Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) was released this week to a suspecting public. This is undoubtedly one of the riskier movies Marvel Studios has made, as GotG is relatively unknown unless you are an active comic reader. Names such as Iron Man, Hulk, or Captain America may be considered household names, or at least common knowledge to the standard public. However, Peter Quill is likely to invoke quizzical glances instead of familiarity if you bring him up in conversation. Same goes for Gamora, Drax, Groot, and Rocket; none of these characters are well known. So was the risk worth it for Marvel? If you don't have enough time to read this whole review then A) Why not? and B) Yes, the risk was worth it.
GotG movie does not follow the comics. We don't see characters such a Adam Warlock, Quasar, or Mantis. We do get to see Cosmos, but not in his normal role as Knowhere's chief of security. For those that don't know who Cosmos is, look for the dog in a space suit. They don't gather as a group for even the same reason as they do in the comics. But here is the thing, it doesn't matter. So far the movie / TV universe is doing its own thing anyway, so why not keep that going. The reason they start working together in the movie makes sense in the greedy bastard mentality, and the way they interact makes sense for how the character's personalities are established in the movie. Some of these personalities are different than the comics though. Gamora and Drax specifically seem different. They are more passive and not as assistant kicky then their comic counterparts, so be prepared for that.
The movie starts slowly, as almost all superhero movies do. They have to introduce the characters in a somewhat meaningful fashion, giving the most time to Peter Quill since it makes the least sense for a human to be gallivanting around the galaxy in 2014. Also, as humans ourselves, we seem to give other humans in stories most the time. But once you get past the introductions it starts to pick up the pace. The action is fun and more importantly, if you don't know the first thing about the GotG, it won't matter. I could say a whole bunch here about how they get out of jail (not a spoiler, it was in the trailers they got arrested), or how they come together to save the galaxy, but I don't want to spoil the movie. So lets just wrap up this paragraph by saying the execution of this unknown property was excellently done.
OK, the actual review is over. From here on I will talk about where I feel the the GotG movie fits in the the grand Marvel plan where all the movies lead up to something big by, I think, 2028. It feels like the end of the 2nd half. Minor spoilers to follow, so be warned.
The Marvel movies all seem to be moving toward the finding all 6 of the Infinity Gems. We know the Asgardians have the blue (Mind) one in their vault, and the Collector is keeping the red (Power) one safe on his ship. You will know where the third gems sits at the end of the movie. And with Thanos being one of the villains in this movie it seems obvious where they are going with the movies. This means we have, at a minimum, 3 more movies to find the other gems plus one where Thanos gets all 6 and tries to destroy creation. I am very much looking forward to this.