It’s That’s Good. You’re Welcome.
Let’s be clear about something: James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy should not have worked, at least as well as Gunn (who co-wrote the screenplay with Nicole Perlman and directed) and Marvel Studios obviously think (and it’s clear that they are optimistic because based on early reviews a sequel as already been green lit for 2017). Look at what it has going against it. Gunn himself has directed two movies before, Slither, an interesting little horror comedy and Super, a not-so-interesting take on a superhero movie.
The lead actor, Chris Pratt hasn’t been the lead in ANY feature. He’s carved out a pretty impressive niche on television, and pops up occasionally in movies though before now, never as a lead.
So we have an unproven lead on top of and two characters that are entirely computer-generated. And if that weren’t bad enough, one of these computer generated actors literally says three words. FOR THE ENTIRE MOVIE. And while he’s voiced by Vin Diesel, you couldn’t tell that from watching the movie.
Oh yeah, and the other CG character is a raccoon. A talking raccoon that has a fetish for anything that goes “Boom!”
And did I mention that one of the characters is also a wrestler–who isn’t the Rock–so who knows how things are going to come out.
The answer is: Pretty damn well. Guardians of the Galaxy just damn works. It’s thrilling, fun–though unlike what some critics may say, it’s not a comedy because it’s a bit dark at times–but oddly enough, not silly.
As I said, tonally things are pretty dark, and I honestly think that things wouldn’t work nearly so well without Chris Pratt, who’s probably one of the bravest actors that I have seen in awhile. He also seems so personable, which is typically the opposite I feel about most actors.
The cast meshes well together, the action is thrilling, and Rocket and Groot are amazing, though I noticed that in IMAX 3D I was getting double images at times when I wasn’t intently focusing on the the screen. It was a bit odd, and something that I have never noticed on any other 3D film, which means that I will probably see the regular version soon.
And it goes without saying, stay till the credits run for perhaps the oddest ‘button’ (Yes, even odder than the ‘Shawarma‘ button from The Avengers) so far.