Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – A Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) is now in theaters, and maybe it is one of the most anticipated 2014 movies. The film tells the story about a group of eclectic underdogs that got together by chance, and try to save the galaxy of Ronan the Accuser, a fanatic zealot obsessed with the punishment of the people of Xandar, working to the orders of Thanos, a demi-god-like creature in search for the so called “Infinity Stones”.

Really, Awesome Hits!

Peter Quill, a somewhat regular kid is abducted by an alien ship after losing her mother to cancer in 1988. Twenty-six years later, the now adult Peter Quill “aka” Star-Lord, interpreted by Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation, The Lego Movie), finds himself fleeing from the bad guys after stealing a little sphere with something weird inside. He just takes it away from the bad guys, and wanders around the galaxy trying to sell it to the highest bidder. In his run, Gamora, with the performance of Zoe Saldana (Star Trek, Avatar), is sent to get the sphere and give it to Ronan the Accuser, interpreted by Lee Pace (Lincoln, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey). At the same time Rocket and Groot, voiced by Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, Silver Linings Playbook) and Vin Diesel (Pitch Black, The Fast and the Furious) respectively, are following Quill in order to capture him and bring him to Yondu Udonta, portrayed by Michael Rooker (JFK, Cliffhanger), a bounty hunter that felt betrayed by Quill that now wants him back badly. Yondu is not going either to let that stolen orb to go away easily. After they were arrested for public disturbance by the Nova Corps officer Rhomann Dey, played by John C. Reilly (Step Brothers, The Dictator), they are thrown into jail, where they met Drax the Destroyer, interpreted by Dave “Batista” Bautista (The Man with the Iron Fists, Riddick), who have sworn revenge against Thanos and all his minions.

I know, it sounds like a weird movie, and if you aren't a hardcore comic fan, you are probably even more confused by now. Even many people addicted to movies based on super heroes stories were puzzled due to the storyline and characters. However, this movie isn't that weird as it seems, it is pretty good, and I will tell you why.

Although the opening is pretty gruesome for a light movie like this, the film is actually very funny. It really goes from hilarious to hysterical. From the script to the main characters; the “Awesome Hits” that Star-Lord plays on his nostalgic Walkman from the 80s, and the professional direction of this movie; serve to the purpose of telling the story about how the Guardians of the Galaxy got together. This is a different humor that the one you saw in The Avengers (2012) that at the moment was deemed as a very intelligent satire. This movie has lots of cultural references to the 1980s, and it is a mix between cringe and comedy based on stereotypes. However, this movie isn't dumb at all, it is a flick as sharp and clever as The Avengers was. The great comedy source comes from the well defined characters, and the acting skills of their respective performers, as an explosive recipe that gives life to a movie full of color and flavor. So we have Star-Lord's characterization of a childish super hero. Rocket, a genetically engineered Raccoon with a Macho attitude and a drinking problem. We have additionally Groot, a plant like being that only can say a phrase over and over again, and Drax, the brute hefty warrior with a metaphor's trouble, and so on. Maybe this is not a comedy masterpiece, but it will definitely become a classic.

Comicon 2013 Panel. The cast of Guardians of the Galaxy looking awesome. Picture by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 3.0 1)

Disney's great move

On the other hand, this is a movie with a big ensemble. This is similar to X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), and the Avengers (2012) in that sense. So, as in those movies, the story isn't centered in a solely character, or even a group of characters, but in the plot itself, all of the heroes contributing together to solve a given problem, and when such films are done right, it is great. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) is outstanding following that tradition, and sticks very well to the source material. Of course, it's not always 100% truthful, but it accomplishes very well its task to tell the story.

The special effects are unbelievably incredible. They are the cream of the crop, indeed. Not only you can believe that those ships would work like they were designed, but also you can believe that a planet like Xandar is real. The surrounding views, the way the city looks, the Knowhere place in a hidden spot in the cosmos: All of them made with love, and paying attention to the details.

This makes me think that after all my previous distrust about the Disney deals that ended acquiring Marvel studios and Lucasfilm, was a baseless fear. Hey, I still don't like much J.J. Abrams for Star Wars, but what the heck! This kind of technical display and respectful treatment for the source material is the kind of good signal we needed all this time to finally understand that the next Star Wars sequels are going to be awesome! After watching Guardians of the Galaxy, I will buy my ticket without hesitation for the next Star Wars movie.

At this point, I haven't talked much about the actors, however they deserve good credit for what they did. Maybe, Zoe Saldana this time is not a fearsome girlfriend, or a screaming alien in a far away moon, but she gets along well with the rest of the cast and she helps to give the dramatic tone to farcical situations that otherwise would have gone wrong. Another great actor is Karen Gillan (Dr. Who, Oculus) as Nebula, a bloodthirsty enemy with an unscrupulous behavior. The only bad thing about it is, because of the large cast her part is not that large like in other movies as we are used to. However, even bald and with all that cyborg-like make up, she looks gorgeous like always. Other actors involved in this film are Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction, Mars Attacks!) as Nova Prime, Benicio del Toro (Traffic, Sin City) as The Collector, and Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, OldBoy) that goes uncredited on screen as Thanos.

James Gunn's direction (Slither, James Gunn's PG Porn) is incredible, and additionally he co-wrote the screenplay along with Nicole Perlman. This can give you an idea about why this film was so successful.

Director James Gunn at the premiere. Picture by Mingle Media TV CC BY 2.0 2)

In Conclusion

This is a movie you can't miss, and this is the kind of movie that you have to watch on theaters. You can watch it 2D or 3D, that depends on your personal taste, but this movie is better to be watched on the silver screen than on TVs. Please, trust me on this one.

The amount of references and homage to the 80s are astounding, and I couldn't find all of them. If you are sensitive about death, or you had a lost recently, probably this movie is not going to amuse you much. However, it is a very laid-back film with a good portion of comedy, and nice super hero action as only Marvel can provide.

By the way, don't leave the theater until you see the final credit scene. You are not gonna believe who reappears on the big screen after all these years at the end.



Skidmore, Gage (July 20th 2013). The cast of Guardians of the Galaxy at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International in San Diego, California. [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], undefined. Picture Available On-line in
Mingle Media TV (July 21th 2014). James Gunn at the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere in July 2014. (Uploaded and Cropped by Lady Lotus) [CC BY 2.0 (], undefined. Picture Available On-line in

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