Guardians of the Galaxy: The A-Holes Assemble
Any film that calls its heroes “a-holes” and introduces the main character via a dance sequence is cool with me. Guardians of the Galaxy is a cheeky gamble that has paid off and proves that even people named Drax the Destroyer drunk dial. The tone is light, the characters likable and CGI spectacular. Guardians has a managed (Marvel has films planned until 2026) feel but still brings something important to the Marvel universe. Guardians features characters you want to spend more time with.
Guardians tells the story of five people trying to stop a guy named Ronan the Accuser from finding an infinity stone. Ronan wants to give the stone to the big baddie Thanos who in exchange will destroy a planet for Ronan. However, a genetically modified raccoon, a tree, the adopted daughter of Thanos, a dude named Drax and a guy named Starlord unite to stop the threat. What follows is the obligatory third act space battle, underwhelming fist fights and dancing as a diversion.
I love that a film featuring a drunk tree got a wide release. It is Marvel gambling again and proves a perfect distraction from their Ant Man hullabaloo. The light tone is a change of pace from DC’s dour Man of Steel and self seriousness of The Dark Knight Rises. It wears its nerdiness on its sleeve and constantly reminds you about the power of friendship. It is also the only super hero film where the main character Peter Quill warns the other Guardians about the perils of searching his ship with a black light (the Inbetweeners would be proud).
Guardians has bumps and bruises that I love. The bad guys are nondescript yet I feel like they were meant to be caricatures of other megalomaniacs. The film ends with a stock spaceship battle that is elevated by a CGI raccoon being heroic. Former WWE wrestler Dave Bautista has the best character arc and says things like “Nothing goes over my head. My reflexes are too fast. I’d catch it.” I also love that he gets drunk and dials up the bad guys for a bit of violence.
The film has a personality that Thor 2: Evil Elves Running Amok lacked. It took chances with its casting and hired a guy known for his Troma films to direct. Director James Gunn is responsible for one of my favorite cinematic lines which is featured in the film Slither. It ain’t shakespeare but I love hearing Nathan Fillion say “I can’t get drunk. I have too much muscle mass.” Also, Guardians gives Michael Rooker a showcase scene and proves that raccoons have no problem stealing fake legs. Now that the world is established and Thanos is the big threat I am excited for the group of “a-holes” to quip aplenty in future installments.
What did you think?