So, I’ve been sick. Life’s rough like that. The Black Panther Review is coming. For now, let’s talk about a movie that actually uses its amazing soundtrack.
Guardians, I’m ashamed to say, is a film I did not see in theaters, but instead watched for the first time in my own home. I was just a little unsure it. It seemed different, and with Marvel films being such a new thing, different could have been bad, just as easily as it could have been good. I’m happy to say that this is the last time I doubted.
After a brief, but tragic cold open scene, we get one of the best character introductions ever. As Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love” plays, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) struts through a dark cave, dancing about and holding a space-rat like a microphone. This scene is so goofy, and yet so breathtakingly beautiful. It sets the stage for the whole movie; a fun romp filled with great music and eye-popping color schemes.
This film’s use of its soundtrack is quite possible the greatest thing about it. James Gunn shapes sequences around songs so that they blend perfectly, and the elements of the scene seem to capture the true essence of the song, like in the fantastic breakout scene. Nothing says “The Pina Colada Song” more than Peter Quill coolly strolling down a hallway, priceless artifact in hand, especially when you consider that the song is actually called “Escape”.
As superhero films go, this one doesn’t exactly break any molds or redefine the genre in terms of structure, but it is definitely one of the first Marvel films to really set itself apart. James Gunn gave us an easily digestible summer blockbuster, but with amazing music choices, an excellent cast, one of the richest color palettes in cinema, and some solid action paired with an encouraging story of friendship.