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Guardians of the Galaxy
Reviewed by Various artists, © 2014

Format: Movie
By:   James Gunn (director)
Genre:   Groot
Review Date:   August 02, 2014
RevSF Rating:   8/10 (What Is This?)

Guardians of the Galaxy! We gathered a smattering of thoughts from RevolutionSF Irregulars after they saw it. Experienced it. Let it flow through them.

It was a very expensive episode of Farscape. I mean that in the best possible way. And it was entirely worth it for the diverse Marvel references. -- Van Allen Plexico

Guardians of the Galaxy was a pretty awesome birthday present. Thank you, Marvel! -- Tegan Hendrickson

A fine summer blockbuster with heart and a sense of humor. Recommended. Warning: Some spoilers ahead.

The end credits are interesting. The main comic credit is given the Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, which seems just considering the general context of the Guardians’ universe is closest to their depiction of it. There’s also a chunk of “special thanks to” credits near the bottom of the roll which list a whole bunch of comics guys, including Stan Lee, Steve Englehart, Roger Stern and Jim Starlin. I didn’t get a chance to read the twenty or so names, but I assume they are the people who wrote and drew the first appearances of the various cast members.

The rest of the movie? Great fun, nicely played, and up to expectations. But not exceeding expectations, in part because so many of the "wow" and "ha ha" moments have been spoiled in the numerous trailers. This is one time that pre-publicity did the actual moviegoing experience no favors. I kept breaking out of my suspension of disbelief to go "oh, so that’s where that clip fits in."

Characterization was generally sharp, with great kudos going to the team who offered Rocket and Groot. This movie was the first time I’ve really felt that Peter Quill had a personality, and here he’s channeling Han Solo and Kurt Russell from Big Trouble in Little China. It works. The villains were less compelling, with some fine actors wasted on poor parts under too many prosthetics: a problem Marvel movies have had before *cough* Eccleston *cough*

This movie deserves another watch on DVD with a pause button ready. There were quite a lot of Easter eggs in there, along with a whole wealth of backstory Marvel universe races and products.

The movie works best when we see the Guardians interacting with each other and then breaking from that to interact – usually explosively – with the situation around them.

Some excellent performances here. Zoe Saldana as Gamora was the only one who didn’t seem comfortable in her role.

It’s clear that each of the main characters has backstory, somewhat similar to their comics origins but also different (Thanos has at least two "daughters.") I could have sat through more scenes that explored some of that.

This movie offers the first attempt at explaining the Infinity Stones, along with a clip that would have make Jack Kirby proud.

In this movie the stone was just another Maguffin of Ultimate Destruction. If I had to guess I’d say it was the time gem, just from the visual effects.

I was least convinced with the reimagining of Yondu. I suppose the "noble savage"/ Native American buddy vibe of the original is considered politically incorrect now. I can only imagine how baffled the audience might be since his single yaka arrow remains entirely unexplained in the cinema-released version.

Thanos wasn’t served well here. He looks great but his brief appearances don’t do much to build him up, and slightly diminishes the mystique of his momentary debut in the Avengers movie. It might have been wiser to keep him offscreen.

There's much to like, some setup for a sequel, some excellent action, some convincing scenery, and a roller-coaster adventure story.

The post-credit sequence is the weirdest and most obscure yet. My daughter thinks the poor CGI in one element of it was deliberate. On the way out of the cinema I heard a baffled mother explaining to her child who’d been at the toilet when it was on what she thought had happened. She was right.



 
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