DM Haight

When I was a kid I never read a comic book. I never wanted too, never cared to try it, and my parents never gave me one. I wasn’t the kind of kid who had heroes, or any idea what super heroes were. I knew cartoons on cable. That was it; and now I regret it. Guardians of the Galaxy, a hodgepodge of random individuals with random backgrounds in a wide universe where wild and wily character prance around killing each other, should not be in my top films of the year. Somehow Chris Pratt went from being the chubby guy on Parks and Rec. to being a stud whom I now suddenly idolize. Somehow the writer of Scooby Doo 2 made me enjoy watching the mechanical stylings of former pro wrestler, Dave Bautista, in a role with so much heart that he managed to make me laugh. Repeatedly.

How in the world did James Gunn pull out this stunt? How in the world have I managed to care about a talking tree who only says “I am Groot”? How in the world did that raccoon become a badass? Simple answer is I have no idea. But I don’t care.

Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel Pull off one of the most interesting partnerships in recent memory with Groot and Rocket Raccoon, two bounty hunters out to capture Star lord. Diesel says all of three words, but they’re good words nonetheless. Cooper’s acting proves that there needs to be a Voice Acting category at the Oscars. He’s so outlandish, and at times moving in a way I never thought a raccoon could be. When he tells you to get that guy’s leg, you go get that leg, whether it was essential or not. Same goes for Diesel, who’s Groot is oddly insightful. Especially when we consider his vocabulary literally consists of four words (Yes, there is a forth). And these are actors playing completely CGI characters. How many times have we seen CGI in these types of movies? Hundreds of times a scene, to be honest. But Guardians has some of the most practical special effects. The animators, for once, remove the reality from the movie, and bring in the unreal of the comic book. Not since Sin City have I felt like a frame from a film could contain everything from the comic book panel. Every character design is perfect, every detail is glorified.

In Guardians of the Galaxy we not only witness the superb, nay, unmatched CGI of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but we witness a genre that not only draws established stars, but is more than capable of making them. Chris Pratt is hilarious, jubilant, witty, coarse, sarcastic. Everything I wish I was. Unlike half of the heroes we’ve seen punched through the walls of Metropolis, Chris Pratt’s Star Lord is uber-dynamic. Overnight he’s become an internet sensation, with memes and Tumblrs and Facebook pages and gifs. Oh the gifs! If there was anything to prove in GotG, it was that anyone can be a hero, and Pratt was the hero we’ve been waiting for. And his on and off again support system makes him all the better.

A love interest in a betrayer adoptive daughter of the galaxy’s most powerful villain tyrant? Got that. A dynamic duo of tree and raccoon, whose engineering capabilities can make a bomb out of flashlight and prosthetic leg? Got that, too. How about a robotic Karen Gillan? Yes, please.

Worry not, James Gunn has all those wonderful bases covered.

I have not had a more enjoyable film from Marvel, and I was excited to find characters that we’ve never touched on in the Cinematic Universe. It was refreshing to walk into a theater not knowing what to expect. Even the loud, B.O. ridden teens kicking my seat couldn’t deter my enjoyment. Tyler Bates’s score is energizing and enigmatic, while the soundtrack is one of the best we’ve seen since Pulp Fiction. James Gunn had a crew comprised of oddballs. You can tell. But that oddball composition resulted in the most thrilling and fun film of the year. Bar. None.

With cameos galore and a story that was more than palatable for even the most ignorant of comic book fans, Guardians of the Galaxy has the power to bring a smile to any face, and a chuckle to every annoyed girlfriend, boyfriend, mother, father, daughter, or son. Even Granny will find this adventure worthwhile.

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