Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy ★★★★

What's with me and being able to see films early(ish) on holidays? Props to Ireland for getting this two weeks earlier than my country. Poor Italy on the other hand apparently has to wait until October. October! Geez.

Guardians of the Galaxy was one of my most anticipated films of 2014. I was a fan of James Gunn's earlier superhero film Super, I loved the trailers and the reviews were mostly very positive. I was confident it would deliver, and man did it deliver.

There's not a whole lot I can talk about without spoiling some things, but I don't plan on writing an extensive review anyway. The main characters are all likeable in their own way and none of them overshadow the others. Aside from maybe Peter Quill, they each have a simple but effective backstory, and while they don't get a whole lot of development, I didn't think that was really necessary with this story. The soundtrack is amazing, also because it's actually a fairly integral part of the story, which is something pretty unique. Many people have said that it's the most self-aware and funniest Marvel film - and it really is consistently very funny - but it's also by far the best looking Marvel film to date. Great CGI, bright colors, lots of wide-angle landscape / space shots; it's honestly a gorgeous piece of filmmaking, and seeing it in 3D (which was amazing) on the biggest screen possible will most likely make your jaw drop a couple of times.

As for negatives, I have a few. Marvel hasn't given us a lot of great and memorable villains aside from (maybe) Loki, and the villains in Guardians are unfortunately pretty weak as well. They don't have strong motivations for what they're doing nor do they feel all that imposing. There's also not much of an interesting or strong hero-villain dynamic here; there's a small link between the villains and Gamora, but there's not a lot of screentime devoted to that link. And like many action films released today, the action climax is unnecessarily long; even the "aftermath" takes its sweet time to wrap things up. Not a big complaint, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

In the end, Guardians of the Galaxy is a pretty awesome time. The film might not be the next epic space opera since Star Wars nor does it try to do anything new or innovative with the superhero / sci-fi genre except blending it with a lot of offbeat humor, but it still manages to feel rather refreshing and it is solid escapism entertainment.

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