Marvel’s latest superhero blockbuster, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” landed in theaters yesterday, August 1, 2014 and it was absolutely out of this world. Well, maybe it wasn’t quite out of this world, but it was excellent and I really wanted to use a space pun.
This biggest superhero release of the summer features an unusual gang of misfits who have to join forces to save the galaxy. The group, led by Chris Pratt from the popular “Parks and Recreation,” also features a talking raccoon, some type of human/tree hybrid that can only say, “I am Groot,” a green skinned genetically engineered warrior, and an extremely strong menace who fails to understand metaphors and expressions.
By capitalizing on the skills of each of the unique characters, director James Gunn is able to create exciting and unusual action scenes that are sure to keep moviegoers interesting. On the other hand, Gunn recognizes that audiences don’t want to watch nearly two and a half hours of space combat, so he keeps the script light and amusing to keep the audience engaged.
The cast works extremely well together and the dialogue perfectly balances the lengthy action sequences. Careful screenwriting and excellent chemistry produce a number of laugh-out-loud funny scenes that let the film feel more like a comedy/action movie than a traditional science fiction film. (However, parents may want to note that many of the funnier scenes have clear sexual undertones that aren’t as subtle as audiences would expect from a movie featuring a talking raccoon and an expressive magical tree.)
Through the use of consistently hilarious dialogue and strong character interactions, “Guardians of the Galaxy” balances the action and the comedy well, and it ensures that the absurdity of the plot doesn’t feel entirely foreign and distant. Furthermore, the film expertly uses music to establish the tone of each scene through the use of amusing 1980s pop songs and dramatic instrumental tracks, the film is careful to differentiate between the heavier and lighter scenes.
Overall, “Guardians of the Galaxy” was an amusing, refreshing and unusual superhero film that clearly distinguished itself from the onslaught of traditional hero movies that have dominated the box office for the past few years. The film may not appeal to everyone, but those interested in superhero movies or those who are willing to suspend belief for a few hours to enjoy some mindless entertainment should definitely head to theaters this weekend.