Guardians of the Galaxy

There are still a few movies that make me want to get to a theater and watch them as soon as I can. Judging from the trailers, the buzz, and my respect for the Marvel franchises so far, Guardians of the Galaxy was one of those movies. So I went to see it opening day. My expectations were pretty high. I wanted a slew of great laughs, eye-popping action, awesome effects, and just a general great time.

The movie delivered that and more. I had an absolute blast from start to finish. It might be my favorite Marvel movie to date.

Disney and Marvel did a great job setting the stage for the film, explaining ahead of time to audiences what they could expect. Check out the first full trailer:

So you’re going to have action and laughs, set in space. But one of the things I loved the most about this movie was how it gave me something different than what I expected. I already said what I planned to get from the movie. But I thought all of that was going to be presented in a typical superhero shell. You know what I mean: the heroes are called together to fight an unstoppable force. Judging from the trailer, I expected they’d be contacted by the authorities and told they’d have their records wiped clean if they did something in return.

This is not that sort of movie.

I don’t want to say what it is, but that alone should get a big round of applause.

Other things I wasn’t expecting? The awesome soundtrack, and the way they managed to weave the soundtrack into the plot itself. This is practically a musical in some places. (Well, that’s a bit of a stretch, but still–I was impressed how big of an impact those rock songs had on the film.)

What gets me is how all the articles talking about how successful the movie was over the weekend are surprised–saying things like “The current iteration of the team has only been around since 2008, and they don’t have anywhere near the built-in recognition of Thor or Captain America.” What they all seem to be forgetting is that Marvel’s “big name” superheroes don’t even belong to Marvel for movies. Spiderman? X-Men? Not theirs to do anything with.

Does anyone else remember what reviews said about Iron Man back when it debuted? I don’t have time to track them down, but I remember many being skeptical that Marvel would be able to do anything with Iron Man, saying he was too obscure a character, and that audiences wouldn’t show up for him.

How have they not figured it out in the intervening years? You can have an A-list superhero and a D-list plot, and it’s all going nowhere. People don’t show up to Marvel movies because they know the characters. They show up because they know they’re going to get an awesome movie. With Marvel (for now, at least), awesome comes first, and superheroes come second.

And that’s just how it should be.

Anyway. Really fun film, and I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it already. I might have to go watch it in the theaters again while I can. I enjoyed it that much. 9/10. Check it out.

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