Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Advent 2014: Favourite Characters of 2014 – Day #10: The Guardians of the Galaxy

For the tenth out of the twelve days that my column is running for, I turn my attention to the group of misfits from James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, this summer’s best movie.

Once again, the rules for this column:

"As you’ve probably noticed from above, this is a new blog series dedicated to showcasing my favourite characters from 2014. I will draw from a wide variety of sources but the conditions are simple – I have to have either first encountered that character in 2014, (or a different iteration of that character in 2014, for example, If I were to use, Steven Moffat’s Sherlock Holmes, I would be allowed to as even though I discovered the character before the year of me writing the Advent list, I did not discover Moffat’s take on the character until 2014. Of course, I watched BBC’s Sherlock before 2014, but that’s just a standard example). I can also refer to groups of characters, for example, on a variation of a list last year, I used the Clone Club from Orphan Black, and the main cast from Stargate Atlantis. This will be used multiple times this year when talking about TV show characters – as they are generally better as an ensemble piece as opposed to an individual group.

And also, as is evident from the first character that I have used this year, Raylan Givens, I am allowed to pick characters from previous years as long as I have discovered them in this year. By discovered, that obviously means I have to have watched the first episode of the TV series in 2014, or alternatively, I am also allowed to include characters who I have become more attached to in this year that I weren’t necessarily so keen on before, for example, If a character did something awesome this year to raise their game and turn him or her into a new fan favourite than these characters would be allowed to be included."

Like most people, going into Guardians of the Galaxy, I wasn’t a hundred per cent familiar with the characters involved. In fact, my only exposure to them prior had been the Guardians of the Galaxy comic series currently written by Brian Michael Bendis, and due to the fact that the team were so obscure, Bendis had Iron Man join them to make it seem more friendly to newcomers by giving them a familiar face. It worked, sort of. However, Bendis’ GOTG, whilst fun, could never quite reach the heights that I was looking for and it still hasn’t in the present. But thankfully, the movie was a welcome improvement on the comic being not just an excellent superhero movie, but an excellent science fiction movie, instantly becoming my favourite Marvel movie due to its smart blend of humour, action and of course, the awesome music, featuring songs like Blue Swede’s Hooked on a Feeling, Redbone’s Come and Get Your Love and The Five Stairsteps’ O-O-H Child, making the soundtrack a regular feature on my journeys into my Uni Campus (which for at least two years is the same one as my college one, just with a foundation degree course before I go to Plymouth University in the third year) each morning).

The characters featured in the movie are all great, fun and each have their own quirks and personalities making them each stand out on their own with a distinctive and unique voice. Star Lord (Chris Pratt) is the cocky, Han Solo-esque leader, kidnapped from Earth in the ‘70s and now a space pirate. Peter Quill leads a team of aliens, Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), a talking tree named Groot (Vin Diesel) who only says “I am Groot”, Drax (Dave Batista), the hulking warrior who doesn’t understand the concept of metaphors, and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) who is the daughter of Thanos (remember this guy from the post credits of The Avengers?). It’s a great mix of fantastic characters who play off each other incredibly well, and they’re thrust into one awesome situation after another.

Sure, Guardians of the Galaxy may be nothing new in terms of story. Its Magnificent Seven meets Star Wars in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it was probably only made because Marvel doesn’t have the rights to make X-Men, Fantastic Four and Spider-Man films, but despite that, it really works. Nobody would have believed this movie could become one of the highest grossing films of 2014 (I think second only to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, but I could be wrong), but it certainly did. The characters played a massive part in that, injecting a fun, fresh and much energy into the Marvel Cinematic Universe that following two (Iron Man Three, Thor: The Dark World) out of three (Captain America; The Winter Soldier) average films.

 If you’re one of the few people who hasn’t yet seen GOTG yet, here’s the trailer (It’s currently out on DVD, so what are you waiting for?).

All the characters included in this column so far. 

·         Day 1: Raylan Givens (Justified)
·         Day 2: The Mikealson Family (The Originals)
·         Day 3: Nolan and Irisa (Defiance)
·         Day 4: Godzilla (Gareth Edwards' Godzilla)
·         Day 5: The 99th Precinct (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
·         Day 6: The All New X-Factor (Peter David’s All New X-Factor)
·         Day 7: Bluebird & Spoiler (Batman Eternal)
·         Day 8: Korra (The Legend of Korra)
·         Day 9: Nikita & Alex (Nikita)

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