AEOS Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

If you’re looking for a family-friendly, entertaining and fun movie, Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) is the movie to go see this summer.

I have to admit, when I first heard of it, I wasn’t super excited to see it. This isn’t because the trailer didn’t look intriguing, because it looked funny enough to me. I now love the song “Hooked on a Feeling” because of the trailers. But a movie with a tree and a talking raccoon and green, pink, and blue people . . . I wasn’t sure if there would be too big of a learning curve to understand the terminology, characters, and places within the Guardians of the Galaxy universe. I wasn’t sure if I were geeky enough to be a fan.

The movie opens with a young Peter Quill Star Lord, who awkwardly watches in terror as his mother dies. We don’t know anything about his father, other than that he will eventually arrive to take care of him. Then suddenly, little Peter runs outside, and a space ship sucks him up. And then we’re somewhere brand new.

Introduce a whole new space world where it’s normal to be blue or green or probably any other color for that matter. Twenty-six years have passed. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) has grown up, and he’s on a mission to retrieve an orb. After he duels it out with Korath (Djimon Hounsou) and escapes, Korath reports back to Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) that Peter has made off with orb. Ronan assigns Nebula (Karen Gillan) the task to reclaim the orb, but Gamora (Zoe Saldana) proposes she go instead.

Meanwhile, Peter’s partner, Yondu (Michael Rooker), wants the orb for himself, but Peter decides to sell it to another buyer. Everything seems to be fine until Peter mentions the name “Ronan,” and the buyer suddenly loses all interest in the orb.

Quill, however, doesn’t have much time to decide what he wants to do with the orb, because others are interested in it. Enter Gamora, who doesn’t bother flirting for more than thirty seconds before snatching the orb and making a run for it. Enter one crazy, gun-toting raccoon named Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), followed by his tree partner, Groot (Vin Diesel), who handles the heavy-lifting end of their team. They’ve discovered the bounty for capturing Peter Quill, and they’re out to retrieve him, while Gamora and Quill are fighting over possession of the orb. Soon we have four characters in a tangled mess, while we still are not exactly sure why the orb is so important.

Unfortunately for the four thieves, they are captured and thrown into a space prison by Nova Headquarters, headed by Nova Prime (Glen Close). In prison, we meet Drax (Dave Bautista) who has a score to settle with Ronan, who murdered his wife and daughter. Drax has it out for Gamora, who he believes is in league with Ronan. Peter, Rocket, and Groot team together to break out of prison. Gamora strikes a deal with them, offering up money to let her join in on the prison break. We learn that Gamora has her own plans aside from Ronan’s, and seeks to get out from under his heavy grasp. Drax eases his way into the group, also wanting to be released and gain vengeance for his loved ones by killing Ronan. The five fight together to break out of prison, and we start to learn each of the character’s goals, their desires for what each would like to do with the orb, and the importance behind the orb.

While I feel like the beginning of Guardians of the Galaxy is a little convoluted, involving a lot of strange new characters and places, I do feel like the film picks up speed, gets to the point, and has such a fun time doing it. I recently read a very helpful article over at EW that answered some questions and explained some of the terminology and overall storyline regarding the purple infinity stone and the infinity stone belt. I’d recommend it to anyone, like me, who isn’t very familiar with the universe.

During some of the space fights, I felt like Guardians was inspired a little by the original Star Wars films, and I couldn’t help but think of them as they were flying around. Bradley Cooper does great voice work as the snarky, sarcastic Rocket Raccoon. Plus, I think it’s the first and probably only time I thought a raccoon could be cute. Chris Pratt, instead of needing to rise to the challenge, seems to naturally fit the role to play a silly, meaningful leader in the film. It’s as if he’s discovered the role he was always meant to play. Both the villains and heroes were played by a strong cast proven to be fully devoted to the film’s script and tone. For me, the writing seemed to get sharper as the film continued, and the humor seems universally-appealing to a large scope of viewers. The line “finger to the throat means death” made me laugh, followed by Drax’s explanation that “nothing goes over my head!” The editor inside of me is glad he eventually learned what a metaphor is.

Aside from the humor of the film, I felt like it touched on some deeper ideas, balancing the film with action, emotion, and humor, with some intentional deep thought throughout. I was caught off-guard to hear Rocket bitingly respond that although everyone’s lost people, it’s not an excuse to give up. It’s true that everyone has lost someone. That fact doesn’t make a person exceptional, nor should it exclude one from moving on in life. I appreciated the emotional lesson of his line, although his lack of compassion seemed more balanced by Drax’s character, who admirably fought Ronan, quickly learning that although he couldn’t defeat him, he would die trying if necessary. Even Peter revealed his softer side, risking his life to rescue his walkman with the “Awesome Mix,” which is, by the way, awesome.

And speaking of the Awesome Mix, one of my favorite parts, and perhaps one of the best parts of Guardians of the Galaxy is its soundtrack. Some of the people who attended the movie with me mentioned they had never heard any of the music before. I guess that says something about my age, considering that I knew most of the music already. It’s a great soundtrack, and I’m sure it will boost sales for the oldies that haven’t been bought in a while.

The Marvel cinematic universe has launched another successful film. I give Guardians of the Galaxy

Eye Art1Eye Art1Eye Art1Eye Art2

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of Guardians of the Galaxy? Please join the discussion below, because I would love to know your thoughts!

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13 thoughts on “AEOS Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

  1. I had so much fun at this movie! My inner geek can’t wait to see how everything plays out with the infinity stones and the larger universe… will Thanos wear the infinity gauntlet? Will a new team be assembled to protect the infinity stones? Too bad we have to wait a few years to find out. 😦

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    • Hey Matt! Glad you enjoyed GOTG a lot too. Haha, yeah, unfortunately it seems like there will be a decent wait time until the next films come out. But in the meantime, you can still read the comics! 😀

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  2. Hi Kris! 3 out of 4 sounds like a fair score. It’s really a lot of fun, and Pratt is a charming and hilarious guy, he definitely is growing on me! My fave part is the catchy retro soundtrack! I’m old enough to actually owned a Walkman and using cassette tapes 🙂

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    • I’m still trying to figure out how to make half eyes (or semi-closed eyes?), so for now all my scores are given in either open or closed eyes! Ha. Haha, believe it or not, that’s what I grew up using too – I still remember always having those cassette tapes and having to rewind them! Haha.

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  3. Guardians of the Galaxy is nothing short of an amazing movie. If there’s anything I can say, it’s that it is the best superhero movie I have seen. Not only does it have the impressive set pieces and enough action to last you a lifetime, it has an emotional core and you actually get to care about each and every single character. Overall this movie is filled with all the required thrills and spills and is a first class action movie. It also has a great mixture of comedic value and a deal of seriousness.

    The film’s unlikely hero is Quill (Chris Pratt), an eccentric gunfighter in the Han Solo mould who we meet stealing a metal orb coveted by the evil warlord Ronan. When he dispatches his top assassin, the green- skinned Gamora (Zoe Saldana), to recover the artifact, the pair find themselves locked up, along with the galaxy’s most unlikely bounty hunters – a gun-toting raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and his sidekick (Vin Diesel) who just happens to be a walking tree. All the actors do a great job at portraying there characters, they feel real beings. You get to know about them and their struggles and you become attached to them. Every character in the movie got their time to shine, especially Rocket Raccoon who is voiced perfectly by Bradley Cooper. Everyone is pitch perfect in their roles even Batista!

    For those that want specifics: effects were top notch, acting was excellent, story lines were compelling, the comedy was perfect 99.5% of the time and surprise there were a lot of one line typical superhero zingers that worked really well. What really can’t be stressed enough is just how insanely fun and entertaining Guardians of the Galaxy is for literally its entire two-hour-plus run-time. I still have a hard time wrestling with who was my favorite actor in this. all in all, the film is brilliantly well done, action scenes are engrossing and genuinely done, you genuinely worry about certain characters and I for one was thrilled with it. Go see this.

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