Well, that was a surprise wasn’t it? Who’d have thought a band of misfit criminals could have brought in that much money at the box office? The world was expecting Marvel to fail with Guardians of the Galaxy; the names of the characters pale in comparison to the bigger superhero heavyweights and yet the purveyor of all things comic book was launching this movie at the height of the summer season. Damn, they’ve got a solid brass pair.
Worse still was the fact that it was following on the heels of the brilliant Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the equally exquisite X-Men: Days of Future Past (and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 I guess, but whatever). This was the biggest risk Marvel could take, but it paid off.
Anchored by a career-defining performance from Chris Pratt as the loveable, epic and hilarious Star Lord, this movie takes us back to a time where films remembered to be fun. It’s an adventure, and it’s one that’s done just right. But more than that, there’s humour and emotion struck in just the right balance. I admit I’m a tough nut to crack but Guardians had me chuckling on more than one occasion, and then genuinely upset at least twice. It’s a fantastic mix of everything that makes action-adventure pictures great; it’s the love child of Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Serenity peppered with Marvel goodies and the excellent direction of ex-indie genius James Gunn. And who in their right mind could say they wouldn’t want to cuddle that baby?
Speaking of dance, despite so much being great I truly believe this film will be remembered most for its soundtrack. Star Lord’s treasured walkman contains within it a feast of disco classics from the Jackson 5 right through to Blue Swede. If this collection of tunes doesn’t put a smile on your face then I don’t know what will, and despite being literal light years away from what’s happening on screen these songs somehow fit seamlessly.
In short, Guardians has many strings to its bow and they all pluck wonderfully. It’s unlike anything Marvel has done before but the worries were unfounded, it’s been a huge success and, predictably, a sequel is on the way. It’s right up there vying for the coveted ‘best comic book movie ever’ title, fighting not just with its Marvel brethren but the stags from DC herd as well.
Raise your hand if you can’t wait for Phase 3. That’s a lot of hands.