Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy on Netflix

Guardians of the galaxy header image

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy on Netflix

by Rob Jefchak

Guardians of the Galaxy first arrived on Netflix in April of 2015 in Belgium and the Netherlands.  As of now it can be watched in 10 different regions including Netflix Canada, Australia, and the UK, but NOT on American Netflix.

Check out the up-to-the-minute availability on our Guardians of the Galaxy on Netflix page, or unlock it no matter where you live using the steps on our Get American Netflix page (which actually lets you watch American Netflix PLUS Netflix Canada and 4 other countries, which will get you watching Guardians tonight!).

Movies are in many ways a colossal gamble. You pay someone millions and millions of dollars in the hopes that the director can double or triple that amount and turn that little movie you funded into a juggernaut of popularity and pump out more sequels so you can do the process over and over again. At the time, barely anyone had even heard of a comic book as absurd and underground as “Guardians of the Galaxy.” It took DC decades before they could even greenlight a “Wonder Woman” movie, in a day and age where they are now proudly flaunting the fact they got a female lead superhero movie out before Marvel did, and yet a movie about a talking raccoon and a tree monster who repeats the same 3 words frequently got made first?

This is how truly strange the story of “Guardians of the Galaxy” is, and it’s a challenge that horror director/writer; James Gunn (Slither, Dawn of the Dead) took on for Marvel. After human outlaw Peter Quill/Star Lord (Chris Pratt) steals a powerful orb sought after a fanatical alien warrior called Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), an epic manhunt begins for Quill and the orb. The ensuing chase forces Quill to team up with other galactic misfits such as Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) to protect the orb and stop Ronan from using it to lay waste to them and everyone and everything else in the universe that stands in his way.

This concept is a bizarre bucket of weird no matter what director or writer tackles it. “Guardians” is a galactic amalgamation of “Animal House”, “Star Wars” and a whole juke box full of classic tunes that somehow manages to work together in the most awesomely mixed way possible. There’s a powerful assortment of talented actors from the likes of Pratt, Diesel, Cooper, Zaldana; playing the most ridiculous of roles from talking raccoons with guns and one liner spouting tree beings. It’s a bewildering mix of comedic genius, space age action and dysfunctional characters and dynamics that probably sounded asinine on paper, but it comes to life beautifully and hilariously when Gunn assembles his motley crew and pumps out the jams.

People knew very little about “Thor” or “Iron Man” when their solo films debuted, but only the wisest of geeks have heard of a comic book title as random and obscure as “Guardians.” It is for this reason that Gunn wisely took these “A-holes” (movie quote) on a completely different ride than other Marvel heroes had experienced. This film uses its humor and soundtrack like it was all part of the same plan, executed colorfully and creatively unlike any other superhero movie witnessed before. While Pratt, Cooper and Diesel are, not surprisingly, masters at flexing their comedic chops, it’s newcomer Dave Bautista that truly steals the show with his impeccable comedic timing. He excels with his stunt work and chemistry with his fellow cast mates and it helps bind the team as one hell of an entertaining group of goofballs.

Other actors well worth mentioning include Glenn Close and John C. Reilly as space police, Karen Gillian as the icy Nebula, Michael Rooker as the blue skinned hunter Yondu, and the oddly delightful performance of Benicio Del Toro as The Collector. There’s hardly a single genre that this movie doesn’t touch, everything from romance, action, buddy comedies, space operas and science fiction is represented in a gloriously goofy gumbo that has the right amount of spice and punch to liven up anyone’s spirits. The villain, Ronan, may not be the most well explored bad guy in Marvel’s universe, but he is by no means a letdown or a disappointment and Lee Pace is damn near unrecognizable as the hammer wielding Big Bad of this story.

Overall, “Guardians” is a strangely assorted mix of nuts, aliens, trees, raccoons and classic songs that feel brand new when lined up with Chris Pratt dancing across an alien planet’s chasm while singing into a space lizard. This idea sounds too fragmented and silly to work, too many great names in bizarre roles with outdated music should have been a multi layered bomb for this picture…but it wasn’t. “Guardians” works when no one thought it did and it works in ways no one could have expected. It’s a much welcomed surprise at the bottom of a Marvel superhero cereal box and it is one that will be thoroughly enjoyed for many light years to come.