How I Came To Love Guardians Of The Galaxy

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guardiansThere are certain films that hook you from the very first time you see the poster, let alone the trailer, and there are those that you really struggle to see why they bothered. For me that spectrum ran from “Leon” (BIG fan of Luc Besson) down to “Dangerous Liaisons,” which I’ve sat in front of several times both in the cinema and in the sitting room and never managed to stay awake for more than ten minutes.

Then there are those that fall somewhere in the middle. The ones which you watch with one eye on and endure rather than enjoy.

Then you see it again: someone else was watching it and you were in the room; it was on the TV and you couldn’t be bothered turning over; whatever. However, the next time you see it you think, “Actually, that wasn’t too bad,” and you make a point of giving it another shot.


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Eventually you end up buying a copy, and it enters your short list of films to watch when you just want something to relax into.

It might seem like sacrilege to some of you but, for me, one of those films is “Guardians Of The Galaxy”.  I watched most of it when it first came out (I say most because parts of it had a definite dream-like quality) and remembered that the chunky guy from “Parks And Recreation” was in it. There were some reasonable action sequences and pretty funny dialogue, but there also seemed to be unnecessarily convoluted sections.

But then along comes the countdown to “Avenger: Endgame” and, like millions of MCU fans around the world I decided to re-watch all of the previous entries — and the only problem was what order should I go with: Production, Chronological, Spaghetti. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the GOTG episode, but I ended up enjoying it!

And for this little essay I watched it again. And you know what? There were so many things that resonated with me when I opened my eyes and watched it properly. From the very first second when “I’m Not In Love” starts, I was captivated. It’s a great song I particularly like because I used to live in Stockport around the corner from Strawberry Studios when 10cc were recording it. And that’s just the start. I’ve seen straight up musicals which have soundtracks that are nowhere near as good as this; it may have helped being a teenager when most of these tracks came out.

Then Chris Pratt appears. I enjoyed his turn as Andy Dwyer in the aforementioned “Parks And Recreation” and in this he still has some of the slacker charm but, as the prison clean up scene shows, he no longer has his slacker bod —  having upgraded to his MCU ripped physique. And what does Peter Quill have but a Sony TPS-L2 Walkman! They came out shortly after I graduated and I saved up my first wages to buy one. Just how the Apple iPod was distinguished by the white ear buds, so a genuine Sony Walkman stood out, thanks to the orange sponge headphone pads.

Bring on the action sequences. Coming half way through the second of the first three phases they’d had plenty of time to perfect them, and they didn’t disappoint. The same can be said of the humor; MCU is known for the witty asides, but GOTG is only one step away from being a straight up comedy — and a good one at that! And I have to mention the visuals: the make up, the costumes, and the sets are all simply eye catching. Stunning yet believable.

Finally there are the performances. Both from the main cast and the supporting players, some of whom deliver what amount to little more than cameos. Karen Gillan is excellent as always; Peter Serafinowicz is sorely underused, as is Christopher Fairbank; but I could go on and on until I’ve name-checked everyone.

Suffice it to say that I’m hooked on this branch of the MCU and am so glad that it’s carrying on in Phase 4 of the MCU.

Addendum: GOTG3 isn’t actually scheduled for Phase 4. It is rumored to be the first movie in Phase 5, whenever that happens to be. Due to CoVid19 Marvel has updated movie release dates for all Phase 4 movies.

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6 thoughts on “How I Came To Love Guardians Of The Galaxy”

  1. The first time I saw this movie it blew my mind. From the “Raiders” type credits segueing into the joyous Come and Get Your Love dance, I knew this was something special. And also, I love James Gunn, and I adore Farscape, which much of this is clearly based on. The humor, the pretty, the dialog, the fun…it’s everything I ever wanted in a superhero movie. GotG was a game changer.

  2. Rob Williams Author

    I knew there would be people who loved it from the first showing and, to be honest, I was surprised I didn’t enjoy it more first time around. Anyway… now I’m into it maybe I should have another look at the first Thor movie!

  3. Rob Williams Author

    I’m 100% with you on that one, Jill!

    “Thor: Ragnarok” is awesome; by turns funny, thrilling, and action packed. Somehow the other two managed to be, probably, the weakest links in the MCU chain despite the efforts of Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins, and Stellan Skarsgård all of whom I’d happily watch folding laundry!

    However the big thing I have to thank “Thor: Ragnarok” for is introducing me to Taika Waititi. After that I went home and devoured “What We Do In The Shadows” and “Hunt For The Wilderpeople”, and I was at the first screening of “Jojo Rabbit”.

    1. The first Thors are better served on rewatch when you know how it comes full circle for Thor in Endgame. And they look pretty. And also gave us a great Loki. There are charms to be found in one and two if you’re feeling generous. But no one knew just how funny Hemsworth could be when directed right. Thor the God is such an outlandish concept in the first place. Playing him in High Fantasy mode comes off silly.

      I think there were issues all across Phase 1. Iron Man 2 is really weak. Three is okay. I think Hulk is the worst, and one Marvel would disown if they could. It’s not a terrible movie, it’s just not like the MCU at all, except in that great coda with RDJ and the general.

      https://youtu.be/ZpD2T65Ut-U

  4. Rob Williams Author

    I’ll give the Thors another rewatch. I mean… it’s not like I’m short of time! Also Chris Hemsworth is very watchable (which I think is the closest a straight guy can get to admitting how good looking he is) and does have some fine comedy chops.

    I have to agree with you about MCU Phase 1. It seems like they were struggling to find their way and I’m surprised they actually stuck it out into the rest of the saga. Iron Man 2 was definitely woeful; seems like it was case of “Quick! Run! There’s a bandwagon to be jumped on!” whereas a but more thought and planning would have paid off.

    The Incredible Hulk is a surprise candidate for MCU’s weakest link. I mean Edward Norton AND Tim Roth? It should have been fantastic rather than just “at least it’s better than the Ang Lee one five years ago”.

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