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First Review: Guardians of the Galaxy



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Speelduur: 121 min.
Taal: Engels
In de bioscoop vanaf: 13 Augustus 2014

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Leuke en visueel zeer impressionante representatie van het kosmisch Marvel-universum. Tal van easter eggs. Leuke grappen en interessante soundtrack. Rocket Raccoon en Groot stelen de show.


Nauwelijks uitgewerkte villains. De rol van enkele fan-favorites blijft beperkt.

Met Guardians of the Galaxy gaan we de kosmische kant van het Marvel-universum ook op het grote scherm verkennen. Lees hier de eerste review op Brainfreeze! …Ooga chaka ooga chaka…

Posted 24/07/2014 by

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No raccoons or tree creatures were harmed during the making of this film

Many called it Marvel Studios' biggest gamble since the first Iron Man film, but hey, they did it! In Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn (Slither, Super) is taking some lesser known cosmic Marvel characters and worlds to the silver screen. Including the improbable duo Rocket Raccoon – a genetically engineered raccoon with a big mouth – and Groot – an alien tree-like creature. Guardians of the Galaxy, the movie, did not take its inspiration from the first version of the alien superhero team from 1969, but the reincarnated one from 2008. Besides Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), the movie version of the Guardians further includes leader Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), an intergalactic thief and adventurer, living weapon Drax The Destroyer (Dave Bautista) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the deadliest woman in the universe. Together with this "bunch of a-holes" audiences everywhere can explore the limits of the Marvel Universe in a quite humorous epic sci-fi adventure…

gotg1Peter Jason Quill (Pratt) is the love-child of a human mother and an alien father. When he was very little, Peter was abducted by a gang of intergalactic thieves called the Ravagers. Years later he adopted the name Star-Lord. When Peter comes into possession of the Orb, a powerful artifact that – just like the Tesseract from The Avengers and the Aether from Thor: The Dark World – is one of six Infinity Stones, he's hunted by Ronan The Accuser (Lee Pace). Ronan is envisioned here as a radical member of the alien race known as the Kree. Together with his accomplices Korath The Pursuer (Djimon Hounsou) and Nebula (Karen Gillan), Ronan works for the cosmic villain Thanos The Mad Titan (Josh Brolin), whom you might remember from the post-credits scene from The Avengers. After some skirmishes, Star-Lord brokers an alliance with Drax, Rocket, Groot en Gamora – Thanos' adopted daughter and "sister" to Nebula – to keep the Stone safe. Easier said than done, as they're wanted by the intergalactic police force known as the Nova Corps and the bounty hunter/leader of the Ravagers Yondu (Michael Rooker), who needs to have some words with Quill…


Guardians of the Galaxy explores a whole different corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, hereby introducing a lot of new characters and concepts. We journey from the intergalactic prison Kyln to the Earth-like Xandar, home of the Nova Corps. Even Knowhere makes an appearance – a colony in the cut off head of a godlike Celestial. Both Marvel readers familiar with the material and fans of James Gunn's films will get a kick out of the numerous easter eggs and cameo's in this film. The museum of The Collector (Benicio del Toro), first seen in Thor: The Dark World, is just the start. We can call ourselves experts in Marvel trivia, but even we will need to see Guardians of the Galaxy a couple of times to catch all references.

Several years ago, writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning reworked the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe, eventually starting a new and well-received Guardians of the Galaxy series. Their spirit is clearly present in this picture, with a sligh touch of Brian Michael Bendis and of course James Gunn's trademark humor thrown in for good measure. Guardians… is probably the funniest Marvel-movie to date. Chris Pratt (Jurassic World, Parks & Recreation) plays a convincing, yet slightly more mischievous Star-Lord. While the comic book character predates similar space rascals like Han Solo (Star Wars) or captain Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly/Serenity), their influence on the movie version of Peter Quill is quite obvious. This Quill is also clearly a child of the eighties. His Sony Walkman – including a cassette tape with several 70's/80's classics – is his only connection to Earth and his deceased mother. Therefore, the thing has a very important role to play in the movie. Peter's numerous references to 80's pop culture and overuse of earthly metaphors are also a nice touch. His fellow Guardians struggle to understand his quips, which leads to some hilarious conversations indeed.

Zoe Saldana (Star Trek, Avatar) kicks all kinds of ass as Gamora, yet is a tad weaker and more caring than the comics version. Her rivalry with Nebula is one of several subplots that could have used a little more exposition. Dave Bautista is actually pretty surprising as the dangerous and vengeful, yet loyal and kind of a simpleton, Drax The Destroyer. These two Guardians did deserve a little more depth throughout the story though. The absolute stars of the picture are – as expected – the perfectly cast (and animated) Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel as Rocket Raccoon and Groot. They steal the show in literally every scene they appear in. Groot accomplishes this with, of course, but a few words. Rocket uses a whole lot more. It's perfect and well worth the price of admission alone.


Usually, a Marvel Studios flick isn't the place to look for convincing, tragic and sympathetic villains (unless, of course, they're named "Loki"). Ronan The Accuser (Lee Pace) sadly isn't the complex character we know from the comics. He got rewritten as a generic bad guy who only searches for power and the destruction of Xandar. You can compare him to Malekith from Thor: The Dark World. A missed opportunity, really. Josh Brolin also only has one full scene as Thanos, but the fans will probably eat it up. If you weren't a fan of Benicio Del Toro's scene as the excentric Collector at the end of Thor: The Dark World, his scene in Guardians... won't convince you either. We do get a short, yet necessary explanation concerning the Infinity Stones, though, aka Marvel's favorite MacGuffins (no exception here).

Another important role is reserved for Michael Rooker as the bounty hunter Yondu Udonta. This incarnation is a lot less heroic than the comics version (one of the very first Guardians by the way). Basically, Rooker reprises his role as Merle Dixon from The Walking Dead, but with blue skin. The Nova Corps as well, are not the human rockets from the comics. They're more like agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in sci-fi suits and fancy spaceships. John C. Reilly (Wreck-It Ralph) as Rhomann Dey is rewritten as a Phil Coulson-like character. Both his and Glenn Close (Damages) as Nova Prime's roles are, sadly, quite limited as well.


Despite a couple of minor flaws and perhaps a couple of characters too many, Guardians of the Galaxy still ranks as one of the funniest and best Marvel movies to date. The jokes are great and a bit dirtier than you'd expect from a film distributed by Disney. Even if the story does get a tad corny sometimes, we do see this gang of misfits come together as true friends quite convincingly – as well as sharing a common goal and purpose for probably the first time in their lives. Every main character gets his or her moment(s) and several memorable quotes and jokes to boot. Visually, the film is a joy to look at. With beautiful CGI-locations, colorful space characters and action scenes that demand to be viewed in IMAX 3D. Oh, and that 70's/80's soundtrack? That one will be stuck in your head for days…

Guardians of the Galaxy is an epic and funny sci-fi rollercoaster and a gorgeous introduction to the cosmic corner of the Marvel U. At the end of the ride, you do get to know these characters pretty well. Let's hope they have a bright cinematic future ahead of them…

Guardians of the Galaxy crashes into Belgian theatres August 13th. Do you want to know more about Marvel's newest movie stars? Check our START TO READ: Guardians of the Galaxy.

Guardians of the Galaxy post-credits scènes – Spoilers!

In the Mighty Marvel manner, two after the credits scenes are included. A short funny scene plays directly at the end of the movie, after the Guardians saved Xandar, shot off into space and the screen faded to black. After the pleasant message "The Guardians of the Galaxy will return" , the following scene plays almost immediately:

In the movie we get to know Star-Lord's love for dancing (and the great Kevin Bacon in Footloose). At the end of the movie, his fellow Guardians get to appreciate this a lot more. Even Groot!

Groot sacrificed himself during the final battle to save his friends, but – since Rocket kept and watered a small piece of him – Groot is starting to grow anew. In the scene we see a little version of Groot, still in his bucket, dancing to one of Star-Lord's tapes. In the background, Drax The Destroyer is sharpening his blade. When Drax stops and looks over at Groot, he stops dancing. When Drax looks away, Groot starts dancing again. An hilarious piece of cinema, right there. Dancing Groot will have to be seen to believed, though!

After the actual credits, this scene plays in the museum of The Collector (Benicio del Toro), which was destroyed in the movie:

The Collector is sitting amidst the destruction, battered and bruised. Cosmo the space dog is licking his face. A voice says "What do you let him lick you like that for?" and it's none other than Howard The Duck!




I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with me.


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