Many entertainment media publications have a rating system for films, whether it be stars, a number scale or even a trophy system. I have no need for any of that.
A film is good for me under one condition: it passes the “Pee Test.” This is where I buy the largest soda available, down it during the previews and see if the film is good enough to stay in my seat and finish the film, even though my bladder is about to burst. It’s almost needless to say that Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” passed this test with flying colors.
Disney and Marvel Studios took a huge risk with this film, as all of the characters are relatively unknown compared to their heavy hitters such as Iron Man, Thor and the rest of the Avengers. But I was relieved as soon as one of the protagonists, portrayed by the comically talented Chris Pratt, began dancing and lip syncing to catchy 1970s tunes through a Walkman as he explored alien ruins.
All of the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy gave believable and hilarious performances.
It’s amazing when clever writing can create chemistry between characters, and it’s even better when the actors bring life and passion to push the narrative that much further.
The most notable performance by the main cast was Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of the computer generated Rocket Raccoon. He steals every scene that he’s in, even when he has but a few lines of dialogue. His performance was on par with Andy Serkis’ Gollum from the “Lord of the Rings” saga, and that’s not an exaggeration. Many of the film’s laughs came from his hilarious delivery of lines and his extremely unique voiceprint.
Guardians is as much a comedy as it is a comic book film or science fiction, and it even manages to be quite dramatic without it feeling out of place or forced. But most of this film will be spent laughing at the dialogue between said guardians. There will even be a moment or two that may push a tear from your eye, specifically from exposition of the characters’ backstories.
This film is not without issues, mainly the villain. Sure, the villain serves to allude to a much bigger story which will unfold in “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” or even “Avengers 3,” but there wasn’t much depth to him. He was almost exactly like the cookie-cutter villain from “Thor: the Dark World.” He was no Loki, Darth Vader or Khan, but he did admittedly serve his exact purpose for this film which was to oppose the misfit heroes.
In the end, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is smart, funnier than most of the big budget comedies released this year, and manages to top the Avengers in terms of scope and special effects. It arguably matches it in story-telling. Fans of “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” can stop pointing their phasers and light sabers at one another and sit down to enjoy this film along with dedicated comic book nerds and average movie-goers.