By Sorraya Brashear-Evans
Although I’m an avid comic book reader, I, too, shared the common concern we all felt when hearing the news that Marvel had given “Guardians of the Galaxy” the green light. After the success of “The Avengers,” it seemed like Marvel could do no wrong. While both comic book and Comic-Con fans were all rooting for the success of the latest Marvel universe installment, the truth is, we were also crossing our fingers and wondering if this would be the film to bring Marvel’s success train to a screeching halt.
I didn’t think it was possible, but it seems like Marvel took its success to a whole new level, and I was thoroughly impressed with “Guardians.” It was uplifting, inspirational and super entertaining from start to finish.
The standard spandex superhero costumes have been exchanged for snazzy spacesuits, and a whole new vibrant side of the Marvel universe was revealed. Not only was “Guardians” a great comic book movie, but it was a fantastic sci-fi movie as well. Obviously, the sequel will be the ultimate judge of the “Guardians” franchise, but I think this movie had that special X-factor that has set it apart from others.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” follows the story of a young boy named Peter Quill who is abducted by a spaceship and raised by a gaggle of scavengers on a far-away planet. This boy eventually grows up to be a scavenger himself, often referring to himself as “Star Lord.” Peter, played by Chris Pratt, is commissioned to steal an orb of mysterious power for a merchant from the planet Morag.
The orb possesses immense powers capable of destroying entire worlds with a single touch, which attracts a war-mongering civilization of aliens, which will stop at nothing to control the power of the orb.
Throw in a gun-slinging raccoon bounty hunter and his tree-humanoid sidekick, a brutish alien warrior and a hot green female assassin (no, not the Orion slave girls from Star Trek), and you’ve got the perfect mix of heroism and badass-ery that is needed to make this movie amazing. The five of them band together to defeat Ronan and his minions and save the orb from destroying the galaxy.
What I liked about this movie was the disbandment of the typical “ultra heroic, super macho” persona of the male lead. “We are a bunch of losers … we’ve all lost stuff,” Quill says, which really gives an unconventional flavor to the film.
The group of misfits find commonality in the sense of loss, which resonates with an audience a lot better than being a super solider, billionaire or a god. Don’t get me wrong — I loved “The Avengers” more than anything, but there was something special about this gang of bounty hunters and thieves that came together to achieve something really great.
There is one thing, however, that I’ve noticed in most Marvel films that really bugs me: the villains are almost always terrible. Ronan, played by Lee Pace, hasn’t been the worst offender in Marvel film adaptations (cough The Mandarin from Iron Man 3 cough), but there is really nothing to him.
Ronan is just another dark ominous antagonist with a low whispering voice, hell-bent on destroying a race of beings. No shades of gray — just pure evil. Loki was the only exception — he was a dynamic character that was fully fleshed out and had different sides to him and, as a result, has become one of the most popular and beloved characters out of all of the Marvel movies.
I wholeheartedly recommend this film to anyone who appreciates well-done visual effects, quality writing and fantastic cinematography.