Thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy

I often find myself trying to specify my level of geekiness in any specific genre/catagory, usually to avoid arguments and hurt feelings. For instance, i know a crap ton about star wars, but it applies almost exclusively to the original trilogy, and a handful of books. I never watched the clone wars cartoon, didn’t read the vast majority of the books or comics that expanded the star wars universe, and I only ever played one of the Star Wars “Force” games.

Compared to most of my friends I would be considered the expert when it comes to Star Wars, but compare to many Star Wars die hard fans, I would only have a general knowledge; a n00b if you will.  There’s some other subjects that are considered geek staples that I have no interest in at all like Dr. Who and WoW, and some that I use to have an interest in that has died down like comic books.

It’s my place in that last category that gives me mixed feelings about the latest trailer from Marvel Studios.  Last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live they showed the first non-comicon trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, and I have to say it really swayed me. Check it out below.

Let’s give a little of my own back story regarding the Guardians of the Galaxy before I delve into my thoughts on the upcoming movie. I read comic books, like, actually bought and read them and collected them when I was in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. Maybe a year or two off, but you get the idea. It was fun at the time and I really only focused on a few characters that I really liked. Well to be more accurate, there was one character I loved reading (Silver Surfer), and then a few other comics that I would pick up here and there (Spider Man, Thor, X-men), and then several comics that were brand new that I subscribed to thinking their early issues would end up being worth money (Darkhawk, Sleepwalker, Deathlok)

Only one of these guys has a movie coming out this summer, and with good reason.

By the way, I challenge anyone who thinks Darkhawk wasn’t a good comic.

I happen to have been into comics at kind of a sweet time for the industry, especially when you consider it’s affect on the current comic landscape. For instance the X-men and Bat Man animated series seemed to closely mirror the comics way better than most other TV or Movie attempts up to that point. They didn’t seem either ashamed of the source material or of highlighting the serious tone some of the stories presented, and I think that has been mirrored in the recent string of big budget movies.  But the biggest deal in the comic book world, at least for me, was the Infinity Gauntlet, which was one of those giant crossovers that happened to feature Silver Surfer and his arch enemy Thanos.

To quickly recap the story, there is this big bad space bad guy named Thanos who is crazy smart and powerful (and is a documented rip off of Darkseid from DC), and serves as the main threat to the universe every 10 years or so whenever he gets his hands on some ultimate power.  So this time he gets his hands on 6 cosmic gems that each have their own thing going on, one controls time, the other souls, another… power? I don’t remember them all but when you combine them together you basically are god… and not a god like Thor, or a space being like Galactus, but you have complete control over the entire universe.

By definition you shouldn’t be able to beat god, but that would make a shitty comic if thanos just snapped his fingers and killed everyone… instead he snaps his fingers and only kills half the universe to try and impress Death, who is an actual being in the marvel universe and Thanos has the hots for her. He’s weird. So to impress her he puts part of his cosmic awareness on hold and battle all the earth heroes and a bunch of space bad asses and in the end he looses cause, you know, it’s a comic book for fuck sake.

This has a much happier ending than Watchmen.

So Thanos and the infinity “stones” as they are called in the marvel movies now are the driving force behind the last several movies. The “Ether” in the last Thor movie was an infinity stone, and so was the “Teseract” from the Avenger’s and Captain america movie. The guardians movie will also, probably feature an infinity stone or two, and might also have Thanos show up, something he hasn’t done since the stinger at the end of the Avengers movie.

This is where my feelings for this movie kind of got off on the wrong foot; I was really excited for a marvel movie, or movies based on the infinity gauntlet, but I only remember the Guardians of the Galaxy comic being kind of shitty.  Maybe shitty isn’t the right word, since I never really followed it, I just remember it as a comic I would sometimes read when Silver Surfer made a guest appearance, or when they crossed over into one of the other more mainstream comics.

honest to god, i still have this comic somewhere in my house.

So when I read comic books the gaurdians were comprised of some huge muscle dude who looked like his aspect ratio was all messed up. Some super powered light cosmic dude who would also sometimes turn into a chick with possibly similar powers, a blue alien with a giant fin/mohawk, some chick who’s hair was always on fire, and a captain america knock off. None of that intrigued me honestly, but I think they were around because marvel had all these space characters created over the years but no real vehicle to feature them on a monthly basis.

So when they said there would be a Guardians of the Galaxy movie I thought, ummmm ok, I guess, and then i read about how the roster had changed over the years and how possibly none of the characters I remember would even be in the movie. So the addition of Drax the destroyer and Gamora seemed pretty good since Drax was basically Space Hulk during the infinity gauntlet stuff and Gamora was also a decent character that was involved in a lot of the stuff that happened in the aftermath of that big event. Then I read that one of the characters would be a talking raccoon named “rocket” and another would bee a talking tree (basically a less whimsical Ent) that only said it’s own name; “Groot”.

I hope screw attack does a groot vs. treebeard episode…. no one reading this understands what I just said.

So that kind of seemed like a major step backwards since it seemed like they were ditching the serious/deadly yet at times fun aspects of the comic book movies of the past decade and were now going to do one that was more Batman and Robin than it was the Dark Knight Rises. I’m not saying there’s no place for camp, but I didn’t want them to just have a talking raccoon going around spouting animal puns like Arnold did when he played Mr. Freeze. ,

So I had low expectations from the jump, even when I started to hear about some of the casting choices which included big hollywood draws like Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana, and Bradley Cooper. Then I didn’t know what to think again when Chris Pratt was cast since he is god damn fantastic in comedic roles like on Parks and Rec, but was also not bad in more serious stuff like Zero Dark Thirty.

Having watched the trailer I know am very hopeful for the movie. This will be an awfull analogy if you take it at face value, but it reminds me of the first ninja turtles movie. Ok, just give me a second here to explain myself. The majority of the movie was silly and fun, even the fight scenes early on had a lot of slap stick and were fun for the kids, but as the movie progressed there was kind of a mood change. The stakes got raised, and these characters that were just having a good time, actually were faced with dire consequences. I just remember that last battle with shredder on the roof top was really well done because all of the sassy talk and banter from the turtles were gone because they knew they were up against someone who required all their effort and attention. They weren’t fucking around, and neither was he.

What? No! Wrong fucking TMNT movie.

So I’m kind of hoping that is how this upcoming movie goes. It’s a lot of fun and kind of goofy with a rag tag group of misfits, but as it goes on they get into some heavy shit that is maybe beyond them a little bit where they have to rise above their preconceived limitations.

Ok so here are some quick notes I made while watching the trailer:

  • Is Chris Pratt/Star Lord going all temple of doom on an infinity stone at the begining there?
  • I can’t be the only one hoping to see some green boobies in the movie… from Gamora/Zoe Saldana, Not Drax.
  • Supposedly the walkman is Star Lords only remaining link to earth… not sure how that happened, maybe a buck rogers type thing, just without the time travel, so him getting into a fight over it and it being sentimental to him could add some odd emotional weight to the movie.
  • The action in it looks like it should be awesome, though i am kind of dissapointed that this version of drax isn’t Space Hulk like he was in the early 90s. I guess he is smaller now and more into swords or daggers… I think it has something to do with him either being undead or having no soul or some such shit.
  • Looks like Benicio Del Toro will be returning as the collector which is who he played at the end of Thor the Dark World. In the comics he is, surprise surprise, a collector of unique stuff throughout the universe, even gathering up people from lost civilizations and even has an infinity Stone now.

Is that outfit any less ridiculous than the one they have Del toro actually wear?

The big bad in this movie is supposed to be Ronnan the Accuser, who if you ever read the comics would know is… a guy.. in space… who accuses people of.. stuff? I have no idea, i never read any comics he was in.  He could literally just be a space auditor who is after the guardian’s for not paying use tax.



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