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I must admit that I had NO idea who or what the Guardians of the Galaxy was before I heard about this movie. And admittedly, I did not care about it…that is until I saw the first few trailers for the film. The strange choice of music and tongue-in-cheek humor peaked my interest. The gamble that Disney and Marvel took on this unknown franchise certainly payed off, seeing as how the film made $94 million dollars its opening weekend (slightly less than the last Captain America, an already well established character film). But I’m not here to discuss sales figures. I’m here to talk about the film, a film that could very well be the year’s best summer flick.

Everything about this film is a huge game of chance. Bringing a group of characters that no one but the core fan base knows about to the general public is a daunting task. First off, one half of the writing duo was Nicole Perlman, a very new writer to Hollywood. The director of the film has a sketchy past in terms of films having written both Scooby-Doo films as well as a segment from the god-awful Movie 43. The cast is an even bigger gamble. The most well known members, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, play CGI characters. And one of the main protagonists is a wrestler. The only thing that Marvel really had riding on this was the fact that their name is plastered everywhere for the advertising. All of this sounds like a recipe for a horrible movie. But somehow Marvel, Disney, the cast and the crew have come together to create my absolute favorite Marvel film thus far.

Let’s talk about the leading man in all of this, Chris Pratt. Chris Pratt went from the lovable, goofy, stupid-ass Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation to the lovable, goofy, stupid-ass Peter Quill (A.K.A. StarLord). This film allowed Pratt to show a larger range of acting. Now, he isn’t going to win any Best Actor awards for this film, but he certainly had me convinced in the more dramatic scenes. Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel all play their parts great with Cooper’s character, Rocket Raccoon, being my personal favorite. But the person I was most interested in was Dave Bautista‘s Drax the Destroyer. When you hear that a wrestler is going to be in a film, you usually write the film off, with the exception of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I thought that Bautista would act horribly and I would hate him every single time he spoke, but nope! He played the part very well. He was even quite hilarious at times. And that is what makes this film so great – the characters and how well they fit their parts. Chris Pratt is the charming jokester that StarLord is. Zoe Saldana is the fierce yet beautiful Gamora. Bradley Cooper surprisingly pulls off the small but angry Rocket Raccoon. Having the not so great actor Vin Diesel say the same line over and over again makes sense and Bautista plays the terrifyingly huge Drax the Destroyer perfectly seeing as how he is (in reality) huge and terrifying. The way these characters all interact with each other to reluctantly team up is part of what makes this movie so damn enjoyable.

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The other part that makes this film so enjoyable is the universe that is starting to be revealed. Marvel and Disney are truly doing something special. They are bringing a HUGE cast of characters together on one screen. (SPOILER!) Thanos is finally revealed in all of his epic glory. I won’t lie, when Thanos was first revealed at the end of The Avengers I faked knowing who he was. After doing a bit of reading up on him, I was quite excited to see him in this film. And finally after seeing him, I know that Marvel is going in the right direction with their films. They’ve opened up the possibilities of all of the characters they can include in their cinematic universe.

While watching the movie and constantly laughing out loud and being amazed by the scale of the film, I was wondering to myself if Guardians of the Galaxy could be the new Star Wars. Probably not, but it’s an interesting concept. A new Star Wars for a new generation. Except where Star Wars was a bit more serious and dark, Guardians is more light-hearted and comical. And could Peter Quill be the new Han Solo? Both are badasses who claim to be working for themselves, but end up having hearts of gold. I never even really liked Han Solo too much. Just a thought people. No need to freak out.

The Bottom Line: Something that I noticed about Guardians that immediately seemed a bit jarring was the fact that there were no logos. No Disney logo, no Paramount logo. The film just started. Then, only after you were emotionally drawn into the movie did the single logo appear in the film. The Marvel Studios logo. This showed me that Marvel is making their movies the way that they want to. And I was really surprised that Disney didn’t shove their logo in the beginning. To me, it just feels like Marvel is far more interested in bringing you into the universe than showing some company logos for ten minutes before the film starts. It was a small touch, and probably something I shouldn’t look too deep into, but I loved it. DC DEFINITELY needs to take notes on how to make a comic book movie, because as far as I’m concerned, Marvel is kicking their asses. The film’s well paced action, great cast and zany humor all make for a great time at the theater. This film has gotten me back into reading comic books and has me VERY excited for the future of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. It might even be better than Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

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