Sunday, August 3, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

Movie Name: Guardians of the Galaxy
Year of Release: 2014
Director: James Gunn
Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Lee Pace, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Haddock, Sean Gunn, Djimon Hounsou
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Director James Gunn made a splash with the irreverent horror film "Slither" in 2006, which was followed by the independent "Super" in 2010. His new Marvel Studios feature, "Guardians of the Galaxy" is a definite jump forward - mostly in terms of budget and visual artistry. The film follows the story of Peter Quill, a young boy who is kidnapped from Earth in 1988, only to become a space mercenary in his adulthood. By force of circumstances, he's teamed with a group of individuals, all of which possess unique capabilities, in order to stop a menace under the name of Ronan, from destroying the entire universe.
Marvel Studios has become for the better and for the worse, a studio churning out new films at a regular pace. Like every production facility, it anchors the stories on hooks (and formulas) that keep their audiences engaged and traditionally instantly perceptive of where the heroes and their foes lie. The directors that have been hired to handle their properties, are for the most part, professionals with little or no experience in big budget films, which also means that their quest for a more personal and artistic vision is also severely kept in check. "Guardians of the Galaxy", for all of it's irreverence, and different cast of characters, also feels very formulaic and similar to what Marvel has already presented with "The Avengers", or even "Thor". Stories where these odd alien creatures of enormous power, are defeated by the resourceful hero (heroes), who team up to battle these towering foes. That being said, "Guardians of the Galaxy" manages to have a good balance of humor, while allowing the characters to interact, without being submerged in action set pieces where the special effects overtake everything. It's a film where the visual effects and production design are stunning, and where the actors, in particular Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper, have fun with their characters, bringing some energy and humor to an otherwise cliche ridden screenplay. A film worth watching.