Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

guardians_of_the_galaxyGuardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios, 2014.

Director: James Gunn.

Runtime: 121 minutes.

Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper.

IMDb. Facebook. Official Site.

IMDb rating: 8.6/10.

My rating: 7/10.

 

 

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I’m a fan of Marvel movies. And other sci-fi (I think the Star Trek movies might just be my favourites). I’ve watched both Thor movies, X-MenThe AvengersCaptain America, Iron Man (though this one isn’t a favourite) and so on. But I’ve never read the comics, so I never know what true fans think about these adaptations. For me, they are an excellent opportunity to see some kick-ass action, gorgeous heroes, bantery humor and cool storylines. I always watch them with my husband, who enjoys all of the above, but prefers Natalie Portman to Chris Hemsworth. So they’re movies made for the both of us, which is cool. :)

I really liked Guardians of the Galaxy. I liked the characters, the smart dialogue, and the soundtrack – the soundtrack was really great, people! I liked that the movie didn’t take itself too seriously, because serious sci-fi is really hard to get right.

I loved Rocket, the genetically engineered racoon whom Bradly Cooper brought to life in such an awesome fashion. I think the last Bradley Cooper movie I saw was American Hustle, so I kept seeing his terrible, terrible hairdo, but I’m really happy with what he did with the racoon. Groot the tree was cool as well, though he didn’t require that much innovation when it came to his lines (I am Groot.). He reminded me a bit of Hodor from The Game of Thrones, truth be told, and I’m never sure if these similarities are accidental, a nod to the previously existing bit of culture, or plagiarism. Anyway, I thought the tiny dancing Groot was really cute!

Chris Pratt was just handsome enough to pull off Peter Quill’s cocky attitude. I haven’t really seen him in other movies before, so I can’t compare this performance to others, but I liked him well enough. As I’ve said, the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, so Quill isn’t some gorgeous heart-throb (he’s more of a Captain Kirk from Star Trek than a Thor, I’d say), but I think found the walkman-listening scene with Gamora to be one of the best in the movie.

And then we come to Gamora. Gamora, played by a green-skinned Zoe Saldana, is a genetically mutated assassin. And she’s kick-ass, she really is, perfectly trained and everything. She’s got a tragic past and all, but I still felt she was rather too… bland. While she smacked around the bad guys, she never took the initiative but mostly followed other people’s (other men’s) orders and ideas. As one of the five main characters in the movie – and the only female – she really could have been more fleshed-out and self-sufficient. I always have a problem with this, I can’t help it.

From the movies I’ve listed only X-Men come close to anything remotely similar to gender equality, I’m sad to say. I always feel like I’m repeating myself when I start going on about “hot females who look like they’re independent and are dangerous and all but are only there to serve as props most of the time”. Think of Uhura (also played by Saldana) in Star Trek, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in The Avengers, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in Thor, Mikaela (Megan Fox) in Transformers, Lois Lane (Amy Adams) in Superman and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) in The Amazing Spider-Man. I really wish for a heroine that would have her own agenda, her own sense of purpose and her very own strength, regardless of her male companions. Maybe Wonder Woman and the female Thor will change this, and maybe sci-fi will always be ruled by men. But I hope not.

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If you’d like to check out other book bloggers’ reviews of the movie, here are two I’ve encountered: Book Haven and Reviews from a Bookworm.

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Have you watched the movie? I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

Have you also read the comics? Do you like Marvel’s movies in general?

 

  • I liked this movie a lot, and I agree about not taking itself too seriously, it was just fun and that was nice. I thought Rocket Raccoon and Groot were scene stealers too… and the soundtrack IS awesome.

    I was also disappointed in Gamora, actually. In the comics (at least the ones I’ve read) she is considered very dangerous, and while she did kick some butt in the movie they didn’t make it seem like she was actually feared all that much. I thought they dropped the ball on her a bit. Otherwise it was all good. I thought Knowhere was really cool too.

    Thanks for the mention, also!

    • Kaja

      See, this is my problem: I haven’t read any comics so I never know how faithful the movies are. Comic book culture just isn’t this big in Slovenia, and I’ve never really gotten behind the graphic novel trend, either… I like these movies for their entertainment factor, but I totally get that comic book fans are sometimes disappointed.

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