You know that feeling you get when you leave the theater after watching a fantastic movie? The one that expresses itself through grunts of joy like the movie was so amazing that it blew away a part of your brain.
If you do not know what I am talking about, go see “The Guardians of the Galaxy.”Even if you have only a vague idea about what I am talking about, go see it now.
For those who do not know, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is the latest movie in the ever-growing Marvel cinematic universe. It presumably takes place sometime after the “The Avengers” and “Thor: The Dark World” although you do not need to have seen the previous movies to enjoy this movie.
To boil it down to one sentence: the influence of the past movies is felt through the elaboration on a few of the “end credits scenes” which were previously ambiguous. Through this movie some of the story threads that Marvel has been weaving throughout, like an overly-complicated spider web, are expanded upon in a big way that I will not spoil.
The story follows the exploits of outlaw, Peter Quill (also known as Starlord) as he meets the other members of what will be the group known as the Guardians of the Galaxy. The group is made up of outlaws Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Drax the destroyer and Groot, who is a sentient tree.
This is where the movie shows off its best feature: the ability to build complex characters out of very odd concepts, while still advancing the plot quickly and adeptly. Most characters have had more thought put into them than many current directors seem to put into their entire movies.
Fans of the comics will find a lot of little references to the original comic book universe that the casual fan will not understand. Unlike past movies that kept these “Easter eggs” in the background, they are placed in the foreground to an extreme that would normally leave people alienated from the film.
“The Guardians of the Galaxy” runs around this fault by running through its plot and poking fun at anything that tries to get in its way, much like the characters do. I actually loved that James Gunn, the director, was able to fit all of the references to the comics (that he was able to) in, because it worked to create a sense of an ever expanding universe without ruining the plot.
James Gunn is clearly a master of the medium and destined to do great things. He moves the story through emotional highs and lows as effortlessly as one might flip a page. I was on the verge of crying only moments into the movie and laughing several moments after that.
Every scene is creative and achieves what it needs to before moving on to the next well directed scene. Gunn proves with this movie that comedies and action moves can have emotional depth while still being entertaining.
As a likely result of all that Gunn was able to magically fit into one glorious movie, there were some parts that were left behind in the dust. One thing that got left somewhere on the drawing board, was the personality of Ronan the Accuser. There was a lot of potential to have him be a great, complex and menacing villain like Loki was in the “The Avengers.” Instead, he is just a two dimensional antagonist whose motivation seems to simply be, the fact that he is the main enemy. That is it. Nothing else was added but a lot was cut away from the comic book version of the same character. Even though it might not have brought down the movie as a whole, problems like these still deserve mentioning because the potential to do so much better is still there, left untapped.
I must reiterate one point, just so that you do not get the wrong idea from the previous paragraph, you need to go see “The Guardians of the Galaxy.” It is easily the best movie that has come out in the past several years. Yet, I am still not able to do the movie justice by saying that. Really, it is that good.
There are only two things you need to do now, go and watch the movie. Then, once you have done that, recommend it to your friends.