I don’t claim to be an expert on Marvel movies (I’ve now seen a grand total of four), and I’m not even a huge fan of superheroes. I only decided to see Guardians of the Galaxy because I had friends who wanted to see it. Typically, that’s the only reason I would watch a Marvel movie–that or attractive actors. Guardians, though, had the bonus of good recommendations from everyone I knew.
I thus walked into the theater with high hopes for a superhero movie I might genuinely enjoy. Unfortunately, although entertaining, the movie overall did not live up to what I had expected.
To my surprise, Guardians of the Galaxy was really just like any other Marvel movie. There were too many alien races and mysterious objects for my non-sci-fi mind to keep track of and no shortage of endless battle scenes. I expected the plot to stray a little from the norm since outlaws were the “good guys,” but it was so similar to the Avengers (there were even references!) that I questioned the originality of the story. Are all these movies supposed to be tied together? Or are the screenwriters just out of ideas?
The conflict of the movie revolves around an orb which contains an “infinity stone” with tremendous destructive powers (kind of like the Tesseract, one of the aforementioned references to the Avengers). Ronan, a backwards religious fanatic, eventually gets hold of it and embeds it in his warhammer. He wants to use it to wipe out his arch-enemies, the Xandarians, who live on Xandar, capital planet of the Nova Empire. Confused yet? I was.
The orb is first picked up by Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), a human who calls himself Starlord, on the abandoned, rather inhospitable planet Morag. Why is an earth man on the planet Morag, you ask? Allow me to enlighten you.
Back on Earth in 1988, a young Peter Quill witnesses his mother’s death from cancer. Traumatized, Peter runs out of the hospital and is promptly abducted by a group of space pirates (because that happens to every kid whose mother dies). He is apparently raised by the leader of these space pirates to be an outlaw, which is why we find him 20 years later on the planet Morag stealing this orb.
The Guardians of the Galaxy are initially made up of Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a green alien girl working as an assassin for Ronan; Rocket (Bradley Cooper), a sassy, genetically engineered raccoon; Groot (Vin Diesel), an adorable tree creature who can only say “I am Groot” in a variety of voice inflections; and Peter. They are all in jail when they meet a warrior named Drax the Destroyer. Drax (Dave Bautista) is seeking vengeance on Ronan for killing his family, and decides to stick around with the Guardians because of Gamora’s connection to Ronan.
The Guardians end up in Knowhere, which is an illegal mining colony of such substances as spinal fluid and brain matter, as it is located in the disembodied head of an ancient galactic beast. Uh… okay. Gross.
Living among this abundance of bodily fluids is the Collector, a man who collects (as the name suggests) a variety of things from around the galaxy. He explains to the Guardians about the orb and the power of the infinity stone.
Ronan soon arrives in search of the orb, and Drax confronts him, only to be almost killed and thrown in a vat of spinal fluid.
The Guardians later intercept Ronan enroute to his rampage of destruction on Xandar. A very long, very typical battle occurs, at the end of which Ronan’s ship crash lands on the planet. Another long battle takes place on the planet’s surface, but the Guardians prevail and peace is restored. The infinity stone is put in custody of the leaders of the Nova Empire. A happy ending, just like a typical superhero movie.
Well, all that probably made it seem like I didn’t like the movie. Don’t get me wrong, I did rather mindlessly enjoy it. Even though it was confusing and not what I expected, it was still entertaining and definitely had some clever moments.
Overall, I’m sure Marvel fans would love this movie, and even if you’re like me and easily confused by galactic empires and mining of bone marrow, it would not be a waste of time to go and see it. If nothing else, it will give you a few laughs.