Guardians of the Galaxy was a smash-hit at the box office. It can be seen as the turning point in the MCU. It was the first film to explore the more cosmic side of the Marvel Universe. Guardians of the Galaxy gave us the first glimpse at what the universe looks like outside of the Earth and the Avengers. It was a huge gamble on Marvel’s part. The gamble paid off, because the film is one of the most cherished in the MCU. James Gunn and his rag-tag team gave us one of the best sci-fi stories of the past 40 years.
My judge of how good a Marvel movie is: if you take out all the Marvel stuff (infinity stones, Avengers etc.), does it work without it? With Guardians, that was a resounding “yes”. The film works incredibly well as a stand-alone story. It just so happens to work even better when put into the MCU puzzle. Everything from the casting, to the cinematography, to the music oozed classic film-making. It took a classic story like The Wild Bunch or Seven Samurai and made it into a Marvel film.
That’s really what Marvel Studios does best. When they take superheroes and add them to an existing idea, they get magic. Guardians of the Galaxy is part of that magic.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Sets Up The Rest Of The MCU Story
In addition to just being a great movie, Guardians is one that pushes the story of the entire MCU along. Without this film, we wouldn’t have known Thanos’s motivation. We wouldn’t have the story of Gamora and Nebula that ultimately helps Thanos’s downfall. Most importantly, and heartbreakingly, we wouldn’t have the motivation for Avengers: Endgame without Starlord being a hot-headed, stubborn, lover in Avengers: Infinity War. Without Starlord’s stupid decision as Iron Man, Mantis, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man are about to subdue Thanos, we wouldn’t have the most heartbreaking and great entry in the entire series. It’s all set up perfectly with a bow on top, in Guardians of the Galaxy.
If Iron Man was the film that started it all for Marvel and their cinematic department, Guardians of the Galaxy is the film that catapulted them into the cosmos. Without that film, we wouldn’t have the threads ready for many different MCU characters. Adam Warlock? Nope, not happening without the success of Guardians. It’s the singular point that you can show on the roadmap of the MCU, where they took the success of The Avengers and gave Marvel it’s own flair.
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