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Guardians Of The Galaxy Review....
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review....
We are indeed living in the Platinum age of moviedom and the irony is that it is movies based on Comic characters that are responsible for this yearning, appetizing, visual and entertainment era. I would be remiss not to give props or give formal recognition at this juncture to the players that helped usher in this Comic-book age of auteur magnum opuses like the elder statesman, Ridley Scott and now the younger upstarts like Christopher Nolan, Josh Wheedon, and now adding to this spicy mix, James Gunn in his brilliant, raucous Guardians-Of-The-Galaxy. The reason why Gunn's movie is a instant classic is the fact that his Guardians-Of-The-Galaxy has all the elements that a movie should have: humor, action sequences, unique homage to Stan Lee, mouthwatering special effects, and lovable characters, be they 'bad' or 'good.'
Let us start with the main characters in Guardians-Of-The-Galaxy. In the opening sequence, we see a young Chris Pratt listening to his walkman, and yes, I said walkman in a hospital lobby while his mother lay dying. We hear the emotional deathbed goodbyes and the cryptic words that Pratt's (Star-Lord's) mother tell him, which one might chalk up to disorientation - but might be a clue to the future Star-Lord's destiny, which seems to be intimately intertwined with 'Alien' abduction and a interstellar baby-producing 'hook up.'
One of the unique aspects of Guardians-Of-The-Galaxy is the literal modern sound track - we all could relate to - and emanating from Star-Lord's walkman. Take the scene where we are introduced to the grown-up Pratt, who is a professional thief and now goes by the name, Star-Lord. It is hilarious, scary, and visually stunning to see Star-Lord dancing and dodging carnivorous rodents on his way to steal a prized artifact. Imagined Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones' character who takes comfort in his reliable fedora - so it is that Star-Lord takes comfort in his walkman replete with earthly music classics.
Zoe Saldana's character, Gamora, whose hue is lime green, is an efficient, killing machine and is one of the death horsemen of the bad guy, who, incidentally, murdered her parents in her presence and subsequently made her a walking angel of death. There is a pivotal scene that lends credence to Gamora's character where she is incarcerated among the most vicious of criminals and when she is recognized... almost, everyone wants a literal piece of Gamaro because all these criminals had loved ones, who, Gamora, apparently, sent to their respective demises. And, as for the criminals seeking vengeance on Gamaro... let's just say that the optics look like something we have read about in the Bible's Old Testament.
Rocket Raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper, is a bounty hunter and the well rounded and multi dimensional character of Guardians-Of-The-Galaxy that seems to get most of the laugh-lines. Perhaps, it is because that Rocket literally looks like a rodent, though he would take much umbrage were he to hear me refer to him as a rodent. Rocket does not wear his emotions on his sleeve and it took a drunken episode to hear of his painful back story and the reason why he is the lovable, cynical Raccoon.
Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel, is the humanoid Tree... a walking behemoth and who only speaks one phrase, which, only his bounty hunter friend, Rocket Raccoon, can decipher... hearing their banter is akin to hearing Bryan, the dog, and Stewie, the English accent baby, in Seth Macfarlane's Family Guy. The lovable Groot's character will tug at your heart strings, no matter how macho you are: take the scene where Groot is asked for alms by a little girl and he immediately grows a flower and presents it to the little girl. However, do not be fooled by Groot's seemingly, harmless posture because when he needs to be, he can be viciously brutal. There is this fight scene in a hull of a ship where the rest of Guardians-Of-The-Galaxy watched in utter mesmerized shock and awe, as Groot methodically killed a phalanx of bad guys...it is akin to watching Mother Teresa going postal.
Last but not lease is the character, Drax, played brilliantly by the ex wrestler, Dave Batista... and yes, I said brilliant because this man has no formal training - well notwithstanding his wrestling resume. Among the great actors in Guardians-Of-The-Galaxy, whose pedigree are so by formal thespian training, Batista holds his own in a movie that showcases the great Glenn Close. Drax is from a race that takes everything you say to them literally and so for God's sake do not use any metaphors. It is belly achingly hilarious to see Drax (Batista) playing the role in a deadpan manner, as Star-Lord is explaining a situation, punctuated with metaphors and symbolisms.
The plot of Guardians-Of-The-Galaxy is centered around the Infinity Stones, terrifying artifacts that are like the God Particle, which, when they touch anything organic... it is destroyed in the most painful of ways. This is what prompts Ronan, our antagonist in Guardians-Of-The-Galaxy, to make a deal with a God-like figure to secure one of the Infinity Stones. Ronan is so consumed with vengeance that he makes what is tantamount to a Faustian deal, and, moreover, is willing to murder an entire species because they dare sign a peace treaty that would interfere in his quest for vengeance....
There is a relationship that Star-Lord has with an Alien-like uncle - the latter played by Michael Rooker, who is like some futuristic hick from the hills of what we would call 'Interstellar Dixie'... think of the State of Kentucky during the Antebellum period. I do not know how to adequately describe the relationship between Star-Lord and this adopted uncle because it is so disturbingly dysfunctional, yet there is a genuine, loving and funny filial rapport. This uncle carries a weapon on his person that is akin to some otherworldly boomerang that when you see its use... taking out a field of enemy soldiers, you are going to be appalled, and yet find yourselves, still applauding.
An honorable mention to the script, co authored by Gunn, which, has among its attributes, a running 'Black Comedic' theme. Take the situation where Star-Lord is explaining music and trying to entice Gamaro to dance... whereby Gamaro says that she is a warrior and that 'dancing' is not part of that life. Star-Lord responded by using Footloose, the movie, to explain to Gamora that warriors, like 'Kevin Bacon,' a fellow warrior, used music/dancing to fight evil. Perhaps, the most memorable scene in Guardians-Of-The-Galaxy is where Ronan is on the precipice of destroying the Guardians when Star-Lord starts singing and dancing. You are going to be terrified and laughing at the same time, especially witnessing the look on Ronan's face and with his asking of Star Lord: "What are you doing!?".
Marvel has this sweet, irritating habit of leaving clues for the audience to figure out, about its future movies and when the credits finished rolling and Guardians-Of-The-Galaxy is no exception. At the conclusion of Guardians-of-The-Galaxy, we see The Collector speaking to Howard-The-Duck. For those of you who are too young to know who Howard-The- Duck was... it was one of the biggest movie flops in the history of movies and I suppose that, like how most of the kids in the audience probably had to go to You Tube to get a gander of Star-Lord's soundtrack, so too they will have to research, Howard-The-Duck. I end by saying well done to Mr. Gunn and for leaving me with that indelible image of the crowd pleasing, re-animated Groot, the sapling, dancing/grooving to Michael Jackson's (The-Jackson-Five's) I Want You Back. Indeed!