Josh and Violet share their spoiler-free male vs. female perspective reviews of Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by James Gunn, and starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and the voice talents of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel! How did they each rate the film out of 10? Read on to find out!
His Movie Review of Guardians of the Galaxy:
Guardians of the Galaxy opened this weekend, marking Marvel Studios second film in 2014 after Captain America: Winter Soldier back in April. The new Marvel film opened this weekend to $94 million, a commendable earning for a movie based on a comic book franchise that almost nobody has ever heard of. Guardians of the Galaxy is an important movie for Marvel Studios. This is the movie that will expand the Marvel Universe beyond that of just Earth, allowing Kevin Feige and his gang of producers at Marvel Studios to have much more “space” to tell stories in. This can open the door to a bunch more obscure Marvel characters that the general audiences are oblivious to.
The Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series has a bit of an odd story to it. The film doesn’t really involve much of the older comics. The series was rebooted in 2008, which is where the characters for this movie are inspired from.
So what exactly is the film about? Chris Pratt stars as “Star -Lord”, a swashbuckling, mediocre space thief who has been given a consignment to steal a valuable yet mysterious artifact. During his mission, as might be expected, he gets into some trouble. During his trouble-finding parts of the movie, Starlord runs into his other companions: Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana), Groot an overgrown plant creature (voiced by Vin Diesel), Rocket, and Raccoon science experiment gone wrong (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and Drax (Dave Bautista). This ragtag group of criminals decide to try to make some money of the mysterious object they have retrieved, but of course things don’t go quite as planned. Their adventure eventually sends them on their quest to be the “Guardians of the Galaxy”.
So did Guardians of the Galaxy pull it off? If Rotten Tomatoes is any indicator, then all signs would point to yes given the 92% critic rating the movie is currently sitting at. And for the most part, the film certainly is a lot of fun. Starlord is a fun character to watch, playing a Han Solo-esce type character who is full of himself, and probably not quite as awesome as he plays himself to be. The real stars of the film though, seem to be Rocket and Groot. Providing both humorous and emotional moments in Guardians, the two CGI characters of group are the most sympathetic. This particularly amazing when you consider that Groot basically has one line repeated through the film.
One problem with the film is actually one of the goals of the film. The movie clearly feels like an attempt to create a bigger universe. This isn’t necessarily a problem if it feels more subtle, but it feels pretty blatant at certain times in the film. It is not looming over the entire film, but scenes specifically with Thanos feel that way. Another minor complaint: some of the humor feel pretty flat. There were times where I could tell something was supposed to be funny, but it just did not seem that way. Other times though, the humor was dead on. Most of those times tended to have either Groot or Rocket involved (and often both at the same time).
One final qualm with the film involves the villain of the movie–Ronan the Accuser (played by Lee Pace. This problem tends to be the most consistent one in the Marvel cinematic universe. Marvel needs relatable villains. All of their villains are clear cut dirtbags, that seemingly have no good side whatsoever. I would really enjoy seeing villains that aren’t set on just making the world burn. Having said that, Ronan certainly is one of the most powerful villains that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had, potentially since The Avengers.
Having discussed all of the issues with the film, it is still very much worth seeing. Fans of characters such as Han Solo or Captain Mal will find Star-Lord an interesting substitute while waiting for the next Star Wars or Firefly adaptations. Comic book fans, space adventure fans and action movie fans will all have a good time in with Guardians of the Galaxy. It is also entertaining seeing Thanos and his progression, obviously leading up to some big confrontation, likely in The Avengers 3.
Overall, rating this film, I would say it deserves a 7.5 out of 10. It is certainly a lot of fun, and most of my complaints are very minor. There is plenty of humor, and viewers are all but guaranteed to come out of the film either a Groot fan or Rocket fan, and potentially both because those two characters are a lot of fun.
Her Movie Review of Guardians of the Galaxy:
I have to confess that when I first heard about Guardians of the Galaxy in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con 2012, I was a bit skeptical. All we saw was some concept art, but it looked kind of silly to me, and I didn’t think I would be interested. Fast forward a year later to San Diego Comic-Con 2013 when the cast made a surprise appearance, and we got to see the initial footage (which was the scene where we see the Guardians in the police lineup) — and my mind was completely changed. Suddenly I was all on board with Guardians of the Galaxy and quite excited about it. Since then, every new trailer that came out made me more and more excited about the movie.
For those unaware, Guardians of the Galaxy is the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (“MCU”), the same studio that brought us The Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and all the sequels that followed. The film is directed by James Gunn (Super, Slither), and stars Chris Pratt as Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, and features the voice talents of Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon and Vin Diesel as Groot – a walking, talking tree. The cast also includes Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Lee Pace, and John C. Reilly.
The movie actually starts off very unexpectedly emotional just before young Peter Quill is abducted by a spaceship. Flash forward 26 years later though, and the tone of the movie is set with a grown up Peter, or “Star-Lord,” as he prefers to be called, dancing to Come and Get Your Love during the opening credits, as he is on his way to steal a certain item. It isn’t long before the outlaw Star-Lord runs into a few other outlaws, Gamora, Rocket, and Groot, and later Drax, who start out working against each other, each for their own different interests and motivations. However, they eventually put aside their differences, and end up working together to save the galaxy. Of course, this is easier said than done, as this unlikely team bands together and encounters several unexpected obstacles standing in the way of their goal.
I felt that Guardians of the Galaxy was a fun and exciting space adventure movie with lots of action, but it was also much more than that. Some action movies are just that – action, but this film also had very emotional and sentimental moments, despite its overall comedic tone. It was easy to become quickly attached to each of the members of the team (though there are obvious favorites!), making those heartfelt moments even more heartwarming (or more heart-wrenching, as the case may be). All of the acting in the movie felt spot-on – though that’s to be expected with such an all-star cast!
I also appreciated the use of powerful female characters, namely Gamora, who came out kicking and fighting quite strongly right off the bat, as well as Nebula (as a Doctor Who fan, I have to say that Karen Gillan plays an awesome villain), and Nova Prime, played by Glenn Close, who is the highest ranking member of the Nova Corps! I’d say the girls were pretty well represented in this movie.
The effects were pretty amazing. Everything looked so realistic. Never once was I taken out of the movie by how fake something looked, and that includes the non-human characters. If you’ve read my other reviews, you know how critical I am of CGI, especially when it comes to animals, but I thought Rocket Raccoon looked great! I highly recommend seeing it in IMAX 3D, as I think that definitely enhances the experience.
I don’t have any major complaints about Guardians of the Galaxy. I guess there were a few moments where I was like “Really?” or “Seriously?” in response to certain things that occurred, a couple of which ended up having a decent explanation, but others which did not. Occasionally I would temporarily be taken out of the movie from feeling like it was trying too hard to be funny, or too hard to be epic. For the most part though, I felt like things flowed pretty well.
Overall, I thought the movie was really good and I liked it a lot. Unfortunately, I went into the movie after pretty much everyone on my Twitter feed had already seen it – and were obsessing over how amazing the movie was. As a result, I had really high expectations going in. I think it’s because of those high expectations that the bar was set so high and the film ended up not living up to that hype for me. I walked out thinking it was really good, but not amazing, and I can’t quite put my finger on why I feel that way, other than expectations that were set too high. Regardless, this is still a fun movie definitely worth seeing.
My rating: 8.5/10
P.S. You’ll have the soundtrack in your head for days (I still do). The integration of 1970s pop songs into the movie was brilliant.