Whoever believed that a smart-mouthed space cowboy could dominate the summer box office?
The idea of a film, such as Guardians of the Galaxy, was a tad ludicrous. Based upon a space-traveling team, taken from Marvel’s comic book world, the film centers on a band of misfits that come together and save the universe, respectably. Not only that, but two of the members of the team include a trigger-happy, anthropomorphic talking raccoon, and an enormous animate tree whose vocabulary is limited exclusively to three words.
Such an idea was risky. Those skeptical of the film thought it was too zany of an idea to be attempted. But the heads at Marvel Entertainment decided to go with it, giving it a production team and release date, perhaps thinking that it would turn out to be something special. (And so they could bring in the bacon, of course.)
And thank God that they did, because what a surprise.
The film begins with hunky-dory actor Chris Pratt in the role of Peter Quill, lip-syncing to RedBone’s “Come and Get Your Love.” After stealing a mysterious orb in the vast outreaches of outer space, Quill, alias Star Lord, from Earth, is now the target of a manhunt led by the villain known as Ronan the Accuser. To help fight Ronan and his team and save the galaxy from his power, Quill recruits a team of space heroes known as the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ to save the world.
As absurd as the movie sounds, believe the hype about it. After a long summer of endless commercial flops, Guardians of the Galaxy opened in theaters August 1st, 2014, with a smashing ninety-four million dollars in total gross as the weekend drew to a close. While some high-budget action films are financially successful, many are critical failures. (As is the case with the Transformers live-action film franchise. )
However, Guardians of the Galaxy, while performing well at the box office, was almost universally praised by critics and audiences alike. The combination of a delightful script, a refreshingly original plot, and smart casting choices, as well as superb directing on James Gunn’s part, paved the way for Guardians of the Galaxy to be a huge success.
The acting, as well as the script, seemed to carry the film. Chris Pratt, above all, in his deliciously charismatic role as the rebellious Star-Lord, was an ideal link in the cast, carrying the film with merely his presence, as well as delivering snappy, sarcastic dialogue loaded with wit and idiosyncratic humor. When he’s not ad-libbing to the choicest classic hits or fighting with the rest of his band of team members on his ship, the Milano, we see that he’s really a misunderstood man with his heart in the right place. He’s a man of many layers: clever, devious, eccentric, and witty.
That being said, Pratt brings to Guardians of the Galaxy what Robert Downey Jr. brought to Iron Man as Tony Stark: charisma, originality, and a memorable performance.
And while Guardians of the Galaxy might not be the most orthodox film ever made, it is surely one of the most original. Therefore, I recommend that film-goers catch it before it goes out of theaters; and, if they can’t, spend their money not only to rent it, but to buy it. It’s an eye-popping, rip-roaring ride, completely worth your while, with ideal performances, incredible CGI, loaded with humor and bursting with an awesome mix of music.