I’ve now seen this movie twice. As you may have read, the lead up to this movie got me pretty excited. Opening weekend saw my friends and I, kicked back in our reclining red chairs at the theater with our smuggled candy and buckets of sodas (or icees) eagerly waiting for Rocket, the raccoon with anger issues, Peter Quill the self-acclaimed “Star Lord”, Gamora the green-skinned assassin, Groot a talking(ish) tree, and Drax the most literal character aside from Sheldon Cooper I can recall.
Guardians of the Galaxy did not disappoint. After stewing over my first viewing, trying to remember all the little ties that Marvel works into their creations, I convinced my parents they needed to see it. The nephew bowed out to play more Call of Duty with his friends…bad move kid. You really missed out! Of course, since I did the convincing, I had to go see it with them. It would just be wrong otherwise, right? (Just go with it.) This gave me the chance to really look and make sure I hadn’t been imagining things. (I may have still been imagining things, but at least I got confirmation for some stuff.)
Guardians is a funny movie. Not that the other installments of the Marvel franchise haven’t been humorous, but this one puts the funny center stage. We are talking about a bunch of misfit criminals saving the galaxy. As expected, I really liked the angry raccoon and the tree.
Surprisingly, I liked Gamora more than expected. Before the movie, I came across a single issue of Guardians of the Galaxy comic books and from that brief glimpse of Gamora, I expected more ice that Zoe Saldana gave her. This Gamora, who thaws a bit toward her compatriots, relates better for me than the green ice queen I saw in the comic book (Maybe Gamora is a bit more friendly than that single issue revealed, and I just haven’t seen it yet.) However, I also believe that Saldana had this one brief chance to endear Gamora to the audience, and she did a great job with it. She is a talented actor who has really shone in both the Star Trek franchise and Guardians. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot more of her.
Peter Quill…you just can’t help but like the jackass, and he is. A small time criminal, who wants to be both a bigger outlaw and a better person. His running away looks so much more like running towards something, he just doesn’t know what he’s doing. This guy spends so much energy holding on to this shining relic of his past that clashes with his present, and leaves him looking for a different future he can’t picture. (although as “shining relics” go, he could do a lot worse than the soundtrack. Just saying, great music!) Peter Quill, is just one adorable, messed up guy… but, he does a lot of development in the film. The thing I loved is that all this growth doesn’t feel forced. Chris Pratt does an excellent job of creating a development arc that feels natural, and displaying a depth of character I really didn’t expect to find.
Drax the Destroyer…the most literal character I may have ever seen. Seriously, I know one of the many reasons I am not an actor. I do not have the mental fortitude to deliver lines like this with a straight face as many times as needed to make a movie. Kudos to Bautista for that alone. Before, I deleted it as too spoiler-y, I couldn’t even type one of this guy’s lines with a straight face. However, dear reader, I will preserve this for your first viewing if you haven’t seen it yet. I thought I was going to spit icee all over the place, even though I could see the joke coming a mile away. Of all the characters, Drax is also the most outwardly stubborn. Quill is joyfully immovable but Drax is just stubborn. His course set for vengeance, he really doesn’t want to stray from the path he’s decided upon, and it takes a mountain to move him.
Rocket, oh you angry little fur ball. I just…you…so funny…so angry, and I feel a little bad that all that anger is so funny, because there’s a lot to be angry about. This funny, mercenary, enraged, broken, loyal character would be someone you ached for if a) he wasn’t a raccoon and b) you actually met him. You do feel kind of bad for the little guy, and watching just a bit of that anger leach away in the face of growing friendships is kind of heart-warming. Bradley Cooper imbues this little guy with so much energy, personality, and ruthlessness through the sheer power of his voice, because let’s face it, he’s just so soft and furry. You just want to pet him.
Vin Diesel, conveyed more through repetition of one three word sentence that most people can get across with 300 words. Groot ended up being a much more complicated character than I imagined at the outset of this adventure. My mom was listening to an interview with Diesel on NPR, and he was talking about the hundreds of hours he put in to getting the inflections just right. He went over the actual words and sentiment the director wanted him to get across, and spent so much time making sure it was exactly correct. The result is just awesome, and something about Groot just seems to embody nature and all the amazing beauty and wrath inherent in the natural world.
The Collector who made his initial appearance in the Bonus Scene after Thor: The Dark World plays a bigger role in Guardians. The audience gets a better look at his collection too. Keep your eyes peeled for some familiar species and things.
All of these characters make for interesting character studies, that I plan on going into more later. I also have much more that I’d like to discuss about Thanos, what and who The Collector has collected, the Tesseract, the Aether and so much more, but I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone. In other words, go see it, and send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, post a comment or something. Discussion, speculation, and tidbits that hint at what’s to come and give insight into what has happened are all flying around this brain of mine.
Also, who still gets up and leaves before the credits are finished in a Marvel movie? Both times I went to see it, nearly half the people left before the Bonus Scene. Have they been living under a rock?
‘Til next time,