I’m back with much new content to write about. I still have to give my impressions of “Godzilla“, “X-Men- Days of Future Past“, “Edge of Tomorrow” and more. But first, let’s talk about Marvel’s new and most original movie, “Guardians of the Galaxy“.
Directed by “Super“-director James Gunn, “GotG” tells the story about a bunch of interstellar criminals and outlaws, you could say they are rebels, who team up to fight against the evil Kree-fundamentalist Ronan (Lee Pace), partner to the galaxy’s emperor, Thanos (Josh Brolin). Ronan is looking for another infinity stone, Marvel’s mcguffins, and wants to use this doomsday weapon to destroy a planet. Wait, this can’t be right, this is the basic premise of Star Wars.
Where every movie has gone before
I mean, this is Marvel’s most original movie (according to the marketing!). And because of its space setting, it clearly has to take some plot threads from Star Wars, for it may be the reason movies like “Guardians of the Galaxy” can even exist. And it’s not like they are using the very same plot structure (like “Eragon“) or characters. The team-constellation is most unusual and original: a quirky, pop culture-orientated white male earthling,a hot female alien, who has been working for the villainous empire but is now on the good side,a warrior from a simpler minded race, who is seeking revenge against the villainous empire,
But it’s not only “Star Wars” and “Farscape” ripping off, apparently there are also some parallels to Joss Whedon’s “Firefly“. There’s a smuggler’s space ship, full of outlawed, despicable people you normally would despise. But in the end, they are nice and turn out to be heroes. And yes, that’s also the point with the crew of the Serenity. But the main difference is, while the guardians are from various alien species, Whedon’s protagonists are all human. (which is a kind of original idea, given that the show takes place in space, and the future.)
I think It has been made clear, that “Guardians of the Galaxy” isn’t that original movie that the marketing had claimed it to be. Also, the other marketing slogan that it is “a risky move to introduce new characters no one has ever heard before” is kinda stupid when you consider that EVERY other movie does that.
But enough about the marketing. How does the movie itself hold up?
The movie is quite entertaining. It this kind of tongue’s cheek action comedy, and in this regard it mostly works. There are some parts in which the humour doesn’t work, because either the jokes are too predictable and or too bad, or because the scene is just too heavy-handed to be made more lighthearted.
The characters are unique in their own ways, and the highlights are Rocket, the raccoon with a special sense of humor, Drax, the muscular warrior with no sense of metaphoric, and Groot, the talkative tree. These are the most memorable and likeable characters in the film. In case of the other two members, well… Starlord (aka Peter Quill) is your typical Han Solo rip off. He is the witty outlaw with a heart of gold. His contradicting behavior can be experienced in the film’s beginning: When he’s a little boy, he would fight against other boys for hurting his little frog, while a few minutes later, the grown-up Peter Quill kicks some harmless alien creature just for fun. (Remember kids: Ugly characters/ creatures aren’t real, that’s why you can always hurt or kill them just for fun.)
And then there is Gamora (Zoe Zaldana), your token space amazon girl. She kicks hard and is supposed to be an ultra assassin working for the big bad Thanos/ Rhonan. But in reality she’s secretly betraying him and also deep inside very vulnerable (because, you know…women). She also has got the worst possible character-introduction, when she and her stepsister Nebula (Karen Gillan) have to declare their degree of relationship towards each other, after having grown up together.
In space no one can hear you breathe…
In two scenes characters are seen floating or flying in space, without a ship, a suit or any other protective gear. I have since found out that it theoretically could be possible to survive a VERY short amount of time in the vacuum of space (and also that James Gunn acts kinda like a dick, two of his explanations are just made up.), but still I found these scenarios highly implausible and disturbing, a they rip the viewer out of the immersion of the movie.
As for the plot and the setting of the movie: There is another doomsday device again, and once again, a power-hungry maniac wants to destroy a planet, which’s inhabitants of course look like humans. But the biggest question no one dared to ask was, why didn’t the Asgardians do anything to help? Since they are the somewhat royal rulers of the universe (9 realms at least, each realm seems to be a galaxy. It seems to be very contrived that this galaxy shouldn’t be one of them. ), and have the ability to see everything thanks to the universe’s biggest Peeping Tom, Heimdall, why couldn’t they spot Ronan attacking the world of Xandar.
This film just seems like it does barely belong in the Marvel cinematic universe, at least it absolutely overcomplicates it.There is so much more going on in the universe, to such extent that you may ask yourself why you should even bother to be interested in Earth. What place in the Marvelverse the guardians will eventually have is yet to be revealed.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is a typical Marvel action movie, who brings nothing really new to overall story. But it is quite entertaining and has got distinguishable, memorable and mostly funny characters. The villain is boring in his back story and scheme, but the movie has got good action and some few but nice variations to various scenario-stereotypes.
In the overall Mavel-movie-rating, it may be the fourth best, ex equo with “Thor“, but behind “Iron Man I“, “The Avengers” and “Captain America – The Winter Soldier“.