Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy ★★★★

Being held up as some sort of beacon of hope for Summer blockbusters, because it's weird and not mainstream. I can't deny, Guardians of the Galaxy looked like a lot of fun, and just bonkers enough for me to fall for it.

So it kinda saddens me that I haven't fallen in love with it quite as I hoped, in fact, for the first 20 minutes my excitement began to sink a little. I enjoy James Gunn, he has a great eye for visual humour, but for the first couple of scenes it felt like he was trying too hard and hadn't quite gotten the groove or the taste of what he was making. And above that, the film begins to throw you into a story that feels unestablished, all dialogue feels a little on the nose expository, and you have little spacial awareness for where they were. If there was a film that need an extra 5 - 10 minutes to build a vibe of where the film is heading.

This aside, once the Guardians assemble and the dynamic begins to form, the film begins to take a natural shape. All the actors understand how to work off one another, which is a massive feat when you consider two of them are completely CGI, the comedy is fast paced and wiry, yet the emotional drive is never done a disservice because these characters fit so well together. Of course the main reason the characters are so great is the Rocket and Groot characters, both are the perfect follies to each other, the mysterious nature of Groot and the unadulterated nature of Rocket makes them hilarious outside the pairing, but the two together are fantastic. Most the characters have phenomenal moments shared throughout, but the biggest props has to go to Chris Pratt, who has the biggest challenge to bring all these personalities together and ground them, while not being pulled down and the go to straight guy act and he does it well.

But if anyone needs praise, despite his rocky beginnings, Gunn, once he finds his mojo, he brings to film together, always funny yet never a farce, he finds the perfect place of outlandish and real threat, he has a huge ballpark to play in and he uses what he has effectively to bring the film to it's unique place in the Blockbuster landscape.

If there is any issue the film struggles to overcome, it's that the film feels lies expansive in a place of a larger universe, and more chocked full of stuff. It's apparent in the opening moments of the film and it occasionally rears up throughout. I'd put this to the film working so tightly together (it really should fall apart with the amount of stuff going on, but yet it doesn't thankfully) but what you end up getting is a lot of pieces that feel partly developed and not really fully realised. They feel serviceable to the plot and not to a greater place in the universe, which feels like the film lacks some breathing space. Regardless I'm looking forward to what they can bring around next and how this series is going to build.

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