Budge and I went with Deuce, Cameron, and the kids to see Guardians of the Galaxy tonight. Since Sunday is our 18th anniversary, we decided to make it our “anniversary date.” All told, it turned out great. Guardians may very well be one of my favorite movies ever. What made this movie so special is it grabbed me by the feels in the opening scene and for the next two hours and change, it did something only a tiny cluster of movies have ever done — it made me forget.
I am a worrier. My therapist says it’s difficult to help someone like me raised with worrying about everything as a family value, but it’s what I am — except during this movie. For the entire film, I forgot about bills I can’t pay, money I don’t have, sick family, the national debt, and impending asteroid crashes. Unless your entire waking life is spent in a miasma of varying strengths of fear, I can’t really describe what it feels like for the lights to come up and you realize you haven’t thought about anything for the last two hours. If the movie did nothing else for me, it gave me two hours of peace and tranquility and, folks, that doesn’t happen much.
I may get some disagreement on this one, but I liked the movie as much or more than Avengers. For one, the creative team managed to build a team with real chemistry and fairly complete backstories on the fly. In contrast, before we watched the splendor which was Avengers, we saw Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, Iron Man I & II, and The Incredible Hulk. That’s around eleven hours, give or take, of character building. Guardians managed to accomplish the same thing in just over two hours.
Another reason I feel this film is superior to several other Marvel Studio films is it was cut from whole cloth. Everyone knows who Spiderman and The Hulk , a great number of people know Captain America and Iron Man, and Thor is pretty well known too, even if only as a lesson from Norse mythology. I would submit to you, however, that few outside the brotherhood of hardcore comic geeks had the foggiest idea who Star Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Dax, and — not to be forgotten — GROOT were. These are characters from the B and C list of the Marvel Universe, but after this fantastic film, I doubt they’ll be also-rans for long.
None of these characters is invincible or irreplaceable. You KNEW no matter what happened, Steve Rogers wasn’t going to die in his eponymous movie. It was the same with Tony Stark and Peter Parker, but in Guardians of the Galaxy, you really didn’t know going in who was coming out the other side. As viewers, we could form real attachments to these unlikely heroes only to see them in real peril and realize our favorite person . . . or rodent . . . might actually die. It was almost as bad as watching an episode of Game of Thrones.
All hyperbole aside, this is a movie to drop the money on. It’s big, it doesn’t drag, exposition takes place as we move along. In short, the writers follow the oldest rule in writing for page or screen: “SHOW us; don’t just TELL us!” Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that the soundtrack is full of songs I loved as a kid. I mean, come on, who can’t fall in love with a movie that features “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” in the midst of a crucial action scene? That’s solid gold stuff right there. Easily my favorite movie this year and depending on how The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies turns out, it may still be my favorite on New Year’s Eve.
Go watch it and see if it makes you forget, too! Love y’all, and keep those feet clean.