Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro. Directed by James Gunn.
Peter Quill is an Earthling space pirate. He’s kind of a daring, smart-alecky, play-by-his-own-rules kind of guy, like a poor man’s Han Solo, and when he double-crosses the pirate he works with, a bunch of people with a severe interest in the orb he’s recovered come at him from multiple directions. He finds himself in a space prison, where he joins up with a sexy green assassin, a giant muscular thug, a raccoon-looking bounty hunter, and a tree-like thing named Groot. Although each has a selfish interest at heart, the group cautiously agrees to cooperate for the safety of the galaxy when they realize what the orb can do if it falls into the wrong hands.
It’s a fun, funny movie with creative action sequences, great dialogue, interesting characters, and a cool soundtrack. I enjoyed most of the film and laughed aloud multiple times, appreciating the funny details and silly verbal back-and-forth. There’s even some pretty nice emotional heft in a few places.
Strangely, there’s just not much more to say beyond that. Nothing in the film really asks to be thought much about, and all of the tension exists within the context of the immediate danger characters find themselves in. Unlike the Thor-Loki and Magneto-Xavier relationships, which deal with strained loyalties, or the darkly introspective Wolverine and Hulk characters whose difficult battles are with themselves, the characters here—as likeable as they are—don’t give us a lot to chew on. Guardians of the Galaxy is a really entertaining film that doesn’t stick around much the morning after you’ve seen it.
(small spoiler in this paragraph only)
I have to say that as much as I appreciate the concept of the infinity stones existing across storylines and bringing the separate series together for group films like The Avengers and Civil War, the stones themselves are becoming extremely tired as a device.
I look forward to the sequel, but I really kind of wish the plan was to keep this as a separate series without crossing into other Marvel series.