A talking raccoon and a tree walk into a bar…
I was sold on this movie from the get go. Not from the first scenes, not even from the first trailers they released. But from the very first I heard that the movie was being made. They had me from the word go.
When it was announced the Guardians of the Galaxy would star a walking tree of few words and a sarcastic raccoon many were beyond skeptical. Me, I thought it was brilliant. Yes I already had some familiarity with the characters, even without that I loved it.
It is fun. That is all. Fun. Too often movies miss out on that element of film-making, the joy.
What brought me in was not that we had another superhero movie, it was that it was a space hero movie. From Star Wars to Star Trek and beyond I love sci-fi and space movies. I cut my teeth on Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers on TV in the early eighties. More recently I found unending joy in Firefly and Farscape (one of the best sci-fi series ever), even if both series ended before their time.
There are no true superhero movies. You just have movies staring superheroes. It is that simple. Whether it is a cop movie or fantasy or action-adventure story, simply add a superhero and you have your superhero movie.
What made this awesome was taking superheroes and putting them in space. All the questions about realism go out the window, because you are already taking a leap of faith setting it in a far corner of the galaxy.
Guardians did a wonderful job of introducing unknown characters(to most of the audience) in short order. Even better it let you care about them. Yes it was heavy on the laughs, even in the face of danger. That is ok too. It is human, even if the characters are not.
Even after we get used to the jokes they managed to turn it around and shine a light on what loss these characters have suffered. Star Lord was taken from his home as a child, Gamora tortured and turned into a weapon by her adoptive father, Drax’s family was slaughtered, Rocket did not ask to be made and remade and experimented on. Groot is the purest of these characters. The best friend of Rocket he only speaks two sentences in the whole movie: “I am Groot” over and over again, and towards the end of the movie “We are Groot”. Groot had found his family. In the end they discover that they are each others family.
We all have been losers at one point or another. As Rocket said, “We all have dead people”. They come together because they are losers, people who have lost.
We could all learn something from these losers.