Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Looks like yellow is the new black, according to these prisoners. Just wanted to make that joke before I forgot. I guess you had that thought as well if you’ve seen at least this picture or any of them in prison garb.

An eclectic group of beings band together try to stop the end of the world.

After seeing the trailer, I figured it was one film I should see over the summer just because of how fun it looked. Since then, I realized that I didn’t want to see it in a traditional theater, but rather the drive-in. I went last night as a way of treating myself to one of the few final moments before summer’s end. It was doubled with Into the Storm but I suppose it was worth the wait, especially after I found out that this was to be shown on film. It made the overall experience very enjoyable.

I must confess that I am not literate with the comic book world, whether it’s Marvel or DC. The first and last superhero film I saw since the boon of superhero films was The Avengers, only because I knew Joss Whedon. I’ve listened to friends discuss these movies many a time, only to be left out as a passive listener. I know I have some catching up to do, but that will have to wait.

What we have is a film that’s tongue-in-cheek; it knows that it’s not supposed to be serious all of the time, especially when you have a crew that includes a raccoon and a talking tree. I came to this movie knowing this and was not disappointed. The pop culture references, whenever presented, mostly hit their mark. I know some art buffs were in the audience that night when Peter Quill talked about how dirty his ship is.

It even has time to at least address each of the Guardians’ backstory. While the stories are not presented in the same way, each one is touching in some way, all connected through loss. I’m sure they’ll work their way into the sequel at some point, at least for those who don’t read the comics. I wish each one had equal screen time, but that would’ve slowed the pace.

As for the characters, I figured all would have at least an equal or proportionate share of screen time. Speaking as an outsider to the Marvel universe, I didn’t fully understand why Gamora’s sister wasn’t explained as well as Gamora herself. To that extent, it seemed like she was a mini-boss before the final battle. Same with Thanos and The Collector.

With Rocket Raccoon in particular, I felt that he was definitely present in the same space as the actors. In recent times, the CGI characters in live-action movies have lacked a certain weight, mostly though minor exaggerations in movement and the fact that it was composited into the scene. Here, I felt like I could interact with him if it were possible, despite him being a CGI character. This is a good thing.

I was worried that the editing during the action sequences would be an incomprehensible mess. No worries here. I was able to follow most of the action and still make it out in one piece. That’s a success in my book.

Some scenes were a little dark in terms of lighting. I think the projector bulb was not at full power but there were moments where it was hard to discern things on screen, regardless. It’s a small peeve of mine but the moments were brief.

I enjoyed watching this, even if I went alone. I am eager to watch the sequel when it comes out in a few years. It’s a blockbuster that helps end summer on a high note. In the meantime, I’ll have to catch up with Marvel.

P.S. The post-credits scene is worth watching, if nothing for the pleasure of seeing someone from the Marvel universe be recognized again.

7/10

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One thought on “Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

  1. Good review. It’s not the kind of Marvel I was expecting to see, but it’s one that I was so surprisingly pleased by, I couldn’t help but just have a great time with.

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