My Guardians of the Galaxy experience on Friday was made complete with lemonade and grilled chicken caesar salad (thanks Marcus Cinemas). Eating salad in a movie theater is a supremely odd experience which everyone should do at least once in life. Top that by crashing a family for 3 hours at the same time. It makes for a rip-roaring good time.
Guardians didn’t even need any salad-eating, family-crashing shenanigans because it was perfectly zany on its own. From the bad dancing, to one-liners, to an EPIC soundtrack, I couldn’t stop laughing. Finally, a comedy. I need the DVD stat. Yesterday.
I am not familiar with the Guardians comic book run at all. In fact, I’m not really familiar with any comic book runs so I can’t even be upset if Marvel deviates or completely changes things. I guess I’m also barred from getting into arguments with devout Comic-Con attendees who have all the issues on instant perusal in their mind palaces.
Yet I react like this every time a Marvel movie comes out:
(Except for Daredevil. And the most recent Captain America movies. Ok, let’s throw in the Punisher movies as well. Plus, I have to admit I wasn’t jumping up and down to see The Amazing Spider-Man movies.)
So when Guardians was announced, I wasn’t sure how to feel. We were getting a dynamic duo consisting of a talking raccoon, referred to as a genetic experiment gone wrong and a human-like tree who had three words to his vocabulary. Then the trailer came out and my skepticism bloomed into cautious excitement. And when the end credits started rolling, I had the hugest grin on my face. Marvel had done it again. Although, the after-credits scene puts me back at square one with not knowing how they are going to pull it off and not knowing how to feel.
Here’s why it worked:
1. THAT SOUNDTRACK: I appreciate the fact that there was no crappy music, and by crappy music I mean 85% of what is currently passing for music on the radio. It just made me want to dance and upgrade my life by going back to the 70’s and 80’s to pounce on some good tunes. When the trailer came out, I turned right around and got “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede. I played it over and over and over and I’m still not tired of it yet. That is fantastic stuff.
2. That humor: Guardians was ridiculously funny on multiple levels. It had events playing out in the background with completely oblivious characters, missed metaphors, awkward and carefree dancing, singing for comedic relief at high tension moments, stellar confused looks, human vs. alien perceptions. Since I’m into writing and words, the metaphor jokes slayed me.
3. That Glenn Close. Just kidding, although she was a boss in the scenes she was in. The characters and their journey from strangers to the Guardians of the Galaxy was awesome to watch. The tone of the movie was zany, but this is juxtaposed next to some seriously emotional scenes. Selfish motivations next to vengeful motivations next to a motivation to prove myself with a side of a heroine complex. I enjoyed the way the characters weren’t perfect and they wrestled with doing the right thing.
My tiny hang up is that I wish Nebula and Gamora were more fleshed out. Gamora’s backstory worked to a certain extent, but the writers plopped just enough into the movie to get us to care. I needed more insight into the rivalry. I also wish that villains actually had reasons for destroying entire planets, solar systems, and the universe, but I guess that’s part of what makes them fun. Also, the drama surrounding the main object is a lot more fun when we don’t know what that object is. After we find out, I feel like the movie loses a little steam because everyone is hung up on it.
I definitely won’t be cautiously excited for the sequel.
2017, hurry up already.