Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

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Sunday, 3rd July 2016

Brash space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the quarry of relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain. To evade Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with four disparate misfits: gun-toting Rocket Raccoon, treelike-humanoid Groot, enigmatic Gamora, and vengeance-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when he discovers the orb’s true power and the cosmic threat it poses, Quill must rally his ragtag group to save the universe.

I just watched Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time. (Netflix is freaking amazing). I know! I am very late to the party. But, yes – that Marvel movie that was released back in 2014 starring Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. I really enjoyed it. I’ll keep this short, but I wanted to get my initial thoughts of the movie out there. I really felt like the last 45 minutes the movie really starting moving – up until then it was, as far as I can tell – giving basic introductions to the characters and getting them together to become the Guardians of the Galaxy.

 

While I enjoyed the characters and the overall story I felt that a majority of the movie was exposition for the last 40 to 45 minutes. Granted as the first movie in a series – like virtually all initial movies or books, characters need to be introduced, the person consuming the movie needs to discover who each character is and they need a chance to grow and develop as people. However, by the end of the movie I felt I didn’t really know the characters much better than I did at the beginning. The movie tries to introduce a set of intentionally interesting characters but doesn’t. One minute their doing whatever they do and next they be superheros.

 

For a large portion, I was questioning why all of a sudden any of characters – who by an amazing feat of coincidence – were making any of the choices they made. Why was it the right time for Gamora to betray Ronan and Thanos? Why not sooner? What had she been doing up until that point? Why did Thanos kidnap her and torture her? What exactly is her deal? I don’t know a damn thing about her and honestly if she had died – I wouldn’t have cared. And the Raccoon – he was an experiment – what? How? Why? When? What! And Groot, my favorite character in the movie – how? What? He’s just there and then there’s Star Lord – his mother passes away, he’s kidnapped by space pirates and 26 years later he’s… stealing and orb and being a dick… real original and over the course of the movie the assassin makes him a better person. Go Gamora, go! Oh, and not to forget Drax: his wife and child are dead – so he’s gotta kill Ronan the douche. Ronan, Ronan, Ronan. What’s he doing? He makes it pretty clear he’s allying with Thanos to get the gem (I can’t for the life of me think of the technical term – please don’t kill me!) and to destroy a certain planet because reasons, peace treaties (maybe I temporarily tuned out during his exposition, I’m not sure) and stuff… oh, and tradition!

 

Each of the characters lost something – Drax, Gamora and Star Lord lost their family and homes, which in itself is tragic and helps make them more relate-able. Who hasn’t lost a loved one before? It seems like the major reason they decide to fight (aside from the fact their saving they Galaxy they live and exist in… to not die). I liked how it shows that people who have done potentially questionable things can decide to do better, to make the right choice. Contradicting myself? Probably. The whole transition seemed entirely baffling and the character development was flawed – I’d imagined down to the script rather than the actors themselves. I know I have a lot of criticisms of the movie – how the characters fell flat, the script was meh and the bulk of the movie was a failure at setting up the story.

 

The last 45 minutes, when the characters became the Guardians of the Galaxy, the unlikely heroes – when they walked (technically flew) into what they expected to be their deaths and they fought to stop Ronan. I felt the characters really lit up, they really came to life then and became more than just the flat shells they’d been up until that point. I know I’m very critical and I know it sounds like I hated it, but I didn’t. I really enjoyed it and I really wanted it to be so much more, maybe that’s why I was so harsh on it.

 

Would I recommend it? Yeah, I would. Definitely. It was enjoyable for what it was and it had a lot of great moments. I personally thought Chris Pratt’s performance was great and I’m looking forward to seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in 2017. I wonder of Star Lords father will be introduced in the sequel? I hope so!

 

Please don’t hate me! I really do like Marvel! I promise!

 

Until next time, warm hugs!

Morgenstern!

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