Guardians of the Galaxy: Pure Crap or Solid Gold?

guardians1I have to say that as Marvel movies get deeper, more detailed, and actually become better for it, the bad ones are going to stand out more.  This was not the case for Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), which sort of ruined my prediction, but we were delivered a great gem in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) earlier that is better by comparison.  This Marvel high that everyone is on isn’t going to last forever.  It might take a dismal failure, but at some point the studio is going to run short on the reputation to sell just about anything, cause that’s what they’ve done with Guardians of the Galaxy.

Don’t get me wrong, some of Guardians of the Galaxy is really fun, but other parts are also pure crap.  I didn’t say that about Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  A lot of the dialogue is pure crap, most of the acting is pure crap, most of the secondary characters are underdeveloped and pure crap, but I’ll tell you what, Chris Pratt sold this movie for me.  He’s the best part of the movie bar none.  It’s not even close.  Even when he’s acting like an idiot and delivering stupid, stupid lines, like distracting a supervillain with dancing, it’s solid gold.

guardians5Then there’s the rest of the cast.  Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista compete for having the worst dialogue delivery ever, and I’m not sure who wins, which makes Groot my favorite secondary character.  He basically has three words of dialogue, so I’m not sure what that says about the movie’s secondary characters, but it isn’t a complement.  I won’t even get into the villains, because they are one-dimensional at best.  AT BEST.  This makes me wonder how Avengers 2 is going to turn out with Ultron as the main villain.  Since he’s a friggin evil robot, Marvel has their one-dimensional villain ready-made.

guardians4I think they lucked out that Robert Redford has grandkids who love Marvel, because he actually brought some depth to a guy who is basically just a suit.  There’s nobody like that in Guardians of the Galaxy, except maybe John C. Riley, who played one of the Nova police guys.  His character actually had some depth and grew a little, accepting the Guardians in the end, even though they started as criminals.  It’s just too bad Riley’s character was a third-stringer.  They couldn’t have put his character in charge instead of Glenn Close?  What’d she bring besides her name? Not much.

guardians7I actually like the beginning of this film, which is saying a lot, because I usually hate kid actors.  Peter’s mom can’t act, but the scene worked in spite of her.  Then he’s abducted by aliens and through the whole movie I’m wondering just how the hell Peter got caught up in all this.  Why did aliens abduct him?  Why’s he so special?  I didn’t get it.  I’m guessing it has something to do with his father, but that’s for a sequel, so we didn’t get that information.

One of the biggest problems with this movie is that it knows it is a small piece in a big puzzle, just like that unanswered question about Peter Quill.  Thanos appears, but he’s not developed, so I guess he’s there to shoehorn in another Marvel movie.  The same thing with the Infinity Stones.  It’s the Tesseract all over again. There’s dozens of other things just shoehorned into this movie that didn’t need to be.

The middle of this movie is a mess and makes the movie way, way, way too long.  I loved the introduction, but by the time they got to the prison escape, I was worn out.  This movie needed to be cut in places and trimmed of stupid stuff like The Collector scene or maybe some dialogue from the pointless Thanos appearance, but no, they can’t do that, because they have a larger cinematic universe to build.  They also could have cut Nebula or whatever her name was, and it wouldn’t have made a difference at all to the story.

guardians3Despite all these flaws, and the pure crap of the acting and dialogue, I think this movie was fun.  I was thinking about what the point of movies and movie entertainment was recently, and concluded that fun or at least enjoyment was their ultimate purpose.  This is what Guardians does.  It entertains.  That’s not what Evil Dead: Crapass Remake (2012) does.  And that’s why I hate that movie.  One movie makes me a trauma victim and the other tries to get me to laugh, which I’ll admit didn’t work one-hundred percent of the time, but I guess I’d rather not laugh at a stupid joke than be a trauma victim.  My point is that I want to enjoy a movie, or at least come away feeling that it has entertainment value.  In cases where its a horror movie, action movie, drama, or comedy, I think that’s something nice to shoot for.

All in all, this movie is entertaining.  I wouldn’t go so far as to call it good, but it was funny and enjoyable.  Chris Pratt deserves a raise for carrying this movie, which is the same thing I said about Bruce Willis in Sin City.  Just imagine if Chris Pratt has an off-day on the sequel–how the hell will it sell?  Not with Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista leading the way, that’s for sure.  I guess I will be seeing Guardians 2 to enjoy myself once again, and hopefully the Marvel machine will not fall apart by then, because I like being entertained.