"You Just Wanna Suck the Joy Out of Everything."
I encourage everyone to go see this movie. The direction is tight. The colors are brilliant, and the acting is stellar. But when I go see a movie, especially a sci-fi movie, the things I place the most value on are story structure, character development and world building. These three elements happen to be the weakest aspects of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Speaking as an audience member who has no previous experience with the source material, I needed a little more attention paid to these things. There was so much information I wasn’t getting because I was not shown, but rather told, facts about this universe. The central conflict between the Kree and the Nova Corps felt like every “good guy vs bad guy” set-up I’ve seen because what little details I was given on the situation were eclipsed by the infinitely more interesting visuals. I feel like at some point Ronan was described as a religious extremist, but since this never gets brought up again, I have no idea why this is important.
Either way, the focus of the story truly is our main cast of ragtag space outlaws, all of whom are interesting in their own right. The film, though, chooses to plant most of the focus on Quill, who is arguably the blandest of the bunch. Chris Pratt is a great leading man, and very well cast, but in the face of interstellar war and a universe-altering weapon, I couldn’t honestly care less about his backstory. It’s so small, so familiar, and that is the problem with this film. It pretends it’s taking risks, it acts like it’s going to go somewhere we’ve never seen, but it doesn’t manage to say anything besides the “friendship conquers all” message we’ve been fed since we were children.
I dunno, maybe I’m being too hard on this movie. Maybe this is all a case of it being over-hyped for me. But even though I enjoyed it, and even though I want everyone I know to see it, I am confused and frustrated by the fact that this movie’s structural issues and blatant box-checking are going largely ignored. Marvel has perfected the formula for a movie based off a comic book. It’s true. But I don’t want to see a “perfect” movie. I want to see a movie that takes risks. With the success of Guardians of the Galaxy, I don’t think Marvel’s going to give us one of those for a while. I guess if the films they do put out are truly entertaining, like this one was, it won’t really matter.
Time to break out the blue curacao. A fun, fruity cocktail would probably match the spirit of this film. Just make it blue. Because aliens.
-Drink whenever a reference to the 1970-80's is made.
-Drink when shit blows up (always a good rule for a Marvel film)
-Drink for the phrase "I am Groot"
-Pick a color on the color wheel. Drink when a scene contains a humanoid alien sporting skin with THAT color (obviously if you pick "green", things are going to be very difficult for you.)
-Drink when Rocket does something an animal would do. By the way, major props to the entire team that developed Rocket. Damn good CGI and motion capture.
This review was written by Hollis Beck (Krissy Pappau). Guardians of the Galaxy is produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios. The movie is rated PG-13 with a run time of 121 minutes.