Ryan Easby

The Road To Endgame – Part 10: Guardians Of The Galaxy

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You know, I remember the initial buzz around Guardians Of The Galaxy.

I was fourteen years old, a mere youth. I’d been introduced properly to the Marvel Cinematic Universe two years earlier. Sure, I very vaguely remember watching Iron Man 2 in the cinema with my aunt, and I’d seen every film leading up to The Avengers by the time it was released, but it was The Avengers itself that got me hooked and made me the fan I am today.

In the entirety of phase one, and indeed phase two up until this film, Marvel had only dealt with characters that were reasonably well-known. While Iron Man wasn’t massively known until the release of his film, he was still known.

But nobody in 2014 had any idea whatsoever who on Earth the Guardians Of The Galaxy were.

They seemed to be a team, just like The Avengers, but comprised purely of characters that nobody had ever heard of. The big question on people’s lips at the time was, would this be Marvel’s first flop? I feel the fact I’m here talking about the films should give away the fact that it certainly was far from a flop.

Nobody also expected James Gunn, the writer of such cinematic classics as Scooby Doo, and Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, to make a film of this calibre.

The man who gave us the body swap scene in Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed also gave us this heartfelt love letter to the concept of the superhero itself.  Guardians Of The Galaxy just feels so vibrant, so full of energy, from the visuals to the soundtrack to the story.

Guardians Of The Galaxy has a concept you’ve probably heard and seen a million times before: it’s about a ragtag bunch of criminals having to work together for a greater cause. But it’s not in the concept, but in the execution that Guardians Of The Galaxy excels. You see, this is very much a cosmic addition the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it doesn’t shy away from this fact. Gunn creates a veritable galaxy for us to feast our eyes on, filled with gorgeous imagery and new worlds for us to discover.

Normally I don’t really discuss the soundtracks of the Marvel films but that’s because, so far in our look back, none of them have had particularly notable soundtracks. Sure, Iron Man had AC/DC, but that’s really it.

Guardians Of The Galaxy is the point where that changes however, and I feel like I should make special mention of the soundtrack. Opening the film to ‘Come And Get Your Love’ by Redbone just instantly got me on board with the film, and when they started playing Blue Swede’s ‘Hooked On A Feeling’ I was instantly in love with the style Gunn has made his own. With a smorgasbord of classic tunes from bygone eras, you really get an feeling for the period of time this film is trying to evoke.

The cast is mwah spectacular. Chris Pratt is so wonderful as Star-Lord, you really get a sense of the emotional depth that Gunn has written for this character: the family issues, the inability to grieve. I’m not a fan of many of Pratt’s other roles, other than the role of Andy Dwyer from Parks And Recreation, but here he shines like a diamond.

Zoe Saldana is great as Gamora, a distant figure for most of the film until the crew become less of a team, less of a rag-tag bunch of people, and more of a family. Batista stars as Drax The Destroyer, a role that’s sure to typecast him for the rest of his career (he’s that good) and Bradley Cooper voices Rocket The Raccoon. He’s a genetically augmented raccoon that is best friends with Groot, as played by Vin Diesel.

On a side note, how ballsy was it of Marvel and James Gunn to get an act as well known as Diesel in and only make him record 4 words for the entire film?

Guardians Of The Galaxy is a marked departure from the usual setting of the MCU, which is why it feels so fresh and new. If you were binging the films in order, I frankly wouldn’t blame you if you’d gotten a bit bored by now. This film should reinvigorate your love for the franchise though, make you laugh out loud several times and finish the film with a huge grin on your face.

It’s not a perfect film, but it is the most different film so far, the one that tries something new and gets away with it. Gunn is a visionary director and it really shows in this film. This is fun for the whole family, and one you should definitely include in your Marvel Cinematic Universe catch-up.

After all, they’re the Guardians Of The Freaking Galaxy, y’all.

8/10