Give me a second.
OK there we go. I’ve got ‘Hooked on a Feeling’ out of my head for a moment to write this.
When Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) was first announced you could hear everyone saying the same thing. A talking raccoon? Star-Lord? A small Ent? It was seen as a huge risk, despite the huge stash of money the studio had made already.
But people forget that before 2008 most didn’t know who Iron Man or Captain America were. They’re success lead to them popping up everywhere! So what’s to stop this group of characters ending up in the same position?
Judging by the reaction in the cinema last night, absolutely nothing. With laughs that had me missing the next line of dialogue, beautiful vistas and heartfelt emotional moments GotG has it all and easily steps into the top echelon of Marvel films (there are 10 now! I’ll have to figure out an order and post it).
The Guardians themselves make for such a compelling group that I can’t really spilt them. I’ll pick one out as being awesome and then remember a scene another one had. Each is so well formed that they are immediately endearing and they all get their moments to shine. Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket, Groot and Drax are a group of broken characters that together become a whole. The Avengers had several films of build up yet here a team with stronger ties believably comes together in two hours. They’re a bunch of losers, and I wanted them to win.
Star power pervades the rest of the cast with even small roles attracting the likes of Glenn Close and John C. Reilly. Comic book movies really are de rigueur now. Fortunately none are phoning it in and this adds a layer of quality to an already impressive film.
Marvel have already signed director James Gunn up for a sequel (due in 2017), and their faith is extremely well placed. This is a movie made by someone with a clear idea of what he wanted and where he wanted to go, whilst still providing the requisite Marvel brand values of humour and action. Where others have struggled Gunn has thrived. Maybe that’s due to this groups distance from the Earth bound conflicts the Avengers face, but a lot of the detail in this story ties into the rest of the cinematic universe.
One issue aimed at several of the Marvel movies so far (quite rightly) is the villain’s lack of development. Ronan the Accuser and Nebula aren’t given a lot of time to shine, but their motivations are clearly defined and make them foes to be reckoned with. They’re both certainly given a better show than Malekith (Thor: The Dark World) or Whiplash (Iron Man 2).
Five characters with wildly different background but similar pain come together and mix with cool ships, big guns, a lot of heart and meaningful motivations to create a truly enjoyable and spectacular movie.
In the end Guardians of the Galaxy wasn’t a risk at all. Oh yeah.