When I went to the cinema to see this film it was more because I was asked than because of any actual desire. I am a fan of most Marvel films but I hadn’t really heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy before and the view I got of the film from the trailer seemed very different from any of the Marvel films I’d enjoyed in the past. For starters it’s set in space and is only linked to Earth in the sense that the main character was picked up from there in a spaceship when still a child. I thought that the film had the potential to be just another action blockbuster, one with very little storyline or emotion behind it. Clearly, since I am writing this article now, I was happily surprised!
The film, like most Marvel pictures, is inspired by a large collection of previously written material, in particular comic books. This of course does present the challenge of making the film work whilst not straying too far from the source material. I can’t comment much on this possibility though, having never read any of the original comics. From my perspective, this vast array of influences only helped to give the film the feeling of a rich background and made me feel like I had known the heroes of the film a lot longer than its actual duration. The characters of the film are very likeable and human, making the shift from individual rogues to a team of heroes saving the galaxy over the length of the film. It’s in their individual backstories that we get to know the characters and want them to succeed. The film also has a good cast, including Chris Pratt and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel in the main team alone as well as Dr Who’s Karen Gillan as one of the villains of the story. Vin Diesel’s character Groot is particularly fun and likeable.
The soundtrack to the film is good, using a well-chosen selection of 70s and 80s pop music which really suits the style and speed of the film, and the soundtrack also plays a role in the storyline which was a clever touch. The film is never slow and, despite some good action sequences, also has an emotional side since most of the characters are dealing with their own pasts and personal issues over the course of the film.
I would describe this film as a perfect example of how to adapt from an old comic book and it is even more successful considering it cannot sell itself with a famous brand name like Spiderman or X-Men. Dependant on what Marvel does next, they may manage to start themselves a whole new franchise and I certainly hope so because I want to see what happens next to this set of characters; I can only recommend that you don’t underestimate it like I did and that you give the film a chance to work its magic on you.