Another day, another Marvel movie. This one is no different with its plot if you leave the setting alone. Funny in a formulaic way, it manages to keep you entertained with its trademark spectacles.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

This film introduces otherwise unknown comic book characters to the general public. This includes Star-Lord a Ravager originating from the Earth, Thanos’s adopted daughter Gamora, an ent like being called Groot, an anthropomorphic racoon Rocket and a brutish humanoid Drax. Every character goes through a relatable and predictable change through the course of the movie:

  • Star-Lord learns to care for more than just his loot and Gamora specifically.
  • Gamora learns how to work in a team and the importance of cooperation.
  • Rocket learns to share his feelings with the squad so they can understand him better.
  • Drax realizes that he is not unbeatable and must work cooperate if he wants to defeat his enemies.
  • Groot: He’s the only innocent and clean character in the movie, his sacrifice further proving to everybody what an awesome being he was.

There are lots of common tropes to look out for in the film:

  • The villain Ronan has very uninitiated reasons to defeat Xandar and then to turn on Thanos. It is very stupid of somebody with so much power and influence and makes for an easily disposable villain.
  • Ronan’s huge spaceship: The Dark Aster. Because every superhero movie must have a colossal ship that is destroyed in the course of the movie.
  • Drax serves as the brawn for the squad. He doesn’t get metaphors and takes them literally creating cheap humour out of thin air.
  • The Collector’s assistant serves as a guinea pig to show off what can go wrong if you are a mere mortal and happen to touch the purple Infinity Stone. Pointing exactly to what our heroes will be doing later on in the film.
  • The ravager Yondu goes around intimidating everybody with his whistling arrow thingie, but only uses it once for maximum awe. It is his ace in the hole.
  • Rocket’s over hyped weapon – the hadron enforcer, has no effect on Ronan and the movie deems it entirely okay to not justify the damage or lack thereof.
  • Quill distracts Ronan with an awkward and cringey dance, giving the team enough time to fire one last shot at Ronan.
  • The squad gets their entire criminal record expunged because they did something right that undoes all of their collective wrongs.

Some new things that the movie tries:

  • The anti-gravity trick that Rocket employs to escape the Kyln is novel enough and a nice change from your garden variety explosions. Though I don’t think it would actually stop the baddies from shooting at you.
  • Music is a recurring element in the film. Specifically 70s music. Not bad.

The movie also introduces what could become plot devices in future movies:

  • Knowhere: The dead remains of large cellestial beings, which are now the source of a large scale mining operation. Cellestials can be expected to make an appearance at some point later.
  • The Collector played by Benicio del Toro whom Marvel very clearly did not employ for such a brief role.
  • Howard the Duck’s cameo in the end.
  • The Awesome 70s Mix Vol. 2 which is a gift from Quill’s mother.

This movie’s bound to get lost amidst the other Marvel fanfare.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (Average)