Guardians Of The Galaxy - #8 from ORWAV's Top 20 of 2014
December 23, 2014
This feature was originally posted on One Room With A View.com as part of their Christmas 'Top 20 films of 2014', with GOTG reaching #8 in the writers' voted film list.
The sound of a generation.
It’s ironic how the fabulous iconic score of John Williams Star Wars, with its’ massive brass orchestral pieces, is now dwarfed in the eyes of a new generation by the thumping 70’s pop/rock of Blue Suede. The comic genius of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning created the star-shining team of which a global film audience is now so fond off, whilst the Director of cult superhero film Super James Gunn helmed the cinematographic smorgasbord that was the Summer film of 2014.
To understand Guardians of the Galaxy, is to understand both the grandmaster plan of Marvel and the current change in the world of Cinema. I’m not only talking about the narrative of the film, but how it actually plays into the scope of current film releases and its’ state holding up against the big bucks such as the Wolf of Wall Street or Boyhood. Marvel are currently, and have been for quite awhile, laying down the foundations for a series of films and TV shows that link together with an overarching narrative (or just a bunch of films that play together, in layman’s terms), and GOTG is the final wall to vault for the behemoth
of Marvel who seemingly have a point to prove. Step aside Man of Steel, the comic book giant decided to take a bunch of random and unknown (to the common audience) characters then make them not only part of a multi-million pound franchise, but also to make them part of the common household. Ticking both those boxes is proof alone that Marvel Films truly can do whatever they want to, though for hardcore fans we knew this was evident ever since the b-lister character of Iron Man was dragged from obscurity into the spotlight through his own best-selling trilogy.
The spectacular part of Guardians of the Galaxy plays off the comment above about Marvel doing whatever they want to, purely to prove a point. The seemingly casual nods to the Celestials and the final acknowledgement of the Infinity Stones (though you could argue they were mentioned in Thor 2 post credits…) shows not only a flagrant disregard for the fact that 20th Century Fox currently owns the film rights for the biggest and most well known Celestial in the Marvel Universe, but also that the long game for Phase 2 is playing out and all cards are finally on the table with the confirmation of the plot devices and their potential future use by a certain big purple ‘Oldboy’. The biggest surprise of 2014 however was not Guardians of the Galaxy, nor the highly anticipated (and mostly guessed) future Marvel line-up reveal of Black Panther and other films, but the San Diego Comic-Con panels that revealed future ‘linking’ Cinematic universes of films such as King Kong or Swamp Thing. Marvel have set the stage for the future of Cinema; and every other studio in Hollywood is now racing for a slice of the pie but are lacking in the groundwork, planning and authenticity of the original bricklayer.
From space dogfights to futuristic cities, high-tech prisons and wise-cracking mutli racial talking raccoons (sorry guys, he’s actually a genetic experiment. “Ain’t nobody like me but me”), Guardians of the Galaxy
has the whole bucket and a lot more on top. It’s a film you can watch with the family, elderly grandparents and young children alike; with adult jokes and young humour daintily interspersed for appealability whilst refraining from turning into a ‘kids film’ or pushing a 15 rating. It plays much to the testament of James Gunn and his team that he can go from shooting Scooby Doo to flavor of the month for the current Hollywood high rollers.
Who would ever guess that the slightly chubby guy you laughed at on repeated Netflix viewings would become one of the hottest stars of 2014, both literally and figuratively (Chris Pratt dropped about 60lb for Guardians). His bumbling but suave performance as the charming space smuggler Peter Quill ‘Star Lord’ takes us on a merry romp across the star systems in the galaxy, stealing for profit and self purpose before ending up both the captive of a talking raccoon and a walking tree whilst enduring prison life. He eventually ends up being broken out by an ex WWE wrestler and Elphaba from Broadway musical Wicked, where the team of wanted felons head for the nearest buyer to flog the ‘thing’ that Star Lord stole. Enter Benicio Del Toro; and we’re not presented with ‘just another Marvel film’, but something that instead breaks from the typical mould of tired Superhero outings and instead transcends the trappings of a stereotypical Space adventure, bringing us something that the likes haven’t been seen 1977. It’s easy to see why Guardians of the Galaxy is being called ‘the Star Wars of our generation’.