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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: A Stellar Star In The Sky

The best film of the summer is here, and it is the Guardians of the Galaxy. After months of promos and trailers, the time has come to see Marvel's newest addition to its universe of superhero films. According to The Wrap, it got started with a nice boost from Thursday night showings with $11.

Guardians of the Galaxy

The best film of the summer is here, and it is the Guardians of the Galaxy. After months of promos and trailers, the time has come to see Marvel’s newest addition to its universe of superhero films. According to The Wrap, it got started with a nice boost from Thursday night showings with $11.2 million. It is the fourth superhero film that has been released this year, but it really is the first of its kind.

Since 2008, we have seen the steady rhythm of Marvel dominating the summer blockbuster season with various established franchises; until now. Not only are we watching new characters brought to film, but we can also enjoy the fact that it is not a sequel. Whether you are a comic fan or not, that is something to cheer about when you can enjoy an original summer blockbuster that has it all: action, drama, humor, a big touch of sci-fi, a talking raccoon and tree, character, and heart. The association it has with Marvel may give it worldwide attention, but it offers a lot more than the usual superhero fun in this galactic adventure that will surely have you wanting more.

Guardians of the Galaxy

source: Marvel Entertainment

As you can see, this is not the usual group of superheroes that you have seen in theaters the last few years. This new introduction to them can really keep this franchise growing as announced on The Verge; there is already a sequel coming for this film on July 28, 2017. Before we can get to that sequel, what is at stake in this film? For starters, every character in this team has a chip on their shoulder.

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), also known as Star-Lord, calls himself a legendary outlaw. The public may very well call him that by the time we see the last of him on film because he is the selfless leader of this extraordinary group. When he is caught for stealing a highly-coveted orb by Ronan the Destroyer (Lee Pace), it leads to an all-out pursuit of him and the rest of the guardians who have their own reasons to redeem themselves of their past. Nothing says unity better than putting five different characters together who fight for the same cause: hope for a better future.

Life In the Galaxy: Infinite Possibilities

Before this film, we had never seen a full exposure to the sci-fi elements of Marvel’s films. None of their superheroes really had a story where the galaxy played a significant role. Leave it to director James Gunn to change that. We would have to go back to seeing traces of it in Thor and Thor: The Dark World. There was also the small glimpse of Thanos in the after-credits of The Avengers.

The level of engagement with the film grows from start to finish because frankly, you want to be a part of this cool universe. The planets, the characters, the gadgetry, and everything associated with the sci-fi genre contributed to an element of surprise that grabs your attention and never lets go. Both the sets and the costumes provide an amazing view of what that life could look like if it really existed. They show an amazing blend of reality with fantasy in the depths of space.

More importantly, Gunn has established a limit that goes beyond the sky. For the casual film fan, talking to them about watching this film may be presented like this: it’s Star Wars but with superheroes. Essentially that may be what it is, but from the superhero perspective, what this film has done is raise the bar of curiosity and expectation. We know that a sequel is coming, but the excitement around that is we don’t know what to expect. It is easy to say that the sky is the limit when you are working towards achieving something. However, now that Gunn has taken us into the sci-fi world of these characters, questions of what can happen next should be on your mind.

Sci-Fi Tunes and Humor

By now you have probably seen most, if not all, of Marvel’s films since Iron Man in 2008. If that’s the case, then you can always expect to find humor in all of their films. Like the after-credit scenes, humor has been a constant strength, and it is no different in this film. In fact, you may find yourself laughing more at the humor in this film than ever before. The humor that you did not expect to find is what really surprises and entertains you here.

If you don’t know much about the Guardians, you will know a lot more about them just based on the humor that they bring to the film. There is always a reason why we root for superheroes. Their abilities do intrigue us, but deep within them, there is a human element that we share with them. Humor could very well be that common element because it shows who we really are. Every superhero has a past, and it is the Guardians’ humor that shows us why they choose to fight the battles they face.

Guardians of the Galaxy

source: Marvel Entertainment

Aside from the trailers and promos that you see before your most-anticipated film is released, how much of an impact does the music have on your interest in the film? Music could very well be one of the most overlooked elements of any film because of all the hype surrounding the story, director, and actors for example. Those three elements could be the only reasons why people watch the films that they see. However, after watching this film, you will have a different appreciation for music.

Music plays a fundamental role in how films are marketed, and in many ways, it gives superheroes films a voice beyond what they show with their special abilities. The song that you have been hearing in the trailers is Hooked on a Feelin‘ by Blue Swede. The song gives away a very important detail: your feelings are what push you to do things. Regardless of the outcome, acknowledging those feelings has the power to bring a divided a group together. In the film itself, music plays a large role and their choice for 70’s music to accompany a sci-fi set in space is unique, fun and intriguing.

Diversity: The Guardians’ Strength

In comparison to the Avengers, the diversity of this group is what really makes them stand out. Gamora (Zoe Saldana), is the type of character that you want to have fighting with you and not against you. She stands out for being the only female of the group, however, that does not limit the strengths and abilities that she brings. It is an interesting question to consider if we will see more of her outside of the franchise.

The heart of this film lies on two characters who are so different from each other, but at the same time, feed off of each other’s strengths. While he may only say three words, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), is easily one of the most fun-loving characters that you will ever see in any film. He has an amazing ability of keeping the balance and cool of the group, and you simply don’t know what he will do next. His friend Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), is a raccoon that can really unleash his fury when he’s angry. Put the anger issues aside, and he is an amazing pilot as well.

rocket-with-gun.jpgsource: Marvel Entertainment

When you think about Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), it’s a character that fits the actor very well: he most known for being Bautista, aka The Animal, in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He brings the physical power and force to this character that is hungry for revenge. This brings us to the leader of the pack, Star-Lord. He may not see himself as a superhero, but he has the wit, charm, and gadgetry to be the captain that they need to save the galaxy and the world.

There Is No I In Team

What was really interesting to observe in this film is how it reflects on the reality of team effort versus individual stars. We really see this emphasized in professional sports, but we see it reflected even more here. Star-Lord may be the leader, but by no means does he act seeking his personal benefits. A deep message that hits home for people watching this film: we always need to prioritize what makes us happy. However, whether we like it or not, we are always involved in some form of a team; our actions have an affect on the actions of our teammates.

The character that leaves your reflecting on this most is Groot, due to his contributions to the Guardians. There has to be a big reason as to why he only has three words to say in the film: “I am Groot.” Our actions will always speak louder than words. Given that we have two ears to enhance listening, the words that we use to communicate need to be very powerful. If they do not have a positive influence on those around you, then the solution to that problem is to be very selective with what we say. At the end of the day, how people feel because of our actions means a lot more than words that are said.

Guardians of the Galaxy

source: Marvel Entertainment

A Second Watch

This has been the best film of the summer because it really has exceeded expectations. According to Forbes, despite fearing a failure of winning audiences for going deep into the galaxy and showing really new characters, for some critics this has been the best film that Marvel has done. I would definitely agree with them for many reasons. The first of which is because this was something new and original. As successful as Marvel has been with developing their franchises financially speaking, it was great to see something that broke the trend of sequels or trilogy-ending films.

Secondly, because the film is absolute fun from start to finish. Fun in films can be different for every person, but the reality is that it was made to entertain all audiences; it was not focused on a particular group. Whether you follow the comics or not, it wouldn’t have impact on how much you enjoy watching this movie. As you watch it, your connection to the characters gets stronger. They all have a different story, but that is what makes the group very strong and appealing.

Finally, there is a realistic approach to this group of superheroes that is great to watch. Realistically speaking in terms of the Avengers, regardless of who they are up against, it would take a really strong battle to defeat them. The argument is not that the Guardians do not have special abilities or strengths themselves, but you can see that what they do is driven by what they are feeling in their hearts. They are tough and gutsy group that is a force to be reckoned with. They are so strong that the possibility of seeing them in action again on an IMAX screen should be taken with hesitation.

What did you think about Guardians Of The Galaxy? Is it the best Marvel film to date? What do you think about the idea of putting the Guardians and the Avengers together in the same film?

Share your comments below and spread the word because the more the merrier!

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Opinions expressed in our articles are those of the authors and not of the Film Inquiry magazine.

Raul Marin is a contributor for Film Inquiry. He is a teacher by day and a DJ by night, but he's a film fan 24/7! His favorite genre is drama.

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