Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Movie Review: Guardians of the Glaxay

When I saw the trailer for this film before Captain America 2: The Winter Solider all I could think was Thank God for Marvel and how they've convinced the movie-going public to give sci-fi films another chance and I don't think I'm going to stop being thankful for this for a while (and it's also proving just how loose the definition of superhero really is which is also a good thing in my opinion). I knew absolutely nothing about this franchise going in except what I saw in those trailers but it looked like it was going to be a fun, spaghetti-space-western romp and that sounded like a pretty great summer movie to me!

Guardians of the Galaxy

While Peter Quill, human, hopes that the rest of the galaxy has heard of his exploits as "Starlord" he's just another treasure-hunter-mercenary-hirable-jack-of-all-trades guy with a criminal history. So when he runs into trouble on one job he's not surprised, especially considering how he got the job, but it seems like he and a few people who happened to be nearby are going to be pulled into an even bigger problem and will have to prove that they might be a bunch of a-holes but they still do have a sense of right and wrong.  

I didn't love this movie quite as much as I hoped to, I certainly enjoyed it and found it fun but I didn't enjoy it just as much as Cap 2 which at least seems to be a common sentiment (and I would totally watch an Avengers plus Guardians crossover heartbeat, wonder when that movie will be out). While I do like that Marvel is giving each of these mini-franchises their own style, like I just said this movie and Cap 2 were completely tonally different and had different focuses story wise as well, it's a bit hard to say what made this movie stand out from other space western movies. It's nice to see a setting which isn't literally an American West desert on another planet and it's nice to a have a story which doesn't try to completely reform the character by the end but rather convince them to act on their better impulses than their worse ones but those are details, not big, definable differences. So while I did enjoy it, I know I sound down on it but I really did, this is going to be one of the Marvel films which is more forgettable for me 

Was there anything I actively disliked about the movie? Yes, I didn't really like any of the villains since they felt, well, flatter than a comic book villain! I didn't understand why Nebula hated Gamora so much especially since Gamora certainly didn't feel the same way, I think it was supposed to demonstrate how unstable she is but it instead felt like they wanted one more fight in the movie and set it up so there would be a fight between the two of them*. For Ronan they barely mumble out a line about why he wants to destroy a planet before they rush on and I really would have liked more explanation other than the implied "this is a race of HONOR BOUND WARRIORS who must serve revenge no matter how long it takes/how awful it is in proportion to the original crime!" especially since there were shades of that with Drax as well but his journey made more sense and connected better emotionally. As for Thanos, I know that he's going to be a villain for a while (especially if, as I saw some people speculate, we get a movie about each infinity stone he's going to have a lot more screen time) but he felt just as flat and didn't feel scary at all and it seemed like he was supposed to come off as menacing or intimidating at the very least. I think the problem here was that the story had to focus on so many different characters that they had to pick and choose and chose to focus more on the heros, as it should be, but perhaps the story should have structured itself differently to better do so.

*I have seen some people point out that it might be "harder" to do a female led superhero movie since seeing women get beat up on screen to the degree that male characters do makes people rather uncomfortable so this might have also been a way to subvert that, also since characters seem to bruise less easily/have fewer other "I was in a fight" scuff-ups if they're green and blue to start with. Or it could be because some people find woman-on-woman fighting hot, not my area of expertise so I really can't comment.

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