I’ve decided to go back and watch a bunch of movies based on comic books. No real reason, just something I thought would be fun. This time it was the 2014 movie Guardians of the Galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes critics: 91%
Rotten Tomatoes audience: 92%
My Rating: 9/10
(I’m starting off on a tangent, but bear with me, I’ll tie it back in to the movie.) As I’ve been going through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve been thinking about what’s going to happen after Robert Downey Jr. leaves the franchise. It’s likely to happen after the Infinity War movies, which is coming up pretty quickly. RDJ has an on-screen (and off-screen) charisma that steals scenes and makes the movies better. The Tony Stark character isn’t really the leader of the Avengers, but he’s arguably the most important team member. When RDJ leaves, there will be a hole in the universe that will need to be filled. Chris Evans may seem like the obvious choice, since Captain America is the leader of the Avengers and Evans has expressed an interest in continuing in the franchise after the Infinity War. However, after rewatching Guardians of the Galaxy, I’m of the opinion that Chris Pratt will become the face of the franchise after RDJ leaves. Especially if Marvel goes in the direction I predict and decides phase 4 isn’t going to be as Earth centric.
Pratt steals every scene he’s in. It’s hard to not pay attention to him. His comedic timing is excellent, but he’s also able to bring an intensity to the dramatic moments when they’re called for. He’s the only actor in the MCU that I think can match RDJ in on-screen charisma (and he’s pretty darn close off-screen as well).
The rest of the team is a little overshadowed by Pratt, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good. I felt that Gamora was actually the weakest of the bunch, I just had a hard time buying into her as a life-long assassin, her movements, whether it was during the fight scenes or just walking around, just didn’t seem to flow the way I expected. Dave Bautista wasn’t at the same level of acting as the rest pf the cast either, but his character made up for that a little. The CGI characters, Rocket and Groot, were both really well done.
The villain, Ronan, was a little disappointing, as was Nebula. I think most of that came from the fact that they were portrayed as subordinates to Thanos. There was also a lot of exposition on how tyrannical Ronan was, but very little to show it. He briefly fights Drax, but is very disinterested in the whole thing. I think that the intent was for the disinterest to imply that he was too strong to even be bothered with Drax, but I think it missed that mark. Instead, Ronan just comes across as bored.
The minor characters were all really well done. From Glenn Close and John C. Riley in the Nova Corp, to Benicio Del Toro as the Collector, and Michael Rooker as Yondu, all of them were fantastic. None of them felt like cameos or bit parts, even if their screen time was just a few minutes.
Aside from the acting, the story is great. It moves quickly and has a good balance of humor, action, and dialogue. Guardians and The Winter Soldier are probably the two best written movies in the MCU. (The Avengers is right up there, but it doesn’t quite have the same depth as those other two).
Guardians introduces a much wider galaxy than any other movie in the MCU. Having that background will make it easier for Marvel to introduce other stories and characters. It was also nice that the source comic isn’t well known. The fact that Guardians of the Galaxy was so successful paves the way for Marvel to introduce other characters that aren’t household names. This movie is just going to become more and more important as Marvel continues to expand the universe.