Marvel Studio like to make big gambles, the first was going it on their own and making their own film, with Iron Man. Paramount pictures only distributed the film and did the marketing. The Incredible Hulk film rights are with Universal studios, which is why that film was distributed by them. But Marvel must have some agreement to user the Character in their own films and why The Incredible Hulk (2008) is part of Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Marvel next big gamble was to release two films with characters that are little know or without much appeal outside of the United States, to set up a Cinematic Universe that would lead into The Avengers and bring Phase 1 to a close.
At this stage it is no doubt that Marvel’s gambles have paid off in a big way with the MCU now one of the most profitable film franchise of all time. (As of writing this The Avengers is still the world third highest grossing film.)
With Phase 2 already on its way to leading into The Avengers: age of Ultron, Marvel is at it again with another major gamble, this time with Guardians of the Galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a little known comic set around a band of criminals and mercenaries, led by the half human half alien Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord. (Chris Pratt) So it was a big surprise that Marvel would go down this road.
The film opens up to us seeing Quill being abducted from Earth moments after his mother’s death in the mid 1980’s. We then see Quill twenty years later, he is on his own on an alien planet. Going through an ancient city long dead, in a scene lovingly modeled on the opening sequence from “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Quill enters a build to retrieve a mysteriously powerful silver orb and, instead of a rousing John Williams fanfare, the soundtrack erupts with Native American rockers Redbone singing “Come and Get Your Love.” This sets the tone of the film music.
It’s not long after this we are off to the planet Xander, home of the Nova Corps. This planet will play a major role in the film, we also get to meet rest of the Guardians expect for Drax (Dave Bautista) on this planet but it not long until he joins up with the rest of the team.
James Gunn has done a stunning job with writing and directing and bring a great cast together.
Prat is superb as Quill and the role seems to really suit him, he can go from playing someone that is just costing along life nor really giving a care to serious in moments. It’s not surprising that Quill was the inspiration for Han Solo. Gunn has stated that Prat had to lose weight for the role, but given his audition he was prepared to give him the role even if he did not lose the weight.
Zoe Saldana, is quickly becoming the go to girl for Sci-fi and that not a bad thing. She plays Gamora the cold hearted assassin with style.
Bradley Cooper voices Rocket Raccoon. Though Rocket is CGI, he steels most of the scene that he is in.
Vin Diesel voice Groot and was recorded saying “I am Groot” over a Thousand times. Diesel also recorded the line in different languages so that his own voice would be used instead of getting some in to record the line for that country.
Michael Rooker plays Yondu Udonta, he is the man that kidnaps Quill has a young boy, but he also raises him as his own. In the original Comic, Yondu was a leading member of the Guardians.
Glen Close plays the leader of Xander people and is head of the Nova Crops.
Guardians of the Galaxy gives the MCU wider scope outside the boundaries of Earth and Asguard.
It shows that there is a bigger universe out there full of wonder with many potentials stories and a lot of history to explore in future films.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a light hearted film with lot of comedy thrown in with the action. You would not think that a film set in an alien worlds/ space with a 70’s and early 80’s soundtrack would work, but it does and just adds to the fun ride.
The villain Ronan (Lee Pace) looks to have been flesh out a bit more than some of the villains in other MCU films. We also get bit more of Thanos which was hinted at the end of The Avengers.
While Guardians of the Galaxy is part of the MCU, it does not really belong in Phase 2 as it is not connected to The Avengers: Age of Ultron, except for a post credit scene from Thor: The Dark World which helped set this film up, at this point it more of a standalone film.
Guardians of the Galaxy is more of a set up for the third phase in the MCU, particularly Avengers: Infinity War – Part I (2018) and Avengers: Infinity War – Part II (2019).
Has Marvels biggest gamble to date paid off? Yes and Marvel keeps going from straighten to straighten with their films. This also shows with it line up of future films with them going to more characters that are unknown outside of your typical comic book reader. (Ant-Man, Which ends Phase 2, Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Marvel Girl.)
I give Guardians of the Galaxy a 5 out of 5.
All I can say now is roll on May 1st for Avenger: Age of Ultron.
Rocket Raccoon: We’re the fricking Guardians of the Galaxy!