General Plot: This is a Marvel Comics, MCU, film. Unlike the films that have come before it (though ify on the Thors), Guardians of the Galaxy takes place off-Earth (with the exception of a few minutes of intro).
Basic plot is that Peter Quill aka Star Lord (Chris Pratt), as a young boy, is abducted from Earth by aliens. He grows up with space outlaw types, pickers and thieves, stuff like that. He grabs an object that is wanted by a lot of folks – which happens to be an Infinity Stone, one of six all powerful gems important in the Marvel Comics Universe; the Tesseract from Captain America/Avengers, and the Aether from Thor 2 are also Infinity Stones – and thus begins the hunt for this object.
A bounty is put on Peter Quill, and two hunters – Rocket Raccoon, a humanoid raccoon-type creature voiced by Bradley Cooper and Groot, a humanoid tree-creature voiced by Vin Diesel – come after him. Also looking to get her hands on the stone is Gamora, played by the always badass Zoe Saldana. Gamora is a daughter of Thanos (one of the Big Bads in the MCU, and previously seen in the Avengers end credits scene), and after Quill and the object on the orders of Ronin the Accuser, our primary bad guy for this film. They also pick up a guy who dislikes Ronin named Drax (Dave Bautista) in a prison break.
They spend the movie basically beating lots of folks up to keep or to get back the Infinity stone.
Epilepsy: I had no problems at all. Which surprised me. This film features LOTS of laser fire and explosions. Part of it might be that it doesn’t have the same sound effects as more realistic movie weaponry, but I’m really honestly surprised that this movie gave me no problems.
I did not see it in 3D. That might make a difference.
Visuals: Dudes. Dudes. It was glorious. We’ll start with the smallest things. All the green and pink and blue-skinned aliens. They had such a vintage, almost sweet feel to them. More painted on and slightly matte (with a bit of shimmer … yeah, that’s possible). Quite lovely, I thought.
Moving on to background graphics. We go from the less hard – prison; city; temple – to the more hard – landscapes – to the super hard – moving action battles in space! And all of them looked pretty darn good, imo. I don’t know how to rank this in terms of The Avengers‘s big fight. On the one hand, The Avengers had a visual starting point in an existing city. On the other hand, The Avengers had to work with making people accept the presence of alien attack ships/soldiers inside that city. And they succeeded. Guardian’s of the Galaxy had to create the world and the fight, but it was made slightly easier by the fact that I had no expectation for the background.
Still pretty to look at, though. Each world/area with its own distinct feel to it.
Lastly, we have Rocket and Groot (and some other folks, but Rocket and Groot are the important folks). 100% CGI, and absolutely beautiful. The appearance was flawless, and stayed that way. The movement was smooth and logical (in that I was never bothered by how their limbs – unintended pun, but keeping it – moved … that’s not exactly to say that I find bipedal talking raccoon guys and tree-things logical). The interaction between the two and the real-live actors they spent almost every scene with was impressive. I might find some awkward spots in a second viewing, but they felt very much there.
Acting: This is a tougher one. I believe they all did their jobs well. BUT a lot of the script requires them to be a bit corny. Bautista, as Drax, is … well, he’s Dave Bautista. He’s not the best actor in the world. But then, Drax’s character isn’t exactly supposed to act as your every-day human would.
Zoe Saldana also didn’t do as well as I thought she would (in my own opinion). She felt a little … wooden. Then again, like Bautista, she isn’t playing a human. Gamora is not only alien, she’s an alien woman captured and made daughter to … almost an evil god. She shouldn’t be going for Oscar-style tragic-emotion.
Vin Diesel made me so happy as Groot. For those who don’t know, Vin voiced Iron Giant many many years ago, and it was a childhood favorite of mine. Groot is fairly famous for saying only three words – “I am Groot” – and Vin kills it. I LOVE YOU, MAN!
Soundtrack: Soundtracks are not usually on the list, but the music was part of what got the first trailer so much play, and it keeps that feeling through the whole movie. It wasn’t just there for a trailer quirk, but actually a part of the plot. And fantastic. I’m probably going to buy the OST, which I haven’t done since … uh … Hairspray?
Interesting to Note: I was one of 5 people in my theatre to stay for the end credits. What is wrong with people?
The mid-credits scene is the cutest thing I’ve seen in film all year. Possibly all time. It was seriously adorable. Someone needs to gif it ASAP.
At the end of the rolling credits, there’s a cute little throwaway line to read. Nothin’ serious.
The end credits scene isn’t all that important to the MCU, but it does show how much money Marvel is willing to put down, just to give their fans a little joke.
Speaking of jokes, they throw out a Footloose joke at one point. I was the only person in my theatre to laugh. Apparently Thailand isn’t the target audience for a joke like that, but I thought it was pretty funny.
All-in-all: I laughed. I cried. At least two times, I got genuine goosebumps. This is a comic-book-based scifi action adventure dramady (some folks might argue with me on the dramady point but bite me), and, yet, wasn’t absurd.
It also doesn’t get all up its own ass wasting time with origin story (DC? Take note. We all know where Superman comes from. Seriously. All of us.), which is pleasant.
Let me also say, we need more scifi comedies. That aren’t the Syfy channel and unintentional comedies because they suck. I’m talking actual scifi movies that just go for it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Star Trek, but this movie was just so much FUN to watch!