I didn’t grow up with Star Trek, I was a Star Wars convert by age 6. When I hear people talking about outer space, I see infinite possibilities in completely new worlds with super cool space ships. That’s what Guardians of the Galaxy delivered for me.
It mattered not that movie tickets in Zurich are upwards of USD $15 (not including the 3D shades which are another $3.50) or that I had to wait a whole month till last Friday to see a movie that the rest of the world watched on August 1st; going to the movies in Switzerland is expensive, but Guardians of the Galaxy was worth the bleeding of my pockets in every way.
Spoilers are a’coming, so buckle up.
From beginning to end it was a journey with a little bit of everything. They tell you Peter Quill’s origin in a way that bonds you to the character with just a few scenes and you get that he’s a likeable dude, like a Han Solo that’s not a complete cynical asshole.
From a futuristic city in some other planet, they took me to an intergalactic prison, then to a space colony mounted on the head of a dead celestial, then to a mothership and a battle with hundreds of ships in the skies of the first planet I mentioned. All the while I’m thinking “this is pretty badass” and on the way I saw characters change and a dysfunctional family form, very much like Star Wars in a way, but with most of the clichés cleverly plucked out.
Guardians of the Galaxy is doing what the first Iron Man accomplished in its time. To think that Marvel Studios has become so adept at telling good stories, that they can shoot C-list characters all the way to A-list in the span of a 2 hour film is crazy. Just like Marvel did with Iron Man (which is still the best out of all three films with that character), GotG had very few expectations going for it and it was an underdog surrounded by films with much better-known franchises. It was the film nobody saw anything otherworldly (pun intended) about, but then a talking raccoon with a rocket launcher and a flora colossus came around and charmed us with just three words of dialogue, while giving us the best space action film since the Start Trek remake.
After going through so many moody films with sad stories like The Dark Knight, Man of Steel and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I can’t blame you if you feel like superhero films are borderline depressive. Guardians of the Galaxy took me out of that darkness, with characters that can get serious and also be fun without recurring to camera or dialog gimmicks. I want more of this in my popcorn films, please.
If I had to point to one thing I found lacking would be the lack of interesting hand-to-hand combat. I get this is a space adventure movie where people fight… in space, I get it, but with characters like Dark and Gamora I would’ve loved seeing more kicks and wrestling moves. I’m sure James Gunn thought of it, but since Batista is a WWE wrestlerI think it would’ve felt like an obvious cliché and I get that, so maybe in the second film we’ll get better fight scenes.
Finally: dat. Sound. Track.
I like my films with good background music and in a way, just like Iron Man and his love of AC/DC, Gunn tied Peter Quill to many classic tunes I’d even forgot existed. Good tunes. Just like the rest of the film, music plays a key role besides leading us between scenes and that’s something I can appreciate.
I very much like the direction in which Marvel’s film universe is expanding in spite of not seeing an actual member of the Nova Corps with the classic helmet. I’m excited to see what’s coming for the sequel.
Super Riviú is a film, video game and comics review column. It’s purely subjective and full of weird opinions about the stuff I like. For more reviews, check out the archive.