Weekly Review: Guardians of the Galaxy
WEEKLY REVIEW: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (FILM + COMIC)
After stealing a mysterious orb in the far reaches of outer space, Peter Quill is now the main target of a manhunt led by the villain known as Ronan the Accuser. To help fight Ronan and his team and save the galaxy from his power, Quill creates a team known as the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' to save the world.
Brian Michael Bendis
There's a new rule in the galaxy: No one touches Earth! No one! But why has Earth suddenly become the most important planet in the galaxy? That's what the Guardians of the Galaxy are going to find out! Join Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Groot
Unlike the rest of the movies in MARVEL's film franchise, the
Guardians of the Galaxy
don't have an extensive comic history so there are so many different ways to play with these characters. I went into the movie theater not expecting much from this movie and came out throughly entertained!Within ten minutes of the movies, it's easy to get a sense of exactly what the movie's going to be like - a fun romp of an adventure movie. Yes, there are serious moments, especially when it comes to Peter's childhood, but as the credits roll and our hero is rocking out to 90s music and kicking over aliens, you realize you're in for an entertaining ride more than anything.And at the helm of our adventurous ride across the galaxy is
. As established in the comics, Peter is brash, impulsive, and ever prone to sarcasm. Still, he's endearing in his ways. And Chris Pratt certainly brings that and much more to the screen with that lovable charm he uses he in
Parks and Recreation
all the time.
As for the movie's central plot, it's one of MARVEL'S simpler plots. Get the orb, stop the big baddie from destroying the planet, and that's it, a day saved! Other underlying story lines are hinted at throughout the movie but overall, the movie's plot is easy enough for everyone to understand and hop on the ride.While I appreciate the movie's simplistic plot, I wish there had been more character development for the villains. MARVEL'S villains are never great but come on, Lee Pace as Ronan, Karen Gillan as Nebula, and
as Korath? These are all great actors and it's a damn shame that the movie never fully utilizes any of them.As one of the very few POC actors to actually appear on screen, Djimon Hounsou's role in the movie is small and barely noticeable. Karen Gillan's character of
, adopted daughter of Thanos and sister to Gamora, has the potential for a lot of interesting characterization but the most Nebula does is shout orders at people. Lee Pace as
Ronan the Accuser
is the only villain to leave a formidable impression but there's really not much beyond the character. I suppose the writing for GOTG's villians is still miles better than
Thor 2: The Dark World
's completely boring villain, Malekith.
Whether it's on the pages of a comic book or on the big movie screen, it's kind of hard not to fall in love with
the giant gentle tree and his crude companion,
.The odd but fun pair are great to read about in the comics but the movie makes the two of them even more lovable and entertaining. I mean, look at those big brown puppy dog like eyes Groot has! I also really loved
's characterization because while, Rocket is primarily known as the loud gun toting raccoon, the movie chooses to show more of Rocket's sentimental side. I didn't know little wet tears on a CGI raccoon could get me but it did, it really did.
Drax, the Destroyer
. My impression of Drax from the comics is mostly one of indifference. In the comics, my general thinking is 'Drax is here. Drax hits people and helps save the day. He's loyal to his team. Yay!'. There's really all I care about the character. Perhaps, the earlier GOTG comics provide enough characterization and backstory for me to care about Drax but that was my view of Drax before this movie.In the movie, Drax certainly makes much more of an impression on me but for good and bad reasons. I enjoyed the humor in Drax's very literal way of thinking but the casual way he referred to Gamora as a 'whore' was terrible. He clearly has no real evidence of Gamora's sexual behavior and decided to describe Gamora with a term he views as an insult. I understand the scene's intention in showing an oblivious Drax and how he unintentionally ruins a touching moment of team bonding. But using whore is such a blatantly sexist move. The writers could have used so many other words.
Although Peter Quill is obviously our main protagonist,
is the movie's moral center. She encourages Peter to do the right thing and band this team of criminals together to save the planet.I love Gamora in the comics but sadly, I'm unsatisfied with the movie's portrayal of this wonderful galactic assassin. I wish there had been more development for Gamora and her backstory because I never feel like I understand where her hate and betrayal of Thanos comes from. Her rough childhood as an assassin in training and then, sudden wish to save innocents is quickly explained away in dialogue as exposition. I never connect with her character beyond her place on the GOTG team. I'm also disappointed with Zoe Saldana as Gamora. I don't know, wheneven she's on screen, I see Zoe Saldana in green make up reciting lines as opposed to just the character, Gamora.I hope the next installment includes better character development for Gamora, perhaps even a more detailed look into her backstory with Thanos and Nebula.
And now, quick mini review of the 2013
Guardians of the Galaxy comics
written by Brian Michael Bendis because I make references to it throughout my movie review.The comic takes place when the Guardians of the Galaxy have already formed and established themselves as this band of criminals set out to do good throughout the galaxy.Like the movie, the comic series is fun! As I mentioned, the movie probably provides better character moments for Drax as well as Groot and Rocket but both the comic and movie highlight the loyalty and admiration this team has for each other.I enjoy the comics' portrayal of Gamora more simply because there's more details about her history with Thanos. Gamora also gets to develop a friendship with fellow female warrior when Angela is introduced. I had hoped that Gamora and Nebula would have the same kind of relationship where the two women would admire each other's skills in combat. It would be more antagonistic with Nebula but still.
I say that both the film and comics are definitely worth seeing! There's the usual underdeveloped villains, casual sexism, and lack of diversity that many of the MARVEL movies have but it's still a very enjoyable movie to watch.In the end, I agree with
and prefer the film to the comics. I really enjoyed watching this team of criminals join together and form their bond. Like
the movie is at its core, about friendship. A couple of new foound friends joining together and holding hands is literally how they save the day and as cheesy as it is, the movie makes it work extremely well. I believe it and am endlessly endeared by it.That said, the comics are also worth a read. Friendship and loyalty are very much a theme in the comic series as well but perhaps maybe not shown in such a loud and entertaining manner. If you watched the movie and want to know more about the characters, I highly recommend it. Especially if you want to see more of Gamora's character.