Guardians of the Galaxy follows the story of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), a human who was abducted as a boy and sent off into space with nothing, but a mix tape. After being arrest and placed into an intergalactic space prison, Peter meets Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Groot (Vin Diesel), a tree who's vocabulary consists of three words. Together they join and fight to take down the villain, Ronan (Lee Pace) who threatens to destroy the galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a lot of fun. Although I found the film a little underwhelming, there's do denying the fun to be had with it. The film plays off more as a homage to classic 80s sci-fi than as a dark, gritty, modern day superhero movie that we're used to engorging. While this makes the film stand out, and it's something new (or old), the film does throw in a little too many references that make the film over-crowded with throwbacks.
It's without-a-doubt Marvel's heightened effort with comedy. When you look through Marvel's filmography, there's plenty of humour and wit. Guardians of the Galaxy, although only on occasion showing that it was able to demonstrate mature humour, is hilarious. It's a slapstick comedy with a touch of dumb and it works. In fact, the film should be referred to as more of a comedy movie than as an action movie.
The film can get really tedious. There are many moments in this movie where it's dragging itself along, and occasionally it even struggles to do so. For the most part it's fine. It runs at a fast, energetic pace and it can stand up on its own feet. Then there's times when it starts to get a bit repetitive and caught up in the moment and where it tries to come across as a self aware comedy, but these scenes come across as amateur. Thankfully, these scenes were practically non-existent and only come in little moments.
The cast of the film are superb. All of the cast members are able to create such vibrant and distinct characters with a decent enough back story for us to care about them. Each of the five guardians are so unalike and unique, but they're also so recognisable. While the villain is decent, if not a little underdeveloped, he wasn't the villain I wanted to watch. For a great deal of the film they tease Thanos, the pink/purple bad guy we first got a glimpse of in The Avengers. After a brief, but unforgettable reveal, he doesn't have anything else to do with the film and gives off the impression that he's just a tease for yet another Marvel movie. There's an attempt to shoehorn him into the plot, but this is put aside and ignored very quickly. Not even in the post credits scene do we get to see him again, although this credits scene was hysterical.
To sum up, Guardians of the Galaxy is undeniably fun. It's a decent throwback to 80s sci-fi with a heightened comedy effort and a decent cast, although the film does get tedious, the references overcrowded and Thanos is underused.
3 1/2 Stars