Guardians of the Galaxy
Finally managed to go and watch Guardians of the Galaxy. While I’d definitely wanted to watch the movies, I’d been of two minds. I like the Marvel Superhero movies, but they aren’t great. They often have their problems and are a bit too much action-heavy for me. I have nothing against action (like it quite a bit, in fact), but a good movie needs some depths too, otherwise it won’t stay long with me.
A lack in depths wasn’t the only thing I feared. I feared the comedy. Not because I don’t like comedic elements or comedy in general (I actually like to laugh quite a bit, believe me!), there’s a thin line between “funny” and “too much”, where the whole movie is dragged down in an attempt to cram in as much “funny” as possible. Genuinely “funny” isn’t actually as easy to do as one might believe. There’s a good episode in Brandon Sanderson‘s “Write about Dragons” in that regard, done by the author of Schlock Mercenary, Howard Taylor. I don’t remember the exact episode, but watching through them definitely is not a waste, so here’s the link.
So, I dreaded that this might be the case. Fear not, I have returned and I tell you, it is not! It’s genuinely funny in most regards and I laughed quite a bit. It’s not overdone and doesn’t distract (much) from the otherwise somber story about terrorism, revenge, and the end of the universe.
The next important thing, the reason I liked the movie very much despite a somewhat lacking and predictable story, is the hero team. They are a blast. Seriously. The trailers do them justice, but they are even better in the two hours long movie. Over the board eccentric characters that might have one or two screws loose, but have a good core, a core that makes them band together, disregarding all hope for payment, and do what must be done for the universe. They are my favorite hero team by far and beat the pants off the Avengers. I’ll be awaiting the next time (and there will be a next time) they are in the cinemas and will be going to see them as early as possible.
I had next to no previous knowledge of the series from the comics, as I’ve only read a whooping two issues (which, granted, told me a lot), but that wasn’t needed. I probably caught only a fraction of the hints in regard to the whole Marvel universe and the Guardians of the Galaxy series in particular. You can just walk right into the movie and get dragged into a fast-moving plot you can simply enjoy for two hours.
While the action, and there’s a lot of action, is good, it can be a bit too fast at times and hard to follow what exactly happened. The 3D didn’t help for that and I found 3D for this movie not necessary, as it didn’t seem to add much to warrant the couple of Euros or Dollars more.
My only real gripe with the movie is in regard to the ending and I’ll of course spoiler that for everyone that has either seen the movie already or simply wants to know right now:
One problem I see with the ending is that the peacekeeping corpse, the Novas (?), doesn’t seem to have any real defenses. In a universe where there are dangerous forces kinda everywhere, their planet seems to have next to no defenses. Nothing that could prevent the approach of a hostile ship or fleet, at least. The Novas themselves don’t seem very strong with their small ships. Even their combined power wasn’t really enough. This might be explained in universe by the comic series, but for someone who hasn’t read them, there was a distinct lack of explanation as to why such a hostile ship can just barge into a planet and the first resistance comes when it’s already in the orbit.
My second problem is in regard to the way our heroes have to use to stop the big bad adversary. Gamora has to disable the security system for the door (or something similar), which is nothing new for such situations. The first really dumb thing is letting her do it alone, without helping her. It takes only a second, so waiting for her to finish would have been no problem. But that would have prevented the showdown between her and her sister. Well, duh, find a more logical way to have that showdown next time. Ain’t so hard, I reckon.
I’d let that slide if the others had to go a long way to the door that’s about to be unlocked (which they did) and needed every second they could get. But why, why can Gamora, after disabling that door security thingy, just shoot the ceiling and jump upwards into the room they wanted to unlock? First, why didn’t they do that in the first place? They could have just circumvented the door and been like “Haha, your base are belong to us” without the hassle of even opening any doors or whatever. I’ll let that slide, again, as what Gamora shut down might have prevented them to shoot and jump through the ceiling.
So, we still have shutting down whatever prevents them from entering. What we have instead is a new way, a better way, of getting to where they want to go: Disable the security measures, shoot the ceiling and jump through. Much better and faster than letting Gamora deal with the disabling herself and the others getting caught in a firefight (even if that was funny). In a situation where seconds decide about the life or death of billions, that would have been the smart and the kinda obvious route anyway.
Concluding: Watch it! It’s one of the best Marvel Superhero movies to date and I’m definitely looking forward to more movies about the Guardians of the Galaxy. They are simply a likeable bunch of misfits with Starlord their figurehead, expertly played by Chris Pratt, otherwise known as somewhat slow but charming Andy from Parks and Recreation.