This week I had the opportunity to see one of the more interesting films that I have seen in the last couple of years, Guardians of the Galaxy. The reason I say it’s interesting is because although it is a movie that resides within the superhero genre, it transcends that and becomes so much more.
The film starts out introducing the audience to the protagonist Peter Quill, a young man who loses his mother, when he is suddenly taken from the planet. The film then fast forwards to years later when Quill has grown into an outlaw, calling himself “StarLord”. From there the film introduces us to several more characters: Zamora, an assassin with daddy issues to say the least, Rocket, an genetically altered raccoon with a chip on his shoulder, his “muscle”, a walking tree name Groot, who can only utter the phrase “I am Groot”, and a bit later Drax the destroyer whose sole mission is to avenge the death of his wife and daughter. After much strife and tribulation, they team together to become the quite unlikely Guardians of the Galaxy.
On the surface, this seems like just your run of the mill Superheroes teaming up story, a la The Avengers. What sets this film apart from others in its genre is the tone. They are not so much a group of heroes teaming up as much as they are a group of antiheroes, outcasts if you will, teaming up. And that is what makes them so much more relatable than other superheroes: Quill, with his narcisscim, Zamora with her anger issues, Rocket, with his questionable ethics, Groot with his wonderful simplicity, and Drax with his obsession for revenge; all of these flaws make these characters easy to root for.
Alongside of wonderful characters, the dialogue in this movie is wonderfully snappy. The banter between the main characters is especially funny (wait for the line about Jackson Pollock). Quill’s dialogue is especially funny because of all the wonderful late 80’s and early 90’s references. More importantly though, it is Quill’s mixtapes which make up much of the soundtrack of the movie that set this film far apart from other movies in the genre. The late 70’s/80’s sound give this movie a delightful quirky feeling that other superhero films simply cannot achieve.
Guardians of the Galaxy, is what going to the movies is all about; an incredibly fun time brought to you by interesting characters from a world that allows us to escape from our own. As an addendum, if you grew up during the 80’s like me, and loved bad movies, you may want to stay until the end of the credits. Cheers!