Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fim Review- The Guardians of the Galaxy

The story opens in 1988 with a young boy sitting in a hospital listening to a cassette with orange headphones entitled Awesome Mix Volume 1. Soon after he is whisked into space and the story picks up 26 years later in the 31st Century.  Our part time hero Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) working for Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his band known at the Ravagers who abducted him from Earth is still listing to the same tape approaches an accent looking structure inside he sees his target a floating orb. Using his gadgets he retrieves the orb in a scene very reminiscent to the opening one in Raiders of the Lost Arc.

Director James Gunn shows a strong hand with the material. He gives each of his main characters several moments to shine as they all blur the lines between good and evil. His task is greatly helped by the script penned by Gunn and Nicole Perlman that fleshes out each of the prime players on multiple levels. The writing also feature many send-ups to other action films including Star Wars, the previously mentioned Raiders of the Lost Arc and the underrated Joss Wheldon project Serenity.

The real star of the piece is the film's soundtrack billed as Awesome Mix Volume 1 a tribute to 70's FM radio long format music.  The songs and cassette player itself is key to the plot.  Redbone's Come and Get Your Love is first up during the afore mentioned floating orb retrieval sequence. Next is Hooked on a Feeling the song that backed the films marketing campaign and the complement to the forming of the group after their exploits battling for the orb and each other in the capital planet Xandar lands them all in the Kyln super prison the spot where they join forces. The third up is Elvin Bishop's Fooled Around and Fell in Love filling the theatre as Peter Quill gets closer to Gamora (Zoe Saldana) letting her listen over his orange headphones to the song.

The film explores the Guardians comic book world spending time at several planets with very different characteristics. From the regal capital planet of Xandar to an off the books local apply named Knowhere where they meet the collector.

Chris Pratt is very effective as the modern day super hero Star lord. He is not perfect but highly flawed as a leader of a dodgy group that the viewer maybe concerned with their motives should be.

Zoe Saldany continues her great fun with science fiction fare as Gamora daughter of Thanos (who will battle the Avengers in their sophomore outing) a top notch assassin first appearing as a supporter of State enemy Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and aligned with her half sister Nebula( Karen Gillian), then as solo artist before joining the Guardians group.

The other three members of the group are also strong in their roles. Wrestler tuned Actor Dave Bautista blunt and straightforward Drax bent on revenge on Ronan for butchering his family. Bradley Cooper's voice over for the resourceful lab engineered Rocket Raccoon with his bounty hunting partner tree mutant Groot voiced by Vin Diesel.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a wonderful ride with a twisting and turning storyline that leaves the viewer wanting more knowing that the sequel all be backed by a new soundtrack entitled Awesome Mix Volume II.

*** 1/2 Out of 4.

Guardians of the Galaxy | James Gunn | U.S.A. | 2014| 121 Minutes.

Tags: Sci-Fi, Space Adventure, 70's Music, Mixed tape, Marvel Comics,

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