Reviews of an Acute Cinephile.

The Acute Cinephile Reviews – Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, this summer’s best movie for me is one that features a raccoon with a penchant for big guns, a hulking maniac with no penchant whatsoever for metaphors, a green-skinned assassin who refers to dancing as “Pelvic Sorcery” and last but definitely not the least (in fact, this guy’s a scene stealer) we have a humanoid tree who can speak only 3 words (namely “i” and “am” and “Groot”, exclusively in that order).

Also, no, I’ve not gone mad, in fact, I’m proud. I’m proud as a comic-book fan as well as a cinema-goer. I’m proud that I was alive when what could very well (and most definitely will) be the Star Wars of this generation hit screens around the world. Simply put, as if it weren’t obvious by now, The Guardians of the Galaxy is simply Astounding.

In fact, to call it astounding alone would be a huge understatement to the testament of the guys at Marvel.

First, I’ll make this clear- I’m a huge Marvel fanboy but fact is, even I wasn’t aware of the sheer existence of such a team in Marvel comic-books, when Disney/Marvel announced the film way back last year. So, it was the first time in a very long time that I walked into a comic-book movie with no idea whatsoever of what to expect and that in itself was exhilarating.
Of course, the film was a huge gamble on Marvel’s part given that the past superheroish galactic comic-book based movie was nothing short of a gigantic turd (Green Lantern) and boy, how that gamble paid off.

What I love most about this film is its complete disregard of generic superhero movie tropes. There’s even a scene in the film where all the guardians are standing in a circle much like the avengers did, only in this iteration, Rocket Raccoon as voiced by Bradley Cooper quips “Look at us, we’re a bunch of jackasses standing in a circle”. The film is so humorous, zany and wildly self-referential that it’s easy to miss the beating heart that exists within this film and that beating heart is what makes Guardians of the Galaxy a true cinematic gem. Sure, it’s easy to write off this film as yet another summer blockbuster but in all honesty, never before has a summer blockbuster explored themes of friendship, family and sacrifice with such innocence and wide-eyed wonder, balancing it with an essential shot of humour ( DC could take a huge hint from Marvel at this point with their current depressing Superman films)and that’s what this film essentially is- One huge Balancing act – it’s got Humour, Heart, Breathtaking Visual Effects, Amazing Action Sequences and well, Groot.

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When I said that this movie has got heart, a lot of it comes from Groot, the walking tree-like alien that can only speak three words “I am Groot” which lends itself humorously to a lot of situations. Vin Diesel has performed well here as the gentle giant with echoes of his earlier role as The Iron Giant (1999). Normally, wrestlers turned actors don’t really translate well into film but Bautista is just pure joy as Drax the destroyer, a vengeance seeking maniac who can’t understand metaphors. Zoe Saldana plays a badass alien warrior in Gamora and Chris Pratt is a truly welcome delight in the MCU as Star-Lord; lending the film a lot of swagger and also contributes to it’s emotional core. What I love most about this film is that it knows exactly what it is and is in no way afraid to embrace it.

Coming to the Soundtrack, I think this maybe the first time since a very long time, that the soundtrack becomes a character in itself; comprising mostly ‘70’s and 80’s pop songs, they go brilliantly with the situations presented on screen and just heightens the way one can enjoy this film.
Bradley Cooper as Rocket deserves a special mention because it is wondrous the amount of emotion that Cooper delivers through his voice alone, channeling that tough-on-the-outside feel of Rocket amazingly well with a hint of Joe Pesci from “GoodFellas

Ultimately, this film is a blast from start to finish and among Comic-Book films, it stand high and proud as one of my personal favorites. I normally don’t watch the same film twice in theatres, but I did so with this film and both times, I was so involved with the film that I didn’t even notice how fast 2 hrs. zipped by (Special Kudos to the Editor)
In a film with so many different facets, it’s wondrous the amount of times I felt touched with a lump in my throat. I mean, I could go on about this film but I’ll let you, in my opinion,experience one of this year’s best films for yourself.

Guys, seriously, Just shelve whatever opinions you have about this film from the trailers and the posters and just go watch this film in all its glory. It’s a friggin’ Delight.

In the posters for this film, the tagline says, “You’re Welcome” to which I respond to Director James Gunn by saying a hearty and much-belated “Thank You”

Rating: 9.5/10 (After the behemoth that was Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel has done it once again with Guardians of the Galaxy)

Money Moment: 12% of a plan/Baby Groot


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