I just got back from a camping holiday on the Isle of Wight with my friend and his family.
During that time we saw the newest superhero movie from Marvel Studios, Guardians of the Galaxy. So here’s my spoiler- free review –
Plot of the movie
The whole film revolves around a bunch of oddball characters which include the thief Star-Lord, the genetically engineered assassin Gamora, a talking raccoon named Rocket and his tree buddy Groot (whose only vocabulary is “I am Groot”) and Drax the Destroyer, who is seeking vengeance after his family was killed. All five of these characters end up breaking out of jail and try to figure out the significance of a mysterious orb which the villain, Ronan the Accuser, is after. Many space battles, plot twists, comic book references and hilarious comedy ensues.
The best thing about this movie are the central characters. Each one of them are unique and interesting with their own quirks. If there’s one thing I love more than team-ups, it’s team-ups where the team are so different from each other and each have their own personal gains. The Avengers had characters which were different from each other, but they all wanted to save the world and stop Loki. In this movie, the characters don’t care about what happens to the orb. Rocket and Groot want to make a quick bounty, Star-Lord has been sent to steal the orb by his boss, Gamora is after the orb as she has been hired by the Collector (briefly seen in Thor 2) to get it and Drax just wants revenge. It’s great seeing these characters work together to get out of the situations and work together to fight Ronan.
These character interactions not only make for great dramatic scenes, but brilliant character driven comedy. I won’t give away the jokes but the funniest characters are Rocket, Star-Lord and Drax, even though Drax is the most serious character with the darkest backstory. You’ll see how he’s funny if you watch the movie.
The movie does a brilliant job of establishing a tone. It’s not deadly serious like the X-Men movies nor is it a comedy like Monty Python. In fact the opening of the film is very different from the rest of the movie and has a very serious tone, but the rest of the movie doesn’t forget that one of their characters is a raccoon with a machine gun and provides many silly yet exciting moments while having genuinely great dramatic moments (despite only saying three words, Groot adds a lot of emotion into the film).
The galaxy in this movie is brilliantly realised. Every planet and location is unique and the monsters and aliens are very diverse. It didn’t feel like a comic book superhero movie, as these characters don’t start off as heroes, but it feels like a fun and original sci-fi movie, which are some of my favourite kinds of movie.
Overall this movie is superb. Even if you haven’t read a single Marvel comic or seen any Marvel movies, it is still stand alone with its own story. The only parts of the movie with references to the wider Marvel universe are the scene with Thanos, who is going to be the big bad of the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe and whose inclusion into this movie was his second appearance after a small cameo in the credits of the Avengers. The other scene is a scene where the Collector explains to the heroes the significance of the orb and that the orb, the Cosmic Cube from the Avengers and the Ether from Thor 2 are three of the six Infinity Gems needed to take control of the universe (the six items which Thanos sent Loki and Ronan to collect for him). Even so, the movie still functions as a standalone action movie with fantastically diverse characters and an intriguing story. It makes me confident that Marvel can now do anything and makes me more excited for Avengers: Age of Ultron next year.