The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been one of the greatest cinematic achievements in recent memory. You can complain all you want about each film following a similar formula (and yes there is a lot of truth to that), but that does not get in the way of the immense ambition that Kevin Feige has shown in assembling all of these films together. With the series’ tenth installment, Guardians of the Galaxy, we have Marvel’s riskiest film yet. With characters that are barely third tier comic book characters and a quirky style that could easily go wrong, there was a lot going against Guardians of the Galaxy, but James Gunn and company have delivered one of the best blockbusters of the past few years.
Guardians of the Galaxy follows Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), the self-proclaimed Star-Lord, as he discovers a sphere of immense power. Soon he has an assassin (Zoe Saldana), two bounty hunters (voiced by Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper) and a vengeful warrior (Dave Bautista) on his trail as well as a genocidal maniac (Lee Pace) hell bent on destroying the capital of the free world. Quill soon realizes he must organize his band of misfits to save the galaxy. The film is directed by James Gunn (a director of some odd independent films) and is written by Gunn and Nicole Perlman.
Guardians starts off in somewhat depressing fashion, but after the first scene the film is non-stop fun. There are moments of sadness throughout, but just as soon as it looks like it’s getting too dark, James Gunn sprinkles his quirky style of fun into the film. It’s this sense of non-stop fun that makes this film such a standout. The plot is standard for a Marvel film and the characters are all archetypes we have met before, but with the characters being as wacky and fun loving as these ones are it is hard not to smile. Outside of a few adult jokes and the occasional profanity this is a perfect kids film, and if you are not a kid, it will have you feeling like a kid again.
A special shout-out has to be given to the writing for the characters of Rocket and Groot and to the voice performances from Bradley Cooper and (especially) Vin Diesel. Despite being the two characters that could have gone horribly wrong, they end up as the breakout stars of the film.
Guardians of the Galaxy is the way that summer blockbuster filmmaking is supposed to be.