Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ delivers a new crew of inspiring heroes


Photo: Marvel Studios

Marvel’s new team of superheroes comes together in the new film, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ From left to right: Peter Quill, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Rocket and Groot.

By Riley Smith, Flyer Staff

From Marvel Studios comes a new group of superheroes in an action-packed film. While it doesn’t feature everyone’s favorite Avengers — like Thor and Iron Man — Guardians of the Galaxy holds its own as a superhero movie worthy of the Marvel dynasty.

The movie focuses on young and reckless Peter Quill, born on Earth and abducted by aliens in his childhood — in traditional comic book style — immediately following the death of his mother. Almost 20 years later, Quill travels the universe, stealing artifacts to sell on the black market.

On one particular trip, he steals a silver orb, which he later learns contains strong ancient magic. The plot then focuses on several warring powers in the universe that all want to destroy one another — and Earth while they’re at it — via the mysterious orb and its ancient powers.

The main characters are Quill, a hotheaded genetically modified raccoon named Rocket, his tree friend Groot, a built blue humanoid creature named Drax, and a green woman named Gamora. It’s a rag-tag team of five unlikely friends: they fight almost constantly, always yelling at each other and butting heads. The group members are initially uneasy around one another, and it seems like they’ll never be able to work together as a team.

Some of the most enjoyable parts of the movie are the times when Rocket or Quill make jokes about cliche comic book norms. At one point, Quill gives a motivational speech, and the rest of the gang stands in a circle. As the moment escalates, Rocket makes a comment that they’re all just a bunch of idiots standing in a circle. The funny realness of the characters allows the audience to connect with them on an emotional level.

Another interesting aspect of the film is that Groot, the living, walking tree, can only say three words: “I am Groot.” Despite that, he is completely capable of saying those three words with such a range of emotions — he can be confused or sad or happy — which truly melts the hearts of the audience.

Arguably, the most captivating part of the movie is when every detail that Marvel has left unexplained for so long is brought and tied together perfectly. These details came from bonus clips at the ends of several Marvel movies; in fact, Marvel has become known for having one, two, or sometimes three end credits scenes. (Shawarma!)

In one of the end credit scenes in Thor 2: The Dark World, the aether — or dark magic that possesses Thor’s girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) — is taken to a man with tall white hair, and his final line before the screen blanks is something to the effect of “One down, five to go.”

One of the many end credits scenes following Avengers shows a purple-faced alien sitting on a throne of rocks floating on a meteor in space. There is no name or introduction, but this character seems to give off the essence of a villain.

These clips and others left many people confused, especially when none of the clips were pertinent in following movies. Well, one of Guardian‘s most redeeming qualities is that everything comes together and is explained wonderfully. It all makes sense now! The Tesseract, the aether, the orb that Quill steals are all explained and sort of defined as to their origins, and Marvel reveals the identities of the guy with the obnoxious white hair and the creepy purple villain.

All in all, there’s really only one serious criticism of the movie. This issue occurs not only in this movie, but also in many TV shows and other modern movies (especially Marvel ones). The movie lacks in explaining why characters in this movie don’t ever seem to die, especially when it looks like, in the conditions they’re in, they should totally be dead.

Several times in this movie, members of the troop come extremely close to dying. Quill and Gamora spend a few pleasant moments in space with absolutely no gear on, and yet somehow they are not killed by the vacuum of space. Now, it would be an awful movie if they did die, but come on!

They really shouldn’t have been able to survive unless they had powers or something to let them live. This is also really never properly explained: no one ever really says too much about Gamora (nor is she a very credible source), and other than some hints at an extraordinary parentage, the movie doesn’t provide much on Quill either.

This can be extremely frustrating. Marvel should definitely put a bit more time and effort into explaining their characters, especially when it comes to strengths and weaknesses. At one point, Drax gets the daylights beaten out of him and lays on the ground, dead-looking, for several minutes. He may have even been stabbed a few times! Yet when the group is ready to move on, Drax gets up and walks it off like it never even happened. Come on, Marvel, not everyone can be invincible like Thor.

Altogether, this new group of heroes is certainly worth seeing. With plenty of action, love, and just enough jokes to lighten things up, Guardians of the Galaxy is an exhilarating new movie for all to enjoy. Enjoy the movie, and as always, don’t forget to stay for the end credits scene.