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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

When the infamous Starlord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) accidentally stumbles upon a power orb containing an Infinity Stone, he finds himself in a galaxy of trouble. As he comes to realize what he is in possession of, he is forced to team up with a number or morons–Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), and Drax (Dave Bautista)–in order to fend off the vicious Ronan (Lee Pace) and a series of other baddies. As the newly formed Guardians of the Galaxy do whatever they can to bring peace and order to a galaxy threatening to fall apart, their new relationships, their resolve, and their abilities to adapt and overcome will be tested like never before.

Guardians of the Galaxy was Marvel’s riskiest move at the time of its release. The film consists of a series of misfits who are relatively unknown in the grand scheme of things, particularly in comparison to gargantuan figures such as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans). As this film made its way out into the world, viewers instantly fell in love with all that this film has to offer. In addition to introducing a bunch of new characters, Guardians of the Galaxy takes a very different approach toward the superhero genre and uses comedy as the primary device to attract viewers and guide the story.

What place do superheroes have in a fully comedic setting? Well, clearly writer-director James Gunn had a vision and believed that these characters would thrive in a setting like this. Pratt and Cooper have a history of taking part in successful comedies such as Parks and Recreation and The Hangover respectively and easily fall into place as Guardians of the Galaxy plays out. Regardless of the fact that these two talented individuals have been in similar situations it is still interesting to see super beings in what should be primarily categorized as a comedy. It seems that nearly every line plays out like a joke; a series of one-liners, witty banter, and comedic burns fill Guardians of the Galaxy. Gunn is unrelenting in his approach toward jocularity and entertaining his viewers.

Marvel used Guardians of the Galaxy to explore all of the possibilities for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The misfit beings and the massive comedic presence didn’t seem to be enough for Kevin Feige and the rest of the team at Marvel, and they somehow found another way to separate Guardians of the Galaxy from the pack of already successful superhero films. Music was apparently the missing piece, the piece that would guarantee the film success. There wasn’t just orchestral music or background noise taking place to supplement the intriguing action and beautiful acting, the music existed to lead nearly everything occurring throughout the film. Songs like “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Suede, “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone, and “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways are, in many ways, the driving force behind Guardians of the Galaxy. The soundtrack, constructed by Gunn and Tyler Bates, invites viewers deep into the story of Peter Quill and his ruthless friends and is reluctant to let them go until the film’s final credits finish rolling.

In a film guided by comedy, asinine individuals, and a powerful, energetic soundtrack, genuine emotion is something that might escape the script and cause the film not to resonate with viewers as the cast and crew had hoped. There is a lot going on throughout Guardians of the Galaxy and some aspects are sure to get lost in translation, but I can say with complete honesty that this screenplay feels flawless. The beautiful juxtaposition of comedy and emotion, along with upbeat, powerful music, and superb acting drives Guardians of the Galaxy forward and refuses to accept anything less than perfection. Marvel finds new ways to impress viewers throughout Guardians of the Galaxy, and through the vision of Gunn and his cohort the MCU has thrived on various occasions.

Directed by James Gunn.

Written by James Gunn, Nicole Perlman, etc.

Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dav Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Haddock, Sean Gunn, Peter Serafinowicz, etc.




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