|Cue the late 70's pop rock....|
“Because I'm one of the idiots who lives in it!”
1) It is kinda refreshing to have a movie that takes place in the Marvel Universe that is standalone. While there are tiny connectors to the other films (primarily the presence of Thanos and The Collector), someone not interested in the Cinematic Universe could watch it and have a satisfying experience.
2) I’m surprised at how well Chris Pratt carries this film. He sets the tone of the film, balances out a number of other characters with diametrically opposite genre traditions and keeps the plot driving forward. It’s a rather remarkable performance.
3) I wonder if Vin Diesel had flashbacks to The Chronicles of Riddick when dealing with Ronan’s ‘NecroCorps’ and all.
4) But while we’re on the subject of Ronan...he comes off kinda weak as a villain, boasting and posturing until he gets the Holy MacGuffin of the film. Hell, one could argue that the real villain is The Holy MacGuffin, which is responsible for giving Ronan the ability to do what he wants to do.
|Yep...would still hit that...|
5) For a change, director and co-writer James Gunn gives us a solid reason for the mostly classic pop soundtrack, and even gives us a solid reason why Peter is obsessed with that era of music. Okay, it never explains why the most delicate music delivery system in history survived 26 years of interstellar travel, let alone how Quill finds batteries, but....shrug.
6) My problem with Zoe Saldana’s Gamora isn’t that you’ve got a stick insect playing a character who’s supposed to be softer featured, uncommonly tall and uncommonly curvy (okay, maybe it’s a small part), but the fact that there’s nothing that makes me feel she’s this hardcore assassin, let alone one of the most dangerous beings in the cosmos. Yeah, she does a lot of kicky do’s but the sense of this great face turn is blunted. That being said....
|He's not just an Elder of The Universe...he's fancy.|
7) I do appreciate that, while there is chemistry between Saldana and Pratt, Gunn stays true to Gamora’s statement that she will not be one of his conquests. Thus their developing friendship seems genuine while hinting at the possibility of something more.
8) Okay, we get that Benicio delToro’s Collector is Designated Expository Man, there only to give us the lowdown on The Holy MacGuffin...but damn if he isn’t fun. From his admonishing his servant to use her elbows lest she meet the fate of the previous assistant to the end credits stinger (which featured the single most surprising character ever to appear in a Cinematic Universe film), he is a joy to watch.
|"Behold my Holy MacGuffin Supercharged Hammer!"|
9) Even with what looks like a skid mark on her face, blue skin and no hair, Karen Gillen is still hot.
10) I give Gunn a lot of credit for making sure the humor is fully integrated into the adventure and feels nature. Everyone takes their turn as comic relief, and when we think the character is being treated too much as a joke, Gunn and cowriter Nicole Perlman slip in a moment of pathos like Bradley Cooper’s Rocket's drunken breakdown.
Overall...as someone who does not care for space opera, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. By focusing just as much on characters as on spectacle, Gunn succeeds in creating the pulp science fiction film he claimed he wanted to make.