I had no idea what the universe had in store for me.
Ever since the release of the first Iron Man film in 2008, Marvel has done something really remarkable with their Cinematic Universe. Over the course of nine films, they built a world that was unlike anything that had ever existed in film before. The ever-expanding interlocking, overlapping world of superheroes was, and remains impressive. It seems inevitable that one day, the Marvel magic will run out.
After The Avengers took over the world, we got two disappointing adventures from Thor and Iron Man and I personally predicted the beginning of the steady decline of these films. But 2014 has been a different story. Captain America’s second film was one to rival the splendor of The Avengers, but nothing that Marvel has done on the big screen could have really prepared audiences the masterpiece that is James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
It’s not completely devoid of the cliches and problems that plague Marvel films, and action movies at large, but this film is the most fun, and purely entertaining blockbuster I have seen in years. The comparison that every fan and critic has made at this point is to the Star Wars saga. This film feels so much like that first Star Wars film, without ever feeling like a copy of what George Lucas did. The energy, propelled by pitch perfect performances, a perfectly paced script and a flawless soundtrack, is so unique in the modern landscape of cinema.
Guardians of the Galaxy knows exactly what it is. It’s a film that fits perfectly in the Marvel Cinematic Universe without being anything like its predecessors. It’s the film that defies the laws of what a successful blockbuster should be and it manages to perfect that very formula. Star-Lord is the character that kids and adults alike all across America will want to be for a very long time. Gamora is the sexy, badass heroin who we all want to fall in love with, and Drax is the guy everyone wants by their side.
And of course, where would this film be without Rocket and Groot? Everyone expected at least one of these characters to become the Jar-Jar Binks of the Marvel world, but they turned out to be the 21st Century versions of Han and Chewie. Every line in this movie, from “I am Groot,” to “Pelvic Sorcery,” is already becoming iconic. Marvel Cinema has stepped outside the world of superheroes and entered the vast expanse of the cosmos. James Gunn has created something really special with this film and all I want is to watch it again.