Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy ★★★★½

They got my dick message
-Peter Quill

Well fuck letterbox friends! Your boy Ron has a new favorite Marvel film and a new entry into his top 5 for 2014. The funny thing is, I originally expected Guardians of the Galaxy to suck more than your favorite porn star. My reasoning was simple, I'd heard Marvel was making a Guardians of the Galaxy film and I'd never heard of the comic. This led me to think, WOW, Marvel is going to make every damn comic under their banner into a movie. Then I saw the trailers on TV before the film was released. They featured a raccoon, a green Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, and professional wrestler Dave Bautista. This further led me to believe the film would be shit. It just looked too silly for my tastes (there's a fucking raccoon), and I didn't believe anything with "Batista" in a prominent role could possibly be good. He's never been a good talker in the WWE, and his most recent run led to fans chanting "Bootista" everytime he made an appearance. I just felt there was no way he could be good in a movie or even in a good movie. As it turns out, I was wrong, completely wrong about all of it. This is a fantastic film. Not only is Dave Bautista good in it, the entire cast is great and they displayed awesome chemistry. Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the funnest films I've ever seen period, and it's surprisingly funny. In fact it's just as funny if not funnier than any comedy I've seen this year. Combine that with the amazing special affects and action we've come to expect from these Marvel films, and what you have is a film that's a thrill ride from beginning to end.

Marvel's latest franchise to be brought to the big screen, Guardians of the Galaxy features the exploits of Peter Quill/Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). All five are on the wrong side of the law when coincidence or possibly fate brings them together in an effort to save the galaxy.

As I mentioned I originally expected this film to be shit. I say originally because once it came out in theaters it received rave reviews pretty much everywhere. Professional critics loved it as did my favorite critics, those of you here on letterboxd. That led to me going from not wanting to see it at all, to it being near the top of my must see list. I didn't get a chance to see it in theaters, but with it's release on blu-ray/dvd this past Tuesday my time to see it had finally come. I honestly couldn't have been more surprised and happy with what I saw. Everything I loved about this film caught me so off guard. I would never have expected the cast to have such great chemistry, I had no idea it would feature such clever and funny writing, and I certainly didn't expect a talking tree that only says "I am Groot, a talking raccoon, and Dave fucking Bautista to be so damn entertaining. Chris Pratt I'm typically fine with and Zoe Saldana is a decent actress and hot (even in green) so they were the least of my worries, but the truth is I didn't need to worry about any of them, they're all great.

Back when I was reading reviews here on the site, It seemed like almost everybody was talking about Groot. People were quoting "I am Groot" and many were saying they loved the character. Going in he was probably the one I was most curious about. I didn't understand why everyone was so in love with a talking tree voiced by Vin Diesel that only says "I am Groot". Well now I do, as I said everyone is great, but Groot steals the show. You'll understand the "I am Groot" part when you see it in context, but it's not just that, it's his facial expressions and actions. Groot is one exceptional fucking tree, a completely lovable bad ass motherfucking tree.

I can't believe I'm doing this, but I'm going to devote an entire paragraph to Dave Bautista. If I"m honest he's perfect as Drax. The character is a guy who takes pretty much everything literally and it leads to some of the best humor in the film. His reactions to things people say and his responses are hilarious and big Dave plays it perfectly. I was completely shocked that I found myself laughing at Dave Bautista in a good way. Director James Gunn deserves a lot of credit for casting him, and getting the performance out of him that he did. One of my favorite scenes in the film features Drax saying "lets fill our bodies with this liquid" and Rocket responding with "that's the first thing you've said that doesn't sound bat shit crazy!".
I swear I laughed so hard I almost shit my pants.

I felt the need to talk about Drax and Groot first because they are the most surprisingly likable characters in the film, but like I said everyone is great. They are all sort of accidental heroes, but Chris Pratt's Peter Quill may be the most accidental. He's a half human half alien that spends his days finding and stealing things for profit. He calls himself Star Lord, a name that doesn't really ring a bell with most people he encounters. He's a bit of a smartass who listens to music on a Sony Walkman from the 80's. His sarcastic comments and random references that no one gets but him make for a fantastic character. That's why I praised the clever writing. The dialogue between the main five characters and everyone else is top notch.

It may seem like I'm leaving out Gamara and Rocket, but I did mention them and I don't want to give too much away about all of the characters. Just trust me when I say they're just as good as the others. I do want to mention a side character, Yondu Udonta played by Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Character). He's an acquaintance of Peter's, and while he's a side character he has one of the most memorable scenes in the film that involves the very strange weapon he carries. You'll know it when you see it, and believe me, it's really fucking cool!

I could probably write several more paragraphs about this film and it's characters, but I think I'll wrap things up. In closing I just want to say that I'm sooooo FUCKING happy I was wrong about it. I absolutely loved it and I now rank it ahead of The Avengers as the best of Marvel's canon. James Gunn did a fantasic job so I sincerely hope he's signed on or signs on for the sequel. I simply can't wait to spend time with these characters again.

Ron's recommendation: "We are all Groot". In other words, MUST FUCKING SEE!

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