Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy ★★★★½

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It’s here. It’s finally here.

The most anticipated film of the summer has just arrived in cinemas. Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and It’s been a rocky road to say the least.

Over the past decade Marvel Studios have been slowly building their cinematic universe brick by brick. With over fifty years worth of comics to draw from, Marvel has taken some of their most beloved superheroes (such as Spiderman, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, etc.) and made big-screen adaptations of each character.

Ever since ‘The Avengers’ wowed audiences and critics in 2012, and grossed over $1.5bn worldwide, fans have been anticipating Marvel’s big follow-up.

When it was announced that the studio’s next big project would be ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, there was a huge backlash online. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ was a relatively unknown title, and fans weren’t too keen on the idea of a team of superheroes that featured a tree and a talking raccoon as part of the ensemble.

Everyone rolled their eyes at the yet-to-be film. Myself included.

But then last February, the first trailer was released. And any doubts about the film instantly vanished. It looked amazing.

Each new trailer that was released was better than the last, featuring quirky characters on a grandiose adventure across the cosmos, with some nostalgic classic rock blaring on the soundtrack.

Early reviews of the film were full of praise. It looked like the folks at Marvel had pulled off another miracle. What was once a seemingly silly concept, had grown into the most buzzed about film of the Summer.

In eager anticipation of the film, all I could do was watch the trailers on a constant loop and cross my fingers in hopes that the film was as good as it looked.

This week I finally got to see the film.

We begin in 1988, where we’re introduced to Peter Quill, a young boy sitting alone in a hospital waiting room, listening to 10cc on his cassette player. His grandfather emerges from one of the patient’s rooms and informs young Peter that he can go inside and visit his dying mother.

What follows is, far-and-away, the most heart-wrenching scene that Marvel has ever committed to film, designed to leave everyone with a heavy lump in their throat. As the opening scene builds to its climax, we cut to the Marvel Studios logo, and afterwards we’re re-introduced to Peter Quill as a grown adult.

Peter is now an outlaw making his way across the galaxy, stealing precious artifacts and selling them on the black market.

On his travels, Peter encounters four more criminals — Groot, Rocket, Gamora, and Drax. The characters set aside their differences and team together in order to save the galaxy from impending doom.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ isn’t without it’s faults. It does have an underwhelming, and easily forgettable villain, and it does have way too many characters in the film, but I had so much fun watching it that the little things that bothered me seem rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

I can’t say enough great things about this film. The visuals are spectacular, the film has a wicked sense of humor, and the soundtrack is impeccable — featuring the likes of David Bowie, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, 10cc, and many more classic pop hits from the 70′s and 80′s.

But perhaps the best thing I can say about ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is that I enjoyed it so much, that I did something which I don’t usually do — I went to see it again. And you know what? It was even better the second time around.

Each time I saw the film, both audiences were spellbound. There were many laughs, gasps, tears, and even people gleefully singing along to the soundtrack. Everybody left the screening in high spirits.

Above all, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is just pure fun.

Marvel Studios and co-writer/director James Gunn have gone above and beyond with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. In fact, it might just be Marvel’s best film so far.