Guardians of the Galaxy really isn’t my kind of film.  While I love elements of science fiction, the full-blown different universes, strange alien races thing really doesn’t appeal to me.  Star Wars is an exception of course, but beyond that I’m not drawn to many of those films, and had this not been a Marvel movie I may not have even seen it.

I seem to remember not being exceptionally excited about this film the first time I saw it.  It ventures full steam ahead into the most cosmic corners of the Marvel Universe, which is a part of the comic that I don’t have any appreciation for.  I’ve always liked my comics with a foot firmly in the real world, and beyond Peter Quill’s heritage, there is nothing about this that feels familiar.  It was a fine theater going experience, but it certainly didn’t blow me away.


I rewatched the film over the past two nights, and holy cow was my initial reaction completely off base.  I’m not sure where I was coming from originally, but watching Guardians of the Galaxy for the second time I was completely captivated, interested, amused, and totally in love with nearly every single character on the screen.  The immediate rapport between the main characters is amazing and happens organically, coming together to form a cohesive team by the end of the film.  The art direction and effects are spectacular, with 95% of the film taking place in strange other worlds that still manage to look and feel real.  Chris Pratt’s Quill is fantastic, all at once being charismatic, yet assholish, and the interesting character quirks of everyone blend together perfectly.


With this movie the Marvel Cinematic Universe really jumps into the comic realm, introducing us to many other worldly entities, and tying it into the MCU continuity with the Power Stone.  For the first time, we get some serious Thanos screen time, which is very much appreciated, and helps give him some gravitas as we churn forward through Phase Two and prepare for Phase Three.

Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy L to R: Ronan (Lee Pace) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) Ph: Jay Maidment ©Marvel 2014

Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy
L to R: Ronan (Lee Pace) and Nebula (Karen Gillan)
Ph: Jay Maidment
©Marvel 2014

Ronan is…okay.  As a villain he’s pretty forgettable and I’m really not wild about his costume design, something the MCU folks generally excel at.  Nebula is cool and is a great foil for Gamora, the two daughters of mad titan Thanos.  The introduction of the Nova Corps obviously sets some seeds for future growth of the cosmic universe, something that Marvel has been doing perfectly.


Rocket and Groot are fantastic, much more appealing than I remembered them being in the theaters, when I actually seem to remember finding them a little irritating.  I’m really not sure what went wrong during my theatrical experience, but whatever negative feelings I had about Guardians of the Galaxy there are pretty much wiped clear with this second viewing.


By far my favorite character in the main cast is Drax.  The super literal strongman is an excellent addition to the cast, and I have to admit, a professional wrestler being part of this film put me off a bit originally.  He nailed it, though.


Marvel Studio takes its time building out this universe and is so much the better for it.  Taking so long to jump into the cosmic realm which is setting up an entire next phase of the Marvel Universe has created this awesome slow burn that has elevated Thanos to near legendary status while he’s only spent 10 minutes or less on screen.


It’s an amazing progression and has set us up perfectly for the upcoming Dr. Strange film as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, which logically also sets up the big Infinity War 2 Parter on the horizon.  It really is nearly perfect and I’m thrilled to say that Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t just hold up on the second viewing, it actually ends up being even more successful.

Ongoing Rank:

#10 – Iron Man 3
#9 – Thor (The Dark World)
#8 – Iron Man 2
#7 – Thor
#6 – Incredible Hulk
#5 – Guardians of the Galaxy
#4 – Captain America: The First Avenger
#3 – Iron Man
#2 – Avengers
#1 – Captain America: Winter Soldier

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