Within minutes of Guardians Of The Galaxy beginning, as we follow Chris Pratt’s Peter ‘Star-Lord’ Quill, miming & dancing across an alien landscape to the strains of Redbone’s Come And Get Your Love, it becomes quite clear the feel & tone James Gunn intends to convey in his approach to this lesser known group of Marvel characters, an irreverent, at times downright daft but wholly feel good proposition of a comic book movie. It is a sense of fun and undeniable charm that is utterly infectious from the outset and doesn’t let up for the film’s duration.
It can be said that Guardians was quite a risk for Marvel Studios who’s output up to that point had been fairly safe-bet blockbuster material, sure things such as Iron Man & Captain America. Arguably, their biggest risk up to the release of Guardians probably being Kenneth Branagh’s Thor which was a reasonable success in its own right. No, Guardians was certainly a risk on Marvel Studios part, a calculated risk most certainly, but a risk none the less. The Guardians were not the recognisable faces that resided in The Avengers, they are comprised of disparate, roguish anti-heroes who really are out for number one until circumstances make them step up to the hero plate and I think that made them a much more interesting prospect to the cinema going public, there was much more edge to these characters than the apple-polishing heroics of the likes of Captain America.
Of the many appealing aspects of Guardians the move that made the most sense was it’s perfect use of humour to add a much appreciated sense of levity to what could have been quite a poe faced and much duller picture. The story to Guardians isn’t particularly ground breaking, some could even argue its formulaic, however, the cast gel so well and deliver some perfect comedic moments from the script to elevate the film to a higher level, possibly the most surprising being Dave Bautista’s Drax and his quite literal view of the universe. Pretty much anyone who watches Guardians can’t help but be charmed by Vin Diesel’s Groot, a sentient tree with a sense of childlike innocence and naivety that is damn near impossible not to fall in love with, particularly in the film’s closing moments with the promise of what we’ll be seeing of Groot in the sequel.
It is the sum of it parts that made Guardians Of The Galaxy such a special movie. It’s the fantastic cast, the perfectly paced and judged script, the amazing visuals, even the inclusion of one of the most perfectly crafted, feel good soundtracks in recent memory. All these separate parts come together so well to create arguably the strongest Marvel Studios movie to date. Not a bad punt at all, hopefully it can only encourage Marvel Studios to take more and more chances with its output because if Guardians Of The Galaxy taught us anything it is that some gambles are worth making.