Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy ★★★★½

GotG has the first semen joke of the MCU (and one that includes a reference to Jackson Pollock). For that it deserves many props. But it's so funny; really clever jokes and sight gags. I loved the cast and the film had such a good, easygoing vibe to it. But it's definitely not thrown together. The movie looks absolutely gorgeous. I love the color palette; that neon-cosmic lavenders, blues, greens and yellows (especially in Knowhere) that really set the tone for Marvel's first cinematic space opera (I mean a traditional one, not the space opera/mythological romance genre blend of Thor).

These characters are fun when they're interacting. One of my top favorite scenes is their first confrontation. Having the four loons all in one fight with three sides gives a lot of good comic momentum (like one side gets a victory and then gets taken out by the 3rd side). I loved that the filmmakers weren't afraid of knocking down Gamora a few times (she's more than capable of handling herself; no need to hold back because of gender). Their camaraderie is earned but at the same time, the level of commitment seems rushed.

Villains have always been hard for MCU to pull off (Save for Pierce, Winter Soldier and Loki). Thanos, Nebula and Ronan are decent: menacing, competent but not quite as threatening as stated in the film. They felt more like a distraction from the Guardians than anything else. The films does a good job of world-building with the galaxy but the problem with having an engaging ensemble is that you want the engaging ensemble not the plot heavy mandatory stuff.

Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper and the Rocket animators and Vin Diesel are so great in this movie. I would never known that these people--who all seem like they're from separate sects of Hollywood could form such a tight ensemble. I guess that's the whole point.

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