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Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Poster for Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

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Step aside, Iron Man. There's a new cocky yet charming superhero in town and his name is Star Lord. The new hero bands together with a group of misfit criminals to form the Guardians of the Galaxy. They may be scientifically-altered, trouble-making theives, but you cannot help but to fall in love with every single one of these not-so-legendary outlaws.

Guardians of the Galaxy is an awesome addition to the Marvel franchise, with a great cast, an epic soundtrack, and writing that makes you wish 2017 wasn't as far away.

Firstly, let's mention Chris Pratt. Pratt has been the goofy friend in movies like The Five Year Engagement and currently portrays the dumb yet lovable Andy Dwyer on NBC's "Parks and Recreation". If you enjoy him in his previous body of work, then you'll love him in this. Not only is he in killer shape for this role, but he is finally getting his chance to be a leading man. Previously Pratt has only been the big character in this year's animated The Lego Movie. Peter "Star Lord" Quill is a sleazy human, a boy kidnapped at a young age who now makes his money stealing things for clients and sleeping with women whose names he rarely ever remembers. However, there is also something so charming about Quill that you adore him. You want him to succeed because, although he is flawed, somewhere inside of him is an honest, kind person. Quill's character carries the film and Pratt is definitely going to be a major name in your household because of it.

The other guardians are just as slimy, being imprisoned for theft, murder, and other various crimes. They too, however, are downright lovable. That is mostly due to the quips that are written for them to say. There are many fast-paced jokes in this film, but most make you smile instead of downright laugh. That is due in part to the almost forced nature of the comedy. The writers seem to be trying to make this new Marvel film have the same writing style as the Amazing Spiderman movies, which poke fun at themselves. In this movie, Drax takes everything literally and therefore never understands sarcasm or metaphor. His reactions to such things, along with Quill's dialogue, are the smartest pieces of writing in the movie. Some of the humor comes off great, but some just feels as if they were too focused with making the script light-hearted.

A great thing this film has going for it is the soundtrack which, unlike other movies where the music just adds to the emotion in the scenes, plays a huge part in character development. All of the songs in this film are from the mix tape Peter's mom made him when he was a young boy, and several of them are heard through the walkman he still carries around with him as an adult. The music is incredibly important to him, and to his story, and therefore every song choice is important. Without the tie-in to the character, each track is still a great choice for the action scenes in this movie. The fact that they are majorly important to character background just makes them that much better.

One problem with the film besides the over-abundance of jokes is the scenes that include Ronan. While all of the main characters have weird colored skin or are mutated in some way, somehow it feels like Ronan and his world are separate and do not belong. This science-fiction scenery takes you out of the rest of the story and throws you back into the kind of graphics featured in the Green Lantern movie. The villain is obviously very important to the story, but for some reason scenes between him, Nebula, and Thanos just seemed incredibly out of place.

Guardians of the Galaxy deserves the sequel that will release in 2017. All of the characters have something to bring to the audience, even with their flaws. Whether you are rooting for the human who doesn't know his place, the raccoon who doesn't know other raccoons exist, or a tree that only speaks in the same three word sentence, all of the guardians make you smile, cry, and desperately want to see more of them in action. The movie features an awesome soundtrack and some great writing. The graphic flaws and some of the jokes are easily forgotten.