Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Best Thing About "Guardians of the Galaxy"

I am without question a scifi/fantasy devotee.  Thus, my love of the genre - combined with an inherent affection for Marvel comics - meant that going to see the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie was almost mandatory for me.  

Thankfully, the film did not disappoint. From my perspective, it contained an entertaining dose of the requisite elements required in such movies: action/adventure, comedy, special effects, etc.  Apparently, lots of other people agree with my assessment; thus far, the movie has cleaned up from a fiscal standpoint, raking in over $400 million at the global box office.

However, despite all those other pleasing qualities, what I found the best - and most surprising - feature of the movie was actually something I usually don't give a great deal of thought to with respect to films: the soundtrack.

Sure, there are movies which will contain a song that will hit you in the gut or make sit up and you take notice because of the way it captures your fancy or suits a scene (eg, Jim Croce's Time in a Bottle in X-Men: Days of Future Past), but this was a little different. This was an occasion where the music not only fit the visual on the screen, but was so embedded in the action that it almost seemed to have a role in the film.  From the early scene with Star Lord grooving to Redbone's infectious Come and Get Your Love (see the video below) to the Jackson 5's immortal I Want You Back, the music in this instance just seems to capture the essence of the film.

Moreover, it's patently obvious that I'm far from the only person who was impressed with the music.  The soundtrack recently hit #1 on the Billboard charts - a nice feat for a bunch of songs from the '60s and '70s.  I guess it's true what they say: everything old is new again.

The film's director, James Gunn (who also co-wrote the screenplay), was the person responsible for selecting the songs used in the movie. As far as I'm concerned, he should be given an Academy Award just for that. (You have to admit that even the name of the soundtrack is pretty cool: "Awesome Mix Vol. 1")  

Long story short, the movie was great - but the soundtrack was absolutely fantastic! The only downside is that, when I look to the future, I'm not worried about how the movie sequel will compare to the original film; I'm sure it will do fine (and set the stage for a third film).  However, "Awesome Mix Vol. 2" will have the unenviable task of trying to measure up to its predecessor, and that, my friends, is a high bar to hurdle.  Mr. Gunn, sir, you have your work cut out for you, but you are merely a victim of your own success.

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