I rarely go through the hubbub of catching block-buster movies when they first come out. I’m a bit of a recluse, and being around all those folks is not at the top of my list of “Things to do in Denver Before I Die.” However, after having seen Guardians of the Galaxy this past weekend, I definitely wish I’d see it on the biggest screen available. It would have been even better than it was.
GotG is a film-experience. Sure, there’s some in-your-face science flaws, and the laws of physics seem to wax and wane to suit whatever action scene is in your face at the moment, but hey, it’s a comic adapted for film. And they did a FANTASTIC job of bringing that universe alive.
When I was younger, I played both Gamma World and Traveler. I loved the notion of weird aliens and hopping across the galaxy for the next bout of kick the crap out of some really bad guys (and gals). GotG brought every youthful fantasy and daydream about intergalactic action come alive, and they did it without being schmaltzy. Campy? In bits, but that only added to the sublime delights of a screenplay that works really well on many levels.
Without giving any spoilers, this is a classic tale of the lone kid on earth who manages to make his way off-world to battle his way to fame and fortune. Along the way, this brazen privateer finds within himself a notion of honor and duty that speaks to the very best parts of the human spirit. Ultimately, the heroes in this movie are all on a similar journey, and they discover a means of their particular brands of redemption through a suicide mission of epic proportions.
There is also a sense of grandeur to this film that is hard to find these days. You get a sense of scale as you are drawn through a panorama of settings that defy imagination even more so than some of the scenes in Cameron’s Avatar. It’s like it says in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “Space is big. Really big.” Guardians of the Galaxy make you believe what you see in depth, detail and clarity. I must say, the artists really went out of they way to blow the audience’s mind with the visuals.
There’s something else, and it’s why I think this movie continues to do as well as it has. The lines of good and evil are clearly drawn, and the depiction of heroes strikes at the very things our own world seem to be troubled with. We’re hard pressed for any sense of modern day heroes, and there was a time when that wasn’t true. I think this film resonates with so many, particularly considering the nature of the villain, because it depicts a notion of heroes from all walks of life coming together to stamp out a singular enemy. That may sound trite, and perhaps I’m overstating something that isn’t that big a deal, but I really hit home for me. We need more people willing to sacrifice to make the world better.
Guardians of the Galaxy is aptly named, and the growth of the characters, whilst a bit predictable, is thoroughly enjoyable. It’s a 5-star roller coaster ride of high sci fi with a human touch and characters you can really sink your teeth into.