I can’t stand comic book movies. Whenever they come out, which feels weekly, my husband is begging for me to come. I usually try to pawn them on his guys night out by ending with: “…and you can see, (comic book movie insert here), after dinner.” Guardians of the Galaxy was one of those movies I tried to give any excuse not to see. I never read comic books so I don’t have that nostalgic attachment (like Chris). It just feels like the same sequence of events, just changing out the characters and super powers.
Directed by James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy is the perfect mix of comic book action, clever innuendos, and plenty of 80’s love. The protagonist, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) isn’t a supernatural hero who is invincible. He is just a human who discovered the world of space and galaxies after a traumatic childhood experience. Quill grows up away from Earth and becomes a ravager for a living. He gets paid to retrieve important items from older planets, not knowing their actual worth. The basis of the story is an orb Quill found and is trying to keep it from the bad guy, Ronan (Lee Pace). This orb can give immense, harmful power if it falls into the hands of the wrong person.
Quill gets teamed up with Gamora (Zoe Saldana), who works for Ronan but decides to betray him. A speaking raccoon named Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and his best friend, Groot (Vin Diesel). While in prison, the group meets Drax (David Bautista), who has a vengeful vendetta against Ronan and joins the crew to stop him. Although it may sound like the same cookie cutter mold as the other comic book movies, its delivery has quite a different approach. There is a humor about this film that keeps it entertaining but doesn’t distract from the actual story line. So many times, a protagonist’s character is too serious and his mission is always too heavy. In this movie, Quill shares the heroic spotlight with four other characters and each one has their own special gifts to offer. The focus is on teamwork and friends becoming family. It’s about the grand scheme of relationships: sacrifice, love, betrayal. The point of this film isn’t to get us from point A to point B but rather for us to experience these characters, their mishaps and misfortunes, and to love them regardless. Plus, there are plenty of humorous moments that make you not only want to keep watching but actually see these characters succeed and become the heroes they aren’t.
Guardians of the Galaxy speaks to the average Joe. It speaks to the people who work day in day out and don’t feel there is anything special about themselves. In this movie, there is a hope that encourages all of us to be the best version of ourselves we can be, even if it’s not perfect. Plus, a little faux Michael Jackson dancing never hurt anyone either. Go see this movie and enjoy the ride. You will laugh, laugh, and maybe cry just a little bit.