Content Warning: some language & innuendo; violence.
When this reviewer first saw a trailer for Marvel’s next blockbuster, “Guardians of the Galaxy”, he thought to himself something along the lines of, “Has Marvel run out of characters?” Although pretty familiar with the Marvel universe, he had not even heard of the Guardians before. The trailers arose some level of excitement, but that was most likely purely due to the fact that it was a Marvel movie. After seeing the movie, his tune was changed dramatically. For the better.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” does not assume the viewer knows anything about it’s characters. And it rolls with that fact beautifully. The characters are introduced in a way that, while quick, usually does them justice and makes the audience care. The only exception would be with the case of Gamora, the green-skinned assassin, whose motives were not entirely fleshed out. That one issue by no means detracts from the plot in any great way, and the audience will absolutely adore laughing along with this motley crew in their adventure from “losers” (as said by Star-Lord) to the “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
In the place of the obscure references for Marvel-heads to geek-out about, there are wonderfully hilarious pop-culture references (among them the movie “Footloose” and Jackson Pollock paintings). The dialogue as a whole is witty and smart, making this one of the more well-written Marvel movies. This is probably the most comedic movie that has been done by Marvel so far, and it honestly just feels so right for this film with a talking raccoon as one of it’s main characters. Just to be clear, however: the comedic focus does not diminish the action purveyors of comic-book flicks seek. The single drawback is that the finale seemed to be a bit rushed/anticlimactic, but it can be assumed that was due to the already-confirmed sequel and keeping fans hungry for more.
Finally, the soundtrack of this movie, in this humble reviewer’s opinion, is where it shines the most. David Bowie, The Raspberries, Jackson 5, and Marvin Gaye are just a few of the artists that make up a truly stellar soundtrack. Every song sets a mood, and that mood is played on by the actors and their dialogue to bring together an insanely-pleasurable movie-going experience. As stated at the beginning of this review, there was some uncertainty about this movie. A song from the soundtrack most-accurately explains what happened with regards to “Guardians of the Galaxy”, and that would be Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around And Fell In Love.” This reviewer hopes that you find the time to “fool around” with “Guardians” as well to see the results.
The Bottom Line