replace this fighter. It helps that he cheered (Rocket is guilty of this too) when the animal got eaten. He could get better in the sequel..but we shall see.
Groot is the final member of the Guardians of The Galaxy and I’m likely not as much of a fan as most of the viewers. Personality-wise, he’s pretty decent. He seems to only partially understand the others or he just doesn’t think about it all that much. At the very least, he has no problem with disrupting the plan and doing things his way. He is pretty heroic for the most part though and he makes the tough calls. I can’t say that I was a big fan of his scene in the prison though. There were other ways in which he could have taken out the tough guy. I just never liked the branches through the nose technique before as I find it rather gruesome.
The main reason why I didn’t care all that much for Groot is the whole “I am Groot” part. It’s essentially like Chewie’s roar in Star Wars. Characters can just understand it somehow and then they put the pieces together. It may be okay once in a while, but the more that it occurs, the more that I don’t really enjoy it. I’d prefer to at least have some subs in this case. Groot is definitely a lot more durable than the other Guardians though and he would likely win in a fist fight.
Thanos finally gets to show himself in this film. Viewers of the Avengers series who prefer not to watch any of the other installments will likely be upset since they are expecting him to get a big role in Avengers II. This wasn’t to be and we can only hope that Thanos does join us for Avengers III. All signs point to it at the moment at least, but you could almost think that Thanos would be the big villain for Guardians 2.
His design seems to be a little different from the Avengers film, but it’s a little hard to tell since the lighting is pretty dark. His outfit is modeled after the comics, but all of the color has been drained from it. It reminds me of Wonder Woman’s new costume in the Batman vs Superman film coming out. (Color scheme wise) The outfit is bronze/gold and there isn’t any color to it. It definitely looks menacing though and Thanos essentially looks like a purple Hulk with armor. I don’t really have any complaints about the armor’s design. I definitely would have preferred the classic gold and blue, but this works.
Character wise, Thanos and Ronan have some banter as threats are implied and spoken outright. Nebula tells Ronan that Thanos is stronger than him, which is a solid continuation of the hype train for Thanos. I’m all aboard of course, but making Thanos stronger than Ronan isn’t very impressive. It’s a start of course, but this is why we’re waiting for his first actual fight. He reminds me of Darkseid and his throne is pretty good. Whether he has his first fight in a Guardians or Avengers film, it should be pretty epic.
Ronan is the main villain of the Guardians film. He’s a decent villain, although I would say that he’s not quite as tough as he could have been thanks to the film’s main characters. Since none of the heroes are very strong, they had to be careful about him. I would say that Ronan’s strength could be comparable to Iron Man’s armor if not a little stronger than that. Due to some circumstances in the film, his abilities do get better at one point and his weapon becomes truly devastating. It reminded me of Malekith in Thor: The Dark World. Once amped up, he could probably give Thor or the Hulk a pretty good run for their money.
Character wise, I found him to be very similar to Malekith. Ronan’s main goal is to destroy various civilizations and one in particular because he doesn’t believe in the peace treaty. He’s not with the Kree in this continuity as he commands a rebel force and he works with Thanos. He could be a little generic and executing defenseless civilians is a little petty. I’d say that he didn’t leave much of a lasting impression and he was a decent villain by the end. That’s still an improvement over most of the MCU villains though. I would have liked to see him go up against Thanos, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Nebula doesn’t get much of a role in this film, but she is regarded as a tough fighter. She has a brief fight with Gamora and we don’t really know much else about her. Her design is good and I’m always open to cyborgs. She seems to comprehend Thanos’ power more than the others and she naturally resents him. What she will do next will likely impact the plot of the sequel a lot. She makes for a good rival to Gamora and I don’t have much else to say about her just yet.
Yondu is pretty different from the comics, but it works for the film. He’s a lot older than you may have guessed and unlike Hawkeye, he only uses one arrow. It’s the whole quantity vs quality debate and his arrow is definitely well built. It’s like a laser and it’s sound based, which is pretty good. Yondu is definitely a threat and he could likely take out the Guardians of The Galaxy with decent ease. He would likely have some trouble against opponents with sound abilities or quick reflexes, but his arrow is quite fast so the reflexes would have to be on a high level. He’s not a very interesting villain though and his power is his saving grace. I don’t mind all that much if he appears in the sequel, but they have to be careful about how he fights. This ability leaves a lot of room for plot convenience and we don’t want that. Having someone give him an accurate fight will be a challenge, but a fun one to see on screen.
Korath gets a minor role in this film as well and he only gets one real fight scene against Drax. He looks a little stronger than you may have guessed, but the film did hint at it when he recovered from Star Lord’s thunder blast so quickly. He’s really just a nameless minion in the end in terms of plot importance. His design isn’t very interesting and he’s basically a throwaway character. I can’t say that I mind him all that much, but he’s definitely not going to be the next big threat.
I can’t say that I like the Collector anymore here than I did in Thor: The Dark World. He’s still a complete villain and I don’t understand why the Asgardians trust him. He’s useful for information, but the heroes should have shut down his base of operations a long time ago. You feel bad for his minions and things definitely get a little dicey for them. Hopefully this will be his last appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There’s really no need for him to appear any further anyway.
The Other makes his glorious return into the Marvel universe with this film. I have to say that I had only been mildly been expecting him to get a decent role here so that was pretty cool. Once again, he talks pretty tough to Ronan and I like how he’s always on top of things. The Other fears no being! (Not even Thanos…..) Apparently, he knew about some plans and schemes, but neglected to tell Ronan because The Other is a Boss. We don’t get to see any of his super speed in this film though so I have to wonder if it was forgotten or if the Other just couldn’t be bothered to use it. I’m hoping that he gets another solid role in the future where he can show off his abilities to their fullest.
Guardians of the Galaxy is definitely a very important film for the MCU. We learn a lot of things about the cosmic order in this continuity and Thanos appearing is certainly important as well. Everything is a lot more casual in the film to the point where you feel bad for S.H.I.E.L.D. Nobody on Earth even knows about Thanos, but it’s casual knowledge in this film. We get to see his domain and many planets fear him. It’s hard to describe, but it definitely makes the Guardians appear to be on a different level from the Avengers knowledge wise even if they can’t compete in power.
We even learned about the Celestials and we get a really cool action scene involving a planet blowing up. I’ve always wanted to see a planet blow up on screen and this film got to show us this. That’s a visual that I expect to see in future DBZ films and I guess this film beat it to the punch. Skipping this film isn’t a wise move if you want to stay in touch with what is happening in the world.
The fight scenes in the film are definitely some of the better ones in the MCU. We’re not looking at anything like Thor vs Kurse or Captain America vs Winter Soldier yet, but the space fights are really fun. Star Lord’s blaster is pretty effective and we haven’t gotten a lot of gun fights in the series prior to this film. Definitely no space blasters and I was glad to see them appear. I wouldn’t have minded if everyone used guns in the film since the effects made the blaster fights really stand out.
A welcome positive for this film is the light tone that is similar to the Avengers. The film typically has a scene intended to make you laugh every few minutes and the humor is pretty well done. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously and that’s a good thing. It helped to minimize the damage in a negative that is coming up and it also gives the film a lot more replay value than other films that came out this year. (TMNT, Godzilla, Dawn of the Planet of The Apes, Xmen, etc.) It would certainly be a lot easier to watch this film again than any of those.
The light tone is really what helped the film not get hurt too badly by the animal violence. The animal violence guaranteed that I wouldn’t give this film an 8 like Captain America. It wasn’t very bad, but there was one pretty sad scene at the bar. We see an animal eating another one and it’s done for sport. The characters actually don’t mind this and they encourage the barbaric game. There’s also the scene at the very beginning of the film where Star Lord is beating up on a lot of small lizards. That was pretty sad to see since it was completely unnecessary to the plot. We definitely don’t need animal violence in our films and hopefully this doesn’t become more of a trend with Marvel. (I still won’t forget the dog scene in The Incredible Hulk)
I will say that the film did have a little more language than the average MCU film. Mostly, it tended to come from Rocket, but they all chipped in a little. Luckily, we don’t get the line that offers the big word. It’s mostly just a lot of s and a worlds, but they do add up a little more than usual. It was likely to show that these guys were definitely not as heroic as the Avengers, but we already knew that from Star Lord.
Finally, I think the film tried a little too hard to be emotional at some points. “You’re asking us to die” quickly comes to mind as everyone gets serious and it’s a solemn moment. It’s almost inevitable for a film and especially one that is as happy as this one. After all, the heroes have to finally realize the gravity of the situation at some point, which will make things serious. It’s a cost of being a light series, but it’s a light one. The opening scene at the hospital was also pretty sad, but it really didn’t do the film any favors. Why not give the hero a happy origin story instead? What makes the origin a little sadder than usual is the fact that they made sure it was a realistic origin that could happen to anyone before the UFO came. Taking away that scene and one or two others would have allowed the film to keep it’s happy stride and to never look back. I think that would have made the film even better.
The soundtrack for the film is definitely solid. I’ve always been a fan of the classic songs from the 1980’s and beyond. It was a good time to be a listener and they just don’t make songs like they used too. We got a whole bunch of classic songs in the film and I was glad to see that I recognized two of them. The main theme that was seen in all of the trailers and on Star Lord’s MP3 player is easily the best song. Most of the others are pretty solid as well, but that one definitely had what it takes. The tune that Star Lord listens to in the very beginning was pretty good as well.
Naturally, we get an after credits scene in the film. There is a small sort of bonus scene early on, but I barely count it since nothing really happens. The actual after credits scene is another comedy clip so it’s not there to advance the plot, but it is a pretty good one. The novelty of the scene is the best part and while I would have preferred a Thanos vs Ultron fight to set up Avengers 2, this will have to do for now. You should hopefully recognize what the after credits scene means…hopefully.
Now, this film is Disney like Star Wars and it’s the first big space epic in a while. After the similar poster came out, I’m sure that we all quickly thought of Star Wars. It’s definitely worth mentioning that they do have a lot of similarities. We get adaptions/homages/similar circumstances to the Dark Vader and Lord Palpatine plot through Thanos and Ronan. We get a space fight scene where a lot of small ships go for the large one like in Star Wars. Groot is pretty similar to Chewbacca and Star Lord’s relationship to Yondu is identical to Han Solo’s time with Jabba The Hut. Gamora and the main heroine of Star Wars also have some mild similarities as they already had a mission and then the other heroes jump in and wreck her plans while attempting to help. There are other similarities and some of these are naturally coincidences since it’s hard not to adapt them when doing a sci-fi film. It definitely had a Star Wars feel to it though and that’s pretty nice. Star Wars definitely had a lot of good things going for it even if it started to make some mistakes down the road.
Overall, I definitely recommend checking out Guardians of The Galaxy. I love superhero team films because watching the team form is always great. The opening fight scene with the members is pretty great and I definitely place that as my favorite scene. The film is pretty fun to watch and the action scenes are great as well. The film did have some negatives for me, but there aren’t any scenes where you’ll seriously grimace except for the animal violence. This installment can definitely hold its own against the other titles and I’m looking forward to the sequel. We’ll see if Thanos really is one of the major players to face them. Either way, expect a lot of action and excitement along with some more great tunes.