Guardians of the Galaxy is Groovy, Lovable and Awesome
I’m confident that nearly everyone on campus has been told to go see the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy.” There has been a sudden resurgence of seventies music. Someone you know has incessantly posted “I AM GROOT” as his Facebook status for the past month, made a picture of a tiny smiling plant her Twitter header and/or baked baby Groot cupcakes. This film has certainly created an epidemic, and if you have been trying your best to immunize yourself from it, stop.
I had a couple of assumptions walking into a matinee showing of the movie last Sunday afternoon. Initially, I was convinced that it was a film for children. It had all of the characteristics – a talking raccoon, space heroes, even a sentient tree – of a campy kids’ movie. The PG-13 label should have been a tip, but I overlooked it in the haze of the small mammal dressed as a space captain.
Despite the cartoonish cast, this movie is not for children. There are sexual innuendos, profane gestures and the occasional curse word. This movie, in all honesty, is directed towards a college aged demographic in a way. Often Hollywood assumes that the movies college students enjoy are solely about college. This film broke that mold. It was the perfect meld of action, fantasy and an elevated dialogue that goes over younger children’s heads. Granted, there are still some relatively childish moments. Not often do we, bordering on adulthood, receive the opportunity to ferociously giggle at the phrase “turd-blossom,” but there stood situational irony in the use of the elementary insult.
Another assumption I had was that it would be hard to take Chris Pratt seriously in his superhero-esque role. This is the guy best-known for his portrayal of Andy Dwyer on the NBC show “Parks and Recreation.” In the show, Andy is, in effect, an animated teddy bear: goofy and lovable, but definitely with fluff for brains. Once again I was proven wrong when Pratt’s opening scene was a rad dance number to a groovy seventies mix that accompanied the entire feature-length presentation. Pratt, showing his charm and versatility, was certainly endearing in his role as “Starlord” Peter Quill, a space looter who gets caught up in a sale much bigger than his original intentions. Quill is an outlaw, living off the rewards of petty thefts, until he steals a little-known but very powerful weapon.
After learning of the weapon’s power, Quill teams up with a few other miscreants (because who doesn’t love a good band of misfits?) to protect the weapon from getting into the hands of Ronan, the man determined to wipe out an entire planet’s civilization despite his people’s peace treaty with them. The gang includes Gamora, a lethal martial artist who betrayed Ronan and her evil father, Thanos; Drax, a literal-minded warrior seeking vengeance for his family, whom Ronan killed; Rocket, a genetically modified and particularly feisty raccoon; and Rocket’s protector, a tree alien whose verbal lexicon consists only of the words “I,” “am” and “Groot.”
FUN FACT: Vin Diesel, who voiced Groot, learned to say the words “I am” in over 10 languages so that the words would be spoken in his voice regardless of where the film is shown. Image from cinemablend.com.
My final assumption was that I was about 98% sure I was going to cry. From beginning to end, this pre-conceived notion rang true. As is common, the backstory of Peter Quill is tragic, opening the film with a blast of emotion that sets a serious tone in this fun action comedy, letting the audience see all the different sides of these characters.
“Guardians” mixes the perfect amount of irony, blatant humor and disaster to pique the interest and compassion of the viewer. From a funky soundtrack to lovable characters, it will have you quoting a tree and wishing you had your old walkman back.