By Darin Skaggs
The Marvel cinematic universe has become a familiar one. One of our four main heroes, either together or on their own, will have to stop some bad guy plotting to take over the entire world. Even though the films are rising in quality, they are still too familiar. Fortunately, James Gunn’s new film and next step in the Marvel cinematic universe Guardians of the Galaxy takes a new look at a whole other world and lesser known characters.
Guardians tells the tale of earthling Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) who is abducted by aliens moments after his mom passes away. Twenty six years later Quill is sarcastic, a fugitive and gives off major Indiana Jones/Han Solo vibes. Eventually the team all end up together and have to stop the evil Ronan from, yes, taking over the universe. Even though it is a similar plot to all the other Marvel films with its save the world story, that is all secondary to the fantastic origin story of a team forming and a friendship blossoming between these unlikely heroes.
The film gives off major Raiders of the Lost Ark vibes in the first scene and throughout the film gives off big Star Wars vibes. Quill has the tragic back story of Luke Skywalker, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) plays a strong female lead much like Princess Liea. The buddy duo of Rocket Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel) mirror Han and Chewbacca. Drax doesn’t mirror another character much, maybe a bit of C3PO, but he is a great addition to the already great cast. With the similarities story wise, even the villain Ronan (Lee Pace) seems like a Darth Vader type, it is certain that director James Gunn took a lot of inspiration from Star Wars and many other aspects of his childhood. It almost seems he is using these characters to remake Star Wars. He is giving us the movie we should have got instead of the prequel films we have.
When Gunn is not remaking Star Wars, he is parodying The Avengers and Marvel in general. The Avengers are slick, shiny, formed by an organization and refer to themselves as Earth’s mightiest heroes. The Guardians are rude, dirty, self-employed and are constantly referring to themselves as a bunch of A-holes. They mirror some traits as the Avengers, Quill has a mask like Iron Man, Dax mirrors the Hulk among other similarities. It seems Marvel is making fun of itself which is a good move on their part. Also they become friends and partners on their own which really comes through in the script and the acting.
Just like the other Marvel films this has spectacular action. There is a prison break scene that is fantastic. The finale to the film could compete with any other scenes Marvel has done. Guardians plays with your expectations as well, saying you don’t have to shoot your laser or beat up someone to defeat the villain, you can just use your wit to overcome the situation.