Guardians of the Galaxy was an amazingly fun romp through the Marvel Cosmic Universe. It brought us closer to the Avengers' eventual epic conclusion with Thanos than ever before. It was action packed, it had awesome characters we've wanted to see brought to life and it had a variety of locations and scenarios we've waited to see for a long time.
With that said, we have to be honest. There were a lot of issues with the film that seemed to be ignored by most of the mainstream or simply rationalized by general fandom for reasons that are not always sensible. Never-the-less let's countdown this list of 10 things that sucked about Guardians of the Galaxy. Hopefully we won't have a flame war on our hands...but it's probably going to happen anyway. Pucker it up, because here we go.
10. Nova Prime & Others Using Strange Vernacular. "Prick"
Sure this seems like a strange gripe, but when you think about it there were a variety of words used in general, spoken in English that were lazy in my opinion. Others phrases like, "A-hole", "100% not a Dick", "Hamster", etc. While we understand these words, we're looking at a race of aliens, not humans. Consider a variety of Science-Fiction, even though this is a Comic Book Movie it's also Sci-Fi. Many great Sci-Fi films and series use alien languages and other terms to express these feelings uniquely. Battlestar Galactica used "Frak", Defiance "Schtako", Star Wars "Poodoo" and "Slimo".
It's lazy writing versus maintaining something relatable for the plot device of cheap laughs. Many opportunities were missed in this area where a Xandarian, Kree or universal word understood by all the alien races we encountered could have been introduced.
There are also a variety of vernacular terms and general behaviors Peter uses that he didn't learn on Earth and was seemingly well versed in. Again this stuff is in the movie mostly for the "lol's" -- His dancing distraction at the end of the film. Yeah, none of that was available to him when he was a child in the 80's.
This is nitpicking, pedantic of course. but it's the little things that make some of us wonder why not make it stronger. Even if some of it worked in making us laugh or chuckle, what good does it serve the film overall.
9. Aliens Using English Instead of Native Language.
There was no mechanism in place to suggest a universal language or translator. Which is frustrating, because obviously its a film that we all have to understand, and watching a film mostly about aliens would normally mean it's all in subtitles in some form or another. The very basic situation here has five beings all from different planets and origins speaking English with each other.
One of the few moments, other than Groots usual "I am Groot" statements is Korrath using an alien language, along with Ronan who also spoke for a few moments in his own language. But everyone else seemed to be speaking and understanding each other. This is pretty lazy. Arguments can be made because Rocket is the only one that understood Groot, but overall GOTG could have used more native tongues or some basic form of universal translator to jusitfy the lazy aspect in the writing.
8. Peter and Gamora Dying in Space
Obviously this is a plot device and we can accept that they survived, its the purpose he called in Yondu and the Ravagers. I get it. Of course at the end of the film they also reveal his "ancient alien" lineage. So there is a lot of argument as to why the survival occurred as it did. We also know the human body can survive in the vacuum of space for a small period of time. Roughly 1 minute and 30 seconds according to NASA. But they re-emerged in the ship in normal condition. Again, arguments can be made the beam of energy that brought them back in revitalized them. However, this is more-than-likely cutting room floor issues. I'd have rather seen them frozen or still in the state they were in until the Ravagers gave them some medical attention.
Aside from the generic nerd-rage fanboy issue with the above. This scene doesn't make much sense. There is literally no connection these two have had and the comrade-in-arms argument can go out of the window. There has been virtually no emotional content to connect these two in such a manner where Quill would almost give up his life. The only connection in sentimentality is how he willingly risked his life for his Walkman. Arguably this positioning was to show his reckless behavior and believability that he'd risk himself for a comrade. This simply felt rushed and unnatural.
7. Thanos Gloriously Speaks, or Not...
We finally get a few scenes with Thanos speaking and giving us an idea of the gravitas the character will be conveying with his presence. It was underwhelming. I wasn't even 'whelmed'. Thanos simply felt like a normal villain, not like the epic character he is intended to be. Followed up by a Darth Sidious-like reappearance with Ronan playing the impetuous role of betrayal. Obviously Ronan was the main villain in this film and I think it was overplayed because Thanos is such an imposing character that Ronan needed to sit on the shoulders of a Titan - literally. However, I'm not entirely pleased with the soundscape and general speech of the character. Very anticlimactic indeed.
This could simply be crumbs of what he is supposed to be while Marvel tries and adjusts his impact throughout his appearances. An expensive screen-test, so to speak. But simply put Thanos felt more stupendous in his post-credit teaser in Avengers than he did here in GOTG. He felt more like a villain that accepts and tolerates certain situations as opposed to the supremely keen and overtly powerful being he is. We'll have to see how Brolin's future performances envelop us to really judge if his epicness will be recaptured. I sure hope so. For now he's just "meh".
6. Groot Removed a Sapling Like Piece From his Face Before the Final Battle
If you've read the comics you know Groot has died a few times and continues to astound when he just grows back. Most of the time from a seedling. In a scene prior to the last battle he pulls a seedling from his face, seemingly foreshadowing his own death and rebirth...however, it seems that Rocket used the twig he was crying over after the crash of the Dark Aster to eventually plant into a pot. Giving me a moment to pause and wonder are there two groots now (which obviously I don't think there are)?
...more-than-likely this is a cutting room floor error that was overlooked or simply the seedling was used so quickly it's extremely hard to notice (I've rewatched it a few times). Or simply left in to confuse and misdirect as Marvel is accustomed to doing. But this is another little detail that seems forgotten and that just sucks. I guess we'll have to see if down the road the purpose of pulling a twig from his face had meaning or was nothing at all.
5. Nebula was Stiff and Nearly Useless
This character was mostly boring and Karen Gillan didn't seem to play her with any kind of feeling. Perhaps she is just incessantly robotic, she is cybernetically enhanced. But overall her character felt completely out of place. Especially in the scene with Thanos. It had a variety of establishment points, I can follow and understand. However, those were unnecessary, at least in general.
I was hoping for more in her fight scenes but I make more of a point of that later on in this feature.
4. The Collector was Merely a Small Footnote in the Film
I love this character and he deserved to be explored more in the film. His connection to the Infinity Stones, his collection in general. I'm still wondering if that's actually Adam Warlock in his collection as I have stated in one of my other articles
. He was also housed in Knowhere which was an interesting twist away from the source material in the comics. There is so much to this character, being an Elder of the Universe is among them. Carina, the apparent servant girl who killed herself trying to use the Infinity stone is actually his daughter in the comics. I think that was an odd turn of events killing her character off and unceremoniously writing her as a random servant girl in this particular museum. Also his eyes are supposed to be white, but I'm being pedantic...
Granted, there is a lot already going on and it would have added 1-2 more hours to the film to really flesh out many of the characters we wanted to know more about in the immediate aspects of the film. However, just killing off some of these characters in this way will never allow us to actually give them any story. It just removes things from the equation and I think that's lazy.
3. Ronan Obliterated!?
While it's more specific and safe to argue Ronan was definitely obliterated as opposed to what we saw happen to the Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger. There now is little possibility Ronan would be a part of the Annihilators coming into play down the road. Unless an Infinity Gem is used to alter Reality or change time, Ronan is pretty much out of the picture (seemingly). Many of the Marvel characters we encounter, heroes and villains, have a sort of permanence. Killing them off eliminates future aspects of their stories. We see this with Loki throughout the MCU. Had he been killed permanently in the first Thor film, we'd lose out on all of his antics.
Ronan also had very little practical use of the Infinity Stone, which seems to be more foreshadowing which few, if any, can actually control its power. Why not just obliterate the Nova Corp earlier instead of allowing them to hold him off. It generated a few more questions as to what is possible with these stones. Potentially it's still a more subtle message that all the Stones will drive its wielder uselessly mad.
2. Fight Scene Between Gamora and Nebula was Weak
Most of Gamora's fight scenes were so crappy I have to wonder what Tomas Ereminas, Maurice Lee, Aaron Toney and James Young were thinking. Did they research any of the existing choreographical work done by Jonathan Eusebio on Avengers? Hell, James Young worked on Captain America: The Winter Soldier! Eusebio also worked on Iron Man 2 along with Jeff Imada. That's a lot of talented fight choreography and coordinators. Didn't they notice in GOTG that their fights did not hold a candle to all of the other films that contained Black Widow?
I mention Black Widow only and looked at the film credits where the Fight Choreography was done with her in the film. Gamora is arguably garbage compared to what we see Black Widow accomplish. Black Widow is a normal human being at peak physical condition with amazing control of hand-to-hand combat techniques. Gamora and Nebula are both alien beings with heightened superhuman abilities and fight training that came from none other than Thanos himself. Who is among the most powerful of beings in the universe. What I expected to see on the screen was a level of ass-destroying-pwnage the likes of which I had never seen. Really, I watched and said..."yeah nothing new"...Nothing more astounding than what we saw Black Widow accomplish on screen effortlessly.
Not to say all of the fights were bad, they were entertaining. However, I wonder how much of the left hand at Marvel spoke with the right hand. Because one of the principals in control of those scenes, James Young, had accomplished beautiful choreography in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He should have recognized that these fight scenes were no where on par with the prior MCU films. They should have been beyond simple hand to hand combat. There should have been Epic levels of acrobatics, at the very least.
1. Marvel didn't let Bautista Properly Shine as Drax
That's right, I said it, and I'm meeting him for an interview in a few weeks in Richmond...so yeah *gulp* -- Here's to journalistic honesty, integrity and professionalism. May it shield me when he tries to separate my head from my body.
O.K. in all seriousness, Drax was atrocious, not Dave Bautista. I had been concerned over his casting since day one. I had posted a variety of arguments about which version of Drax we would see emerge on the screen due to this casting.
The character we saw displayed in the film had very little purpose except for being in the story. Drax had very little showcase with the exception of a moment in slow motion knocking two characters into the air, killing Korrath and being a punching bag for virtually every villain in the film. The film instead of demonstrating his Hulk-like strength chose to show us he could live in open space, that's something and a minor moment showcasing his invulnerability in the prison...only to then take that away when Groot saved him by stabbing him with his wooden finger to drain fluids.
The production also seemed to utilize him in a manner that suggested not knowing what to actually do with Drax as a character. Perhaps its a small step toward a larger setup of what is coming for him. Drax did say "...of course Ronan was only a puppet, it's really Thanos I need to kill."
Bautista's acting was decent but as I had predicted in prior articles, his casting led me to believe we would be seeing a very dumbed down version of Drax. Which did indeed occur and seemed literal. As Rocket himself describes, "...his people are completely literal". Which unless Rocket is speaking of the Titans, I'm not sure what he means by this statement, other than to indicate alternate origins.
Drax was originally a human being named Arthur Sampson, who was killed by Thanos. His astral form was taken and used to create Drax as he is now by Mentor, Titan and father to Thanos, with the aid of Kronos (another Titan). I know, Cosmic Comic Soap Opera.
Drax was exceptionally weak in the film. He rarely was able to do much damage. Drax is intended to be Hulk-like if not stronger than the Hulk in many ways, perhaps again being saved for a later installment.
Drax did seemingly change in a minor capacity after being dunked in the alleged Celestial Cerebral Fluid. it was very subtle, but I wonder if this is intended. It didn't really make him more intelligent, it didn't wipe his memory, it didn't make him stronger - but his lines and speech pattern were slightly different.
In the end, what we understood in essence - the prisoners in the Kyln were terrified of Drax but he - was completely underwhelming it only seemed like he was more of a prison thug in retrospect as opposed to a being created to destroy Thanos himself. He was almost an afterthought like Colossus in the X-Men film series, a secondary character and not of much importance other than eye candy.
I wonder if this is all heavily to lead-in toward a reveal of who and what he is supposed to be down the road. It seems like a large gamble that could have hurt the film. Lucky the other characters were carried so well it almost seemed too trivial to be concerned with Drax. More like a Jar-Jar Binks character you can dismiss. While I think Bautista did great with what he was given, the studio honestly didn't seem to trust him with bringing more to the character...that or as I've said there is a large reveal coming down the road where Drax will be given a larger opportunity to be the weapon he is intended to be. That is what I hope. If we get more of the same, Bautista should be knocking off heads at Marvel and demanding more love!
Where do you stand? What parts of GOTG did you think sucked? Or do you love the movie as an amazeballs entry into the annals of comic book movie history? Whatever your take, I hope you enjoyed the read or enjoyed the nerd-rage bubbling up inside of you as you read this feature.
Comment, share, pin, tweet, form some words of substance, tell me what you think. I like hearing from my CBM community. Of course, hit that giant red thumb, my pants will be all the happier when you do.