Guardians of the Galaxy: So Nice, I Saw It Twice

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If you had told me a few years ago that one of my favorite movies would involve a talking raccoon and a sentient tree voiced by Vin Diesel, I might have shrugged. (I am, after all, a rather strange individual). However if you had told me it would have been my parents new favorite movie as well, I would have laughed and laughed.

Because that’s, well, about as ridiculous as a raccoon with a machine gun.

Here’s the thing: my dad enjoys superhero movies every once in a while, so long as they aren’t too ridiculous. My mom loves documentaries and occasionally war movies. Neither of them have been impressed with the Marvel stock after Avengers. Both were hesitant to see Guardians of the Galaxy.

And the movie impressed them so much, they not only watched it a second time in the theaters,  they also convinced their friends (who don’t care much for Marvel movies) to see it as well.

It wasn’t because of the plot; where GotG is concerned, most of the main points are strictly per Marvel formula: glowing object that will be important in Avengers 3 threatens the safety of the world galaxy, band of misfits must join together to stop it, etc. . .

The villain’s a cardboard cutout. There’s a severe lack of female or POC characters of any importance in the narrative. The action sequences are the weakest parts of the film.

Yet despite these flaws, the movie works. In fact, it works wonderfully, thanks to two factors which I like to call Likability and Genre Savvy writing.

Likability is just what it sounds like: the whole package of the movie along with many of its smaller parts are incredibly likable. The characters are fun to watch. The dialogue is interesting. The soundtrack is equal parts heartwarming and ridiculous on top of having its own plot point. That’s right, the music gets its own plot thread. And it works.

Genre Savvy writing fits in with this as well. While the characters in GotG might not know they’re in a Marvel Superhero movie, the writers certainly know it and aren’t afraid to exploit that fact.

Take for instance the first glimpse we see of main character Peter Quill finally grown-up and wandering around the galaxy. A strange, masked figure walking through the ruins of an alien city, billowing impressively through the doorway of one of the few buildings left standing. Dramatically, he removes his helmet and we see his face, pensive as he surveys the area.

Then he turns on his walkman and 80s-dances his way through the rest of the stone ruins (a-la Kevin Bacon) to “Come and Get Your Love.”

You can’t help but laugh.

The whole film is like this, filled with perfect setups for traditional, overly-dramatic superhero moments. . .that are immediately undercut by unexpected and unusually savvy dialogue.

The result is a seriously fun time and if you have the chance, I highly recommend you go see it.

Official rating: 9/10 bacons.

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Posted on August 16, 2014, in Reviews, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Guardians of the Galaxy: So Nice, I Saw It Twice.

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