Well, Guardians of the Galaxy has open in North America with great reviews from the critics and crowds alike. However for me going into this movie it had three negatives before I saw frame one.
1. I didn't understand Marvel's decision to make this movie when more prominent and well known and fan favorite characters have not receive a movie like the Sub Mariner, Black Panther or if they wanted to go "cosmic", Nova , for what seem to be a movie based on a cheap marketing plan by DISNEY to sell Rocket Raccoon toys.
2. This is NOT the Guardians of the Galaxy I remember in the comics when I was growing up. Known as the "Avengers' of the 31st Century.
Star lord was not a member. Neither was a walking, talking tree or a rodent with an attitude or any other character in this movie for that matter.
The only member of that team was Yondu and he seems to be regulated to a side characters from the trailers and apparently has cut his very prominent fin off his head!
3. From the trailers it look like it was going to be one big movie full of one-liners and a lot of nonsensical fluff that don't have any weight and only serve the purpose of advertising future Marvel movies and not stand on its own right.
However, after some of the more recent previews shown here and reading the rave "professional" reviews online, I was slowly being turned in favor for what might be the surprise movie of the year and what some reviewers have said is one of the best of the year.
And I was aware that times and MARVEL comics have changed and the comics version of GOTG now consist of these members that this movie is based upon so It would not be fair on my part to dismiss movie based what could just be me waxing poetically about the past.
So I went hoping my fears and negatives that I had in regards to this movie before seeing it would be done away with after seeing what was starting to have some solid hype surrounding the movie.
Unfortunately, they were not.
The movie start off well with the death of Peter Quill (Star Lord) mother from what is more than likely cancer (or a slight nod at Moon Dagon) and his fears seeing her in such a weaken state ( something I can relate too) that is very powerful and truly heartfelt and sad.
However Peter's kidnapping by space raiders after running out the hospital once she's dead is done so "matter of fact" that if you blink you wouldn't know it jump 26 years later and now on another planet.
And then my preconcieved fears about the movie became a harsh reality when Starlord start to dance while out on a bounty on a planet that has been destroyed.
And apparently the want-to- be-more known Star Lord solution for handling any trying situation is to dance his way off in the spirit of Kevin Bacon from 'Footloose".
Even in the climactic battle against Ronan he has a dance off with him as a distraction that a is one of the most cringe worthy scenes in a comic book movie since Batman's credit card in 'Batman and Robin' , Peter Parker dancing in downtown New York or the reveal of the Mandarin as Trevor Slattery in iron Man 3.
Still, Chris Pratt does a decent job as Peter Quill/Star Lord and is at time charming in the role, but for most of the part he's just annoying.
After showing how much he don't give a damn about anything but a reward, when he try to "rally the troops" to give a damn, it comes off as flat and hollow.
Zoe Saldana is just as lifeless as Gamora in the movie. I swear I thought she was sleepwalking during some of the scenes. And they need to get her in the gym because she looks more like waif model in green paint than a warrior child of Thanos.
I give Pratt credit for getting buff for the role, why couldn't they have the same clause in Saldana contract?
But in all fairness to Zoe neither of the "women warriors" had the look of an assassin. Karen Gillian was just a walking excuse for a great makeup up job as Nebula, but almost as boring as Saldana.
Their fight for the right of Thanos most deadly "off spring" is so forgettable that really was not worth mentioning.
Dave Batista as Drax have some moments of inspiration, practically with his all too literal dialogue, but comes up short as a "The Destroyer' because he doesn’t win a single hand to hand fight in the whole movie, not one!
And what's slowly and unfortunately becoming a staple for Marvel movies is that the main antagonist is about as undeveloped as a set prop.
Lee Pace looks amazing as Ronan and is scary as him at parts, especially when he accepts the (assuming) soul gem into his body and threatens Thanos.
But like Malekith in Thor: TDW, he is about as two dimensional as your standard "villain of the week" in any cookie cutter TV crime drama.
Please, someone explain to me his impetus for wanting to destroy Xanda and why he is so against a peace treaty of sorts?
And John C. Reily (who I usually love) as Rhoman Dey was just a waste and a crime against the character from the comics. They really should have found someone who could have at least join in the action with the Guardians in the climatic Battle on Ronan ship.
Which brings me to my biggest complaint(s) about the movie? The humor.
Yes there are some funny moments in the movie but for the most part it felt forced and it diluted the more "serious" parts to being just a set up for more fluffy humor.
And while I think Comic book movies need some levity to break up the minutia of any long drawn out dialogue that explains how dire the situation is, but their need to be a balance and this movie was trying to beat my head over with humor.
And the less said about that stupid dancing baby tree at the end the better. Ugh. Horrible
However not all is bad, I will give credit where it's due.
The relationship between Groot and Rocket is GREAT and is one of the only redeeming qualities about the movie. Bradley Copper was the perfect choice to voice Rocket and is really funny.
Not to mention his concern for Groot as he sacrifice himself for the team is heartfelt and the line Groot says that deviate from his standard one liner was a pleasant surprise.
Josh Brolin as Thanos is an all too short appearance was amazing!
I didn’t think he would fit the part when first announce but look at that scene when Thanos address Ronan from an image against the wall of Ronan's lair and only see his face is absolutely beautiful and terrifying at the same time.
And Michael Rooker as Yondu was amazing in s and I wished he would've been the main star of the movie. He steals every scene he's in and has one of the coolest killing weapons seen in a long time.
Although I thought when he used it against when surrounded by Ronan men/alien things that one of them would've shot him down while it was flying through the air and even when it went to destroy their ship. I mean, c'mon, it wasn’t going that fast.
This movie felt like "The Fifth element" to me (another movie billed as the Next Star Wars for a new Generation) and at any time I was expecting Chris Tucker to come out wearing one of those ridiculous outfits yelling right into the camera.
Marvel should've have spent their time and money on a Sub Mariner, Black Panther movie or even a Nova movie.
Verdict: A somewhat entertaining movie that tries too hard to be funny and heart felt at the same time but comes off as neither.
2 out of 5 Stars.
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