Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy
By Matthew Huntley
August 5, 2014
Meanwhile, the blue-skinned Yondu (Michael Rooker), head of the Ravagers, places a bounty on Peter. Word of this reaches a couple oddball hunters: Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper), a genetically engineered raccoon with a busy mouth and feisty personality, and Groot (voice of Vin Diesel), a walking tree whose mouth is anything but busy (he only speaks three words). Groot is gentle, but you don’t want to get on his bad side.
When a public fight breaks out between Peter, Gamora, Rocket and Groot, they’re all arrested and sent to prison, where they meet the last member of this soon-to-be “Guardians” group, Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a once-human, muscle-bound being who’s mentally thick but physically powerful. His motivation to join the team is revenge against Ronan for killing his wife and daughter.
Initially, these diverse individuals ban together to merely sell the orb for a hefty sum to The Collector (Benicio Del Toro), but as the story goes, their alliance turns more altruistic when they realize it’s for the greater good to thwart Ronan and Thanos. All this leads to a giant battle not unlike the Death Star sequence from A New Hope or the ending from Independence Day.
As far as action is concerned, this holds our attention, but what keeps Guardians of the Galaxy moving is its flippant attitude and inclination to be fun and jolly over serious and emotional. Yes, its underlying plot and structure are conventional, but it’s the interplay of the characters that make the movie fresh, funny and cheeky. There are several moments when we think the story is going to adjust itself and become just another superhero movie, but then it breaks the mold again. To give you an idea, just as Ronan is delivering his typical villain monologue, complete with his intentions to kill and rule innocent people, Peter…well, Peter thinks of a way to distract him. I won’t give anything away, but it goes back to a conversation he had earlier with Gamora about Kevin Bacon and Footloose.
It’s these scenes that make Guardians of the Galaxy special and memorable, and they’re enough to sustain it…for now anyway. When it comes to the sequels (the closing credits promise at least one), I would encourage the filmmakers to combine their attitude with more depth. As amusing and appealing as the characters are, I’d personally like to see them in a more original story - one with a greater purpose. It’d be great if the filmmakers could retain the movie’s current wit and audacity but expand upon the substance. Then we’d have more than one reason to see the movie. The more, the better.