Countdown to Avengers Endgame: Guardians of the Galaxy
We’re in the Endgame now. Just 11 days to go before Marvel Studios unleashes the biggest theatrical event in a generation (if not ever), capping off a story that is 11 years and 21 films in the making. There’s no denying that what Marvel has done here is unprecedented. As we approach the big day lets take a look back at the films that lead us here.
Guardians of the Galaxy seemed like the moment when Marvel finally went overboard. More than a couple assumed this would be the studio’s first real flop and maybe even signal the end of the super hero fad. About that. Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t just go on to be successful, it was something of a cultural phenomenon that made characters like Groot and Rocket Raccoon household names. With good reason.
There’s so much to love about this film. The characters are all incredibly fun, the visuals gave us a big colorful galaxy of things to explore and that soundtrack. Guardians uses music so successfully that it single handed, however briefly, made buying a movie soundtrack a thing again (you see, back before MP3 players we could only carry so many CD’s or Cassettes so soundtracks offered extra musical variety but often still with a certain cohesive tone). James Gunn killed it here and deserves credit where credit is due. The Guardians of the Galaxy theme is also one of my favorites in the MCU (behind only the more recent version of the Avengers’ theme).
There are admittedly some things that don’t work well in the film, most you’ve heard before. Ronan gets a few moments but never really gets much time to shine. The film plays very loose with what happens to people when exposed to space (celestial/implants or not). Of course you also have things like Gamora and Nebula never saying anything to each-other about both wanting Thanos dead so they keep fighting each other. Peter’s tape deck both surviving so long/at all and also conveniently landing next to them after the crash. The prison guards firing one at a time with their rocket launchers… While I do acknowledge these faults in the film they simply aren’t enough to take away from my enjoyment of it.
After all, Guardians of the Galaxy manages to take a character that is a tree who only says three words and make us care about it. It pulls five characters together, giving each enough back story to understand their motivations, at almost break neck speeds, while mostly avoiding being bogged down in exposition. It succeeds in almost every way The Avengers did but without any previous films to really build off of. Guardians is an impressive feat for Marvel, simple as that.
It is difficult to not compare really any space opera/sci-fi space adventure to Stars Wars. For a film to have “Star Wars’d me” means for it to have just immediately enthralled me in it’s world and characters. Nothing has Star Wars’d me as hard as Guardians of the Galaxy since, well that first time I saw A New Hope on TNT. My love for it was instant and immediately. With repeat viewings I have only come to love it more and more. Is it a perfect film? No, but it has and likely always will be my favorite MCU film.
Next we reach our official half-way point with Avengers: Age of Ultron.