FILM REVIEW: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 of 2 – MINOR SPOILERS

Geek Syndicate has done a special this time with two reviews for the same film Guardians of the Galaxy. This review is based on someone who has read the comics and knows the characters well and to reflect on the transition from comic book to the big screen. So want to know if they got the team right. Were the cameos in there? Was Knowhere what you imagined? We answer these questions without going into spoiler territory. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Guardians of the Galaxy as previoulsy seen on Marvel Comics run by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Director : James Gunn

Producer : Kevin Feige

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime Rael and Benicio del Toro as The Collector

From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team—the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.

 

Let’s get two things covered right from the start here. I won’t be referring to the cartoon versions of the team here only the comics and film teams and two this film is bat dropping crazy in the best possible way.

The film starts off on Earth and shows Peter Quill having a tough time but before he can recover he is taken by a space ship far far away. It then jumps to modern day and we are introduced to an adult Peter Quill. Now when I say adult I only mean in the very loose term as this is really a rebellious teenager in a grown up body who just want to have fun. And boy does he have fun.

The story quickly unfolds from a simple smash and grab to a galaxy wide threat. However at the start it seems very rushed and slightly messy as we are introduced to characters in short rapid spurts but I guess without all of them having their own films first they had to speed up the team building so they could get on with the actual plot. I know people will want to have multi viewings of this film to see things they missed the first time round. The story has grown organically from the other Marvel films with hints of the larger Marvel plan that could be leading to Avengers 3.  We know that so far we have seen the Tesseract in Captain America and The Avengers and also the Aether in Thor The Dark World and that the Infinity Gauntlet has been seen in Odin’s treasure room so could all these be alluding to the Infinity gems. I certainly think so but I guess we will need to wait till Avengers 3 for that to come to pass or not.

The modern comics Guardians team created by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, or DnA as they are called, came together after a cosmic wide event in the Marvel Comics universe. In way the film follows a very similar path but this time it is to prevent the cosmic wide event. There are some familiar scenes with the as yet unformed team in prison but it really is the conflict and humour that is a perfect match for the comics. In fact I was really taken back by just how funny this film was. You found yourself laughing out loud a lot during this film and that is exactly what makes Guardians the crazy team you can’t help but fall in love with.

When I read the DnA comics run I never knew what to expect and with Peter Quill leading the team you knew to expect the unexpected and this film does just that. When you think one thing will happen something else happens that is not just left field but rather left galaxy.

So let’s talk about the characters then. First up is Peter Quill who has a blurred and mixed up origin story in the comics which gives him a certain air of mystery and in the film he also has a unique origin that may or may not be fully released in the film as that would be a spoiler. However that wise ass quips and the fun Han Solo type thing he has going on is spot on with the comic’s interpretation.   For me Chris Pratt has nailed this character and I cannot wait to see hi return to Earth at some point and meet Stark.

Next up is Gamora played by Zoe Saldana in the live action film. She always struck me as cold calculated in the comics with no sense of humour at all which worked well with her whole trained as a living weapon by Thanos but now on a road to redemption . However in the film while she is still on that path they have put a lot more humanity into her and while the humour worked it did not ring true to her comic counterpart. I don’t have a problem with that as it seems to fit in with the whole team’s requirement to use humour. Zoe does a decent enough job in the part and but I still feel like she is playing the same Zoe who also plays Uhura in Star Trek. However by the end of the film I see hope for a better portrayal of her in the next film.

Onto Drax The Destroyer who in the comics has had a few personalities and incarnations but this film is based very much on the DnA run but with a big change in his history and origin. The comics have him as a human who is killed and then his soul is placed into a new body of Drax the Destroyer who could go head to head with some of Marvels heaviest hitters. Here he is just a alijen who has lost his family by the hand of one of the films main villains. This acyually works better because if they had used his human origin it would not make Peter Quill stand out as much. As for the actor, Dave Bautista does a great job in fact an excellent job and you can’t help smile at everything he says. A Friend of mine says she always thinks of Bautista as playing with kittens when he is off screen and not wrestling. Well the same can be said for Drax. Trust me it works.

Groot and Rocket are pretty much pitch perfect in every way. The CGI is excellent, not perfect but just about. The voice acting is spot on but the comics to character are exactly how you imagined them to be. I could watch a whole spin off series with just these two. Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper pull off great compassion of emotion which bring a real sense of realism to the movie.

The movie Guardians of the Galaxy team

The movie Guardians of the Galaxy team

Other character’s from the comics to the film are Ronin the Accuser played by Lee Pace who brings a version that to me is not in keeping with the comics but saying that the comic Ronin has had a very fluid path these past 6 years so I can live with the version as well. Nebula played by Karen Gillian was a great role for the former Doctor Who companion and in fact I would say she was excellent in the role. As for her story compared to comics, well lets just say they borrowed from various plot threads and tied them together.

A big shout to Michael Rooker on Yondu because while there are a few similar traits he has made this character a great new take on the comics version. Is he bad? Is he good? A bit of both? Who knows but I want to see more of him.

Thanos does make a brief appearance in the film but we can’t really say too much about his as we did not get to see that much so I guess we wait till Guardians 2 or Avengers 3?

Moving onto the Xandarians and the Nova Corp. The way I see it the Nova Corp are the Green Lanterns of the Marvel universe and their Nova Centurions have special powers and abilities. The actual Corp are like an intergalactic police force which is the same in the film but we do not get to see any special powers as these are just people in uniforms but I guess that could change next time out. I do like how the film Nova Corp looks and feels but I know the fans really wanted to see Richard Rider in their somewhere and who know maybe the end scene credit shows him. I say may because at all the press screenings the did not add on the end scene credit as they are keeping back for the actual public screenings. Nice move My Gunn.

Other notable comic to screen areas are Knowhere that looks and feels very true to what you see in the comics and for those of you asking about Cosmo, the head security honcho of Knowhere, all I can say is that there may be a Russian Cosmonaut dog in the film.

So apart from the comics to film review what about the other parts of the film. Well director James Gunn has delivered what Marvel asked him to which was make a James Gunn Marvel film that is just a bit crazy. The effects are excellent and the whole plot while rushed is epic and engaging. Now the music is what is a real treat. It just works so damn well.

Overall I give this film 4.5 out of 5. What would make it 5, maybe 30 minutes longer to build plot and back stories and also NOVA!!!

 

Rating: 4.5/5

ReviewerMontoya

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One comment

  1. Darren Cook /

    Nice review looking forward to this. Pulling together the back story of an ensemble cast can be tricky and seem a bit rushed especially compared to the run in the Avengers movie had, unfortunately I suspect there is a danger it would make the movie seem too long . Anyway as i said from the trailers I’ve seen and a couple of reviews I’m really looking forward to this next week, I’m already making space in my diet for a 3 scoop Ben & Jerrys.

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