Guardians of the Galaxy has a special place in my heart. When the first trailer was released, my wife and I were planning our wedding and it struck a chord with both of us. It was that chord that led to our first dance being to Blue Swede’s Hooked on a Feeling and, eventually, to Guardians being the first film we watched together as husband and wife.
Besides striking a chord with my wife and me, Guardians was Marvel’s daring film to date. This is the first film that takes place mostly off the earth with even fewer of the earthbound characters that we’ve learned to love up to this point. Choosing to use a different color pallet than the other films, it also featured a soundtrack that would eventually sell over 1.75 million copies in the U.S. alone.
Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill, the only human throughout the main story of the film. As the lone human, he is the person that the audience connects with. Zoe Saldana as Gamora, the last known Zehoberei, starts out as a friend to the films main villain Ronan, who is played by Lee Pace. Other well-known names include Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, seeking to kill Ronan for the death of his family, Vin Diesel as Groot, a Flora colossus that runs around with Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper, a raccoon who was experimented on by unknown parties.
The film is very much a film about how they become a team. They end up coming across each other because of this one item that Quill picks up in the opening of the movie. Eventually, they come to an agreement to work together to sell this item and the mistakes they make and the lessons that they learn is what really ends up bringing them together.
Guardians of the Galaxy’s tone is full of humor and, when you add that with the amazing soundtrack, you get a light-hearted, space fairing romp. The soundtrack ends up keeping the film grounded to earth with classic music from The Runaways, Redbone, and others. Not only does the soundtrack keep it grounded it lets you connect better with Peter Quill. The soundtrack itself is played off within the film as a mixed tape that his mother gave him before her death.
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The humor is used often but it’s never at the cost of the story or the characters. There is one scene in particular where Quill starts singing and dancing and everyone stops and is like what? This is the kind of moment I’m talking about, it’s a comedic moment that is not out of Quill’s character to do and it helps move along the story in its context. These moments are throughout the film and always moving along either the story or character development.
This movie will always be close to me based on its personal significance in my life. But if you take that out, the opening prolog breaks my heart and the rest of the film builds on this moment to give us amazing character development. The color palate that is used gives us enough of a difference from what came before to show that while we are in the same universe we are far far away from what we already know.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a fun romp across the stars. A film that brings together a group of people that may not come from the best backgrounds and you end up caring for them. This movie is fun for everyone and though some parents might think the violence or the aliens are too much for younger kids, I do not. I recommend this film for everyone, not just science fiction fans or fans of comic book movies or the MCU.