Source: Jérôme Berbigier \ Via: Colossal
So maybe you saw Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend. You weren’t alone. Many friends, about a million critics, and a few of us here at The Orange were right there along with you. But just in case you haven’t seen it, here’s what we thought about the movie, along with a few “best of the internet” critical reviews.
Audiences Were Really Hungry for This Movie
I’m fascinated by marketing campaigns, and ever since its opening teaser, I’ve had my eye on Marvel’s most daring enterprise to date. The marketing campaign for Guardians' decidedly B-list collection of superheroes was irresistibly fun and self aware (as in … who the heck are these guys?), successfully building audience interest to a fever pitch before opening night. Strong critical reviews also played a generative role, giving Guardians' advertisers plenty of great taglines to work with in week-of-release TV spots. Yet perhaps the most overlooked factor to this point was audience hunger for a big, carefree, and well-crafted tent-pole release.
Thus far, summer 2014 has wrought a strange combination of excellent movies that few people attended with terrible movies that everybody saw but no one liked, leading to an overall box office decline of 20 percent. Given a shot at seeing a well-reviewed film from an established brand—not to mention one that promised a motley, cantankerous crew and great laughs—audiences pounced, destroying the prognosticators’ box office predictions. Guardians’ timing and box office economics could not have been better.
Chris Pratt and Co. Form a Stellar Cast
As more than a few reviewers have noted (including some we cite below), Guardians’ cast generally rocks. Leading the way is Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill (“Starlord, man…”). Pratt is a joy to watch. He dances and struts to his beloved 8-track “awesome-mix” tape, rolls of zingers and punch lines with an almost stoned deadpan, and generally represents one of the more spaced-out (awful pun intended) dramatic leads I’ve seen on screen. Yet, he also brings the necessary gravitas to Guardians' more serious moments, a great piece of development from the vapid Andy Dwyer we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing on Parks and Recreation. But Pratt’s not working alone here. The ensemble cast is solid to great, with Dave Bautista’s overly literal Drax the Destroyer providing some of the loudest laughs of the night. But the real scene-stealers here are characters that weren’t in any scene—at least not until their CG avatars were carefully placed there in post-production. Bradley Cooper’s anthropomorphic Rocket and Vin Diesel’s inflective Groot probably deserve their own movie, and by far form one of the year’s most infectious, likeable, and comedic duos. Zoe Saldana’s Gamora has the indubitably difficult task of handling much of the film’s expository/serious dialogue, but handles her action scenes and few comedic lines well. Placed together, the five Guardians make for the most enjoyable crew this side of a certain short-lived TV series.
Don’t See the Film in 3D
There’s just nothing here that is necessary for 3D viewing, and nothing to really be enhanced (with the notable exception of your local theatre’s profit margin). And, as the late critic Ebert astutely noted (time and time again), 3D screenings are going to darken the viewing experience, muting the color palette by as much as 50 percent! Honestly, that’s the last thing you want to do with Guardians, because director James Gunn has done a wonderful job steeping his world in a rich canopy of vibrant color, with each planet having a clearly distinguished look and feel. Save your money on this one folks—Guardians is just fine without the glasses.
Okay, enough about what I thought of the movie. Here are some notable reviews that give you a picture of what critics thought about Marvel's latest film.
Christopher Orr -- The Atlantic
"Guardians of the Galaxy, despite substantial flaws of logic and storytelling, is a pretty awesome movie." Read the full review
Michael Phillips -- Chicago Tribute
"Guardians of the Galaxy scavenges all sorts of 'greatest hits' precedents, from Iron Man on down, to come up with its own summertime fling. It's looser, scruffier and more overtly comic than the average Marvel action fantasy." Read the full review
Justin Lowe -- The Hollywood Reporter
"Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has been begging comparison to Star Wars from its initial marketing push (particularly the venerable Episode IV — A New Hope). Unsurprisingly, Guardians is no Star Wars, but it turns out that’s actually good news." Read the full review