Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn, 2014)
I can usually take or leave comic book movies. Let’s face it, they’re usually not that great and they’re really just there to please the fans. I wasn’t even going to bother with Guardians of the Galaxy, but I’d heard good things! I’d heard this was different! And the trailer didn’t look too bad. But unfortunately, GOTG turned out to be highly overrated.
It had its moments. When the film started with the opening bars of seventies classic ‘I’m Not in Love’ I expected to LOVE it. And the soundtrack is, without a doubt, the best part of the film. I love me some good old retro hits and the awesomeness of this soundtrack made for some great juxtaposition with what was going on in the film. The first scene after the credits is made a billion times better by Redbone’s ‘Come and Get Your Love’ and I’m obsessed with that song now. GOTG is almost worth seeing for the soundtrack alone. In addition to the music, there are some hilarious patches of dialogue which serve to break the tension, and I did laugh multiple times. Unfortunately, the dialogue between the jokes was a mind-numbing bore.
The cast is made up of big names, but the only one who really gets to do anything is Chris Pratt. He has great comic timing and was perfectly cast in a leading role which could have been pretty meh otherwise. Zoe Saldana dons the green for a role which is infinitely more boring than that of Elphaba – I was so excited for like three seconds but she kept the same old vague expression for the whole movie. DO SOMETHING GOOD ZOE! Like another dance movie, instead of looking sombre and pretending you don’t dance. Honestly, the blatant grab by almost all the actors in this for a good pay check was obvious. Vin Diesel stars as a TREE and he has ONE line that he says over and over again. It was meant to be funny but it got old quick and I just wondered why he bothered with such a role. It took me about half the movie to figure out that Lee Pace was playing Ronan, and not in that Oh-wow-he-was-just-so-unrecognisable-in-an-impressive-kind-of way, but just in a hmmm-anyone-could-have-played-this-part-because-his-voice-is-augmented-and-they-barely-even-show-his-face kind of way. And then Bradley Cooper voices a raccoon. He did a good job but casting Bradley Cooper in a film where he isn’t even seen is just a tragedy and a disgrace. John C. Reilly and Glenn Close are such talented actors but they also do next to nothing here. At least Glenn Close was honest about doing it for the money.
There is pretty much no backstory (they just assume you know it) and the plot is paper thin. Those who think that this film is breaking any kind of new ground are kidding themselves. I think some viewers are too awe-struck by the music to realise that if you took it away, this movie would be left as a below par comic book movie. For so much of this I was just BORED. Bored by the action scenes, and bored by the drabbest looking battleship I’ve ever seen. Seriously Ronan, it’s time to get a decorator in. Obviously I’m not the target audience for this film, and the comic book fans will probably love it. If you’re not usually a fan, don’t buy into the hype. Unless you’re easily swayed by a good 70s tune.