If you’ve been following this blog for a little while, you’ll know that the Mysterious Mr. C is a big Marvel fan. And though it took me some time to get onboard, I also enjoy the universe of movies the studio has created. As such, I knew that we were going to see Guardians of the Galaxy the weekend it came out. That said, I am not at all familiar with the comic books and backstories – unlike C – so I didn’t really go into it with a lot of expectations. In general, I guess, I just thought it would be like all of the other films that have come out.
And to a certain extent, that was true. Guardians is an action film, with a motley cast of characters, and some really incredible CGI graphics. While I know some reviewers have complained that all Marvel movies are starting to feel the same, the formula seems to be working for them. Indeed, Forbes predicts that Guardians could take in as much as $100 million this weekend.
What I didn’t expect, however, was the humor. Sure, each Marvel movie has its funny moments, but I don’t remember being in a theater that laughed this much before. Then again, as I think about it more, the funnies seemed to be primarily directed at the adults in the audience than the kids. I mean, would 10-year-olds really get the reference to Footloose? And I certainly hope they didn’t understand the joke about Star-Lord’s ship looking like a Jackson Pollack painting if someone hit it with a black light! But unlike some of the other films in the Marvel universe (i.e., Iron Man 3), Guardians didn’t take itself too seriously, and I appreciated that.
One thing that threw me off though was the timing of the movie. It takes place in 2014, and while I seemed to have no problem excepting that there are alien worlds, talking raccoons, and fast-regenerating trees, there was something about the fact that the story was happening “today” that felt weird. I mean, I know it has to occur in the modern day since all of the Marvel movies are tied together; I just found it hard to believe that this type of stuff would exist and humans/Earth would be no more than an afterthought. Then again, it is Guardians of the Galaxy – and Earth is only a tiny part of what exists out there in space.
It also struck me while writing this review that Guardians is likely a good starter movie if you aren’t deep into the Marvel universe. Yes, there is a connection to the other films, with the appearance of Benicio del Toro as the Collector and another of the Infinity Stones – but there is no mention of Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, or what happened in New York (code for The Avengers). It is also the first time the Infinity Stones are really explained as a plot line. And maybe that’s part of why I liked it so much; I could just enjoy the movie without trying to remember everything else I’ve already seen.