Speculative Fiction Saturday, Marvel Month: The Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the GalaxyOkay, I’m going to put Marvel month to rest with the best for last. What can I say about this film that hasn’t been said before? Most people will agree that Guardians of the Galaxy is cool and worth multiple viewings, and I can’t believe how much I wanted to see this one.

I have to admit that this film did not start the way I thought it would. It begins when its protagonist, Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, has to see his mother die. Young Peter is scared and runs away, only to be abducted by aliens.

Peter then grows up in a world full of aliens and spaceships, as well as all other science-fiction machinery that has since become conventional. What is very funny is that Peter is trying trying to be a space hero like Flash Gordon/Han Solo/Captain Kirk in this odd world. His name of Star-Lord was his own idea, and he feels compelled by sheer coolness alone to explore the universe and look for adventure. He is living out Calvin’s dream of becoming Spaceman Spiff, and the film has what could be one of the greatest opening credit sequences ever as Star-Lord dances on a dead alien world while listening to “Come and Get My Love” by Redbone.

Of course, it isn’t long before Star-Lord gets himself into more trouble than even one guy in a a spaceship can handle, and is incarcerated with Drax, Gamora, Rocket, and Groot. The ragtag team must break out of prison and find the MacGuffin device that is the desire of Ronan the Accuser, an alien overlord.

What follows is a lot of special effects and characters that have to work together to succeed. There isn’t really anything new in this film, as far as most scenes were done in a similar way in other science-fiction films. The way it is done is comical and suspenseful at the same time, which makes this film one of the greatest science-fiction films ever made, as well as one of the coolest superhero films ever made.

This film takes place in Marvel’s cinematic universe, but the film feels more character-driven then a lot of other Marvel’s other superhero movies. I get the feeling that Marvel is planning something more with these characters, because it says so at the end of the movie. This film was probably a huge risk, because I’m sure the studio would have lost a lot of money if it bombed. Considering that two of its main characters are a raccoon and a walking tree, this could have easily sucked. I’ve heard stories that test audiences loved it, and so did actual audiences as it is this year’s biggest movie.

Unlike the other three films I reviewed this month, I was not very familiar with the source material from this. I’m guessing this comic was given a modern-day upgrade that readers just loved, and so a movie version was quickly given a green-light. I can’t help but think that eventually the Avengers and The Guardians of the Galaxy will met in a future film, even though Guardians doesn’t even mention other superheroes. I’m assuming that Marvel has this huge storyline based on a successful Infinity Gauntlet series, which will result in even more money.

This film was everything that I thought Star Wars: Episode I was going to be. I love the original Star Wars trilogy films because of their imagination, characters, special effects, and action, and Guardians of the Galaxy had that in abundance. Guardians of the Galaxy did something that speculative fiction films need right now: to be fun. Even Star Wars and Star Trek with their recent iterations have been darkly serious, and this is as much of a minus as it is a plus. I’m guessing the sequel to Guardians will probably be more serious, and I hope that doesn’t make this new franchise more weary.

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