Marvel Marathon #9: Guardians of the Galaxy

(During quarantine my girlfriend and I are going through the Marvel movies chronologically. Surprisingly, she is really enjoying them, maybe even more than me. We are already a couple down and I’m gunna do write-ups for all of ‘em, the good and the bad.)

Guardians of the Galaxy, from what I hear, is one of the most beloved movies of the MCU, and understandably so; it’s got the fun 80’s soundtrack, hilarious banter between a bunch of outcasts, Star Wars worship, and… OK so get this, maybe, just maybe, those very things have fooled people in to thinking ‘Guardians’ is a great movie. Don’t shoot!

Sci-fi is not my jam, never has been. Or at least not the sci-fi that’s goofy for no reason and little else. You know what I mean. This is cringe sci-fi, the kind of sci-fi movie that was made in the 80s by fans of Star Trek who think sci-fi is purely about weird outfits, oddly designed spaceships, and silly planet names. They think that’s everything that encompasses a sci-fi movie. It’s a little insulting really. There are too many blue, green, yellow, and orange people, ridiculous OTT uniforms, and bonkers planet names just for the sake of it – Even crazily designed spaceships. Good for the creators for making such an outlandish world that’s completely hollow. I don’t find that kind of thing creative. It’s a sci-fi nerd’s fever dream.

Did people just completely overlook that Guardians is a total rip off of Star Wars when it came out six years ago? The movie doesn’t even hide the fact, all the way down to the mishap crew of outcasts. Speaking of Star Wars, the whole Collector thing is way over the top. Benicio Del Toro is one of the finest actors working today, but what he’s doing here is so hammy that even the Emperor would cringe.

Right, this is reading like I hated the movie. I didn’t hate it. It was OK. Though it is a complete rip-off, the crew’s chemistry is fantastic, all the actors did an amazing job to pull that off. I mean, a green alien, a talking raccoon, a tree, and some murderous topless madman unite? It sounds like somebody was tripping balls when they wrote that, but it works! What makes it believable is they way they all bond from some sort of loss in their past. It’s a great real moment in such a visually fake film. The crew remind me of characters from 90s/2000s TV shows – I could see them going on a different adventure every week, like Sliders, or something. Remember that?

Considering they had the job of spinning shit in to gold, the cast do an incredible job. Hot take: Bradley Cooper might be better casting than Robert Downey. Cooper plays Rocket Raccoon and it’s a joy to watch, and he has the most emotional arc. Dave Bautista is also brings it with his comic relief air-headed knife lover Drax. And of course, you have funny man Chris Pratt who got paid probably 10million to get jacked and have a shit ton of fun. The opening, which has Chris Pratt’s Starlord singing and dancing through rain, using alien lizards as microphones is one of the best opening sequences of the series. It immediately gives you a sense of his character, what kind of movie this is gonna be, and it’s just a pleasure on all the senses, well, sight and sound anyway.

Now, the soundtrack. It obviously goes without saying that the movie has a great soundtrack, but it’s used so manipulatively. You can’t fool me. Goodfellas has a great soundtrack but if you take away the soundtrack you’ve still got a great movie. Take away the soundtrack from Guardians and… well you’ve definitely got a movie.

And as always (I feel like a broken record here,) The final act is sooo long. None of it makes any sense. What’s going on with Groot saving everyone in a ball of branches out of nowhere. Is that the biggest ex machina to ever happen in any film ever? Why people blow smoke up this movie’s arse is beyond me. It is what it is; a CGI fest of a b-movie with too high of a budget and too little of a story, but a fun crew of outcasts that I would watch go on adventure every week in a TV show if I was nine years old.

Next up: The Avengers: Age of Ultron

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