August 20, 2014

"I have lived most of my life surrounded by my enemies. I would be grateful to die surrounded by my friends."
Dare I must say that this movie is one risky and ambitious work. How so? A Marvel movie with no single (backup) movies (I'm looking at you The Avengers), filled with unknown characters with limited backstories and sets in an unfamiliar universe; how is it going to work exactly? But I had my hopes after watching the marvelous trailers and all the fuzz on the internet (because this has just come out today in my country due to some delay on Mubarak holiday), so I watched it with quite sky-high expectation. But, how is it exactly?

After witnessing his mom giving up on her cancer, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) got abducted by an extra-terrestial ship piloted by Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker), who called himself and his crew the Ravenger. Twenty years later, Quill then becomes one of them, introducing himself as Star-Lord, scavenging trinkets across the galaxy, untill he found a precious sphere called the Orb. Little that he knows is that the Orb possess an incredible power contained in a stone called the infinity stone, and that everyone is after the Orb, including a villain named Ronan (Lee Pace), whose plan is to wipe out the entire Xandar. Ronan then sends one of his troops Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to capture the Orb, but then thing turns around as Gamora is actually betraying Ronan and her step-sister Nebula (Karen Gillan). Quill and Gamora, along with their three acquaintances Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper), Groot (voice of Vin Diesel) and Drax (Dave Bautista), then team up to protect the Orb from falling into Ronan's possession and save the people of Xander from the doom they're about to face if the 4 vigilantes fail. 

Amazingly, it works, big time. Writer/Director James Gunn successfully adopts Marvel's classic underdog-turns-hero aspect into one fast-paced, action-packed, heartwarming and entertaining storyline in its own tone. Not to mention, the breathtaking visual effects garnished with popped-up 3D with such depth, the 80s pop music as backsound, and (probably) the funniest humors seen in blockbuster in ages. What I like about this movie is that it doesn't spend the entire half-time to explain whatever's going on. It focuses on the threat coming from Ronan, but the true story lies on the humanity, loyalty, impeccable bonds, and friendship the 4 Guardians have to offer.

Gunn manages to give every Guardians their own portion to shine, and it's amazing how each and every one of them actually share their moments together. Pratt delivers one cocky and heroic character with mommy issue, completed with sarcastic one-liners. Zaldana delivers a stern, determined and kick-ass green woman with daddy issue. Cooper delivers a loud and sarcastic tech-savvy CGI raccoon whose chemistry with Diesel's "I am Groot" is just touching. Bautista also has his moment on delivering tough yet vulnerable Drax.

Like any other Marvel movies, the weak link here is the villain. It's true that the purpose of the movie itself is to make the Guardians shine, but Pace with his sinistic demeanor and Gillan with her ruthless moves and endless shouthing serve their purposes.

Finally, Guardians of The Galaxy is probably the best film in 2014 and one of Marvel's greatest. Intergalactic excellency at its best, so it must be. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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