Like Clan Czar, Clan J. took in the Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend. The four of us, Dr. J., Mrs. Dr. J., the Lil Resident and Lil Medstudent all loved it, This was no easy feat as the Guardians are Marvel D-Listers, and the amount of Marvel celestial (and Celestial) mythology involved in this film was tremendous.
The reason this movie is successful is that it resonates on multiple levels such that it speaks to each member of the audience. For the Lil Medstudent, there was non-stop action, an irreverent antihero, or five, and a TALKING RACCOON! For the Lil Resident, there was not only a well crafted story, but there were enough Marvel Cinematic Universe connections that she took pleasure in putting the pieces of the puzzle woven from Marvel Phase I, to Thor 2, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and ultimately through this movie, en route to Marvel Phase III, where we anticipate it will culminate. For Mrs. Dr. J., there were several Kleenex moments (not those kind of Kleenex moments, ‘Puter), a great soundtrack, the lovable Groot, and enough humor to keep the story light.
The layers of this movie are how James Gunn got it right. At its surface it’s a classic near-do well anti-hero grows into something bigger. But there is a lot beneath the surface. By the time the Thanos plot line comes to a head, presumably in Avengers 3, this movie will get heavy replay in MCU fan blu-ray players, to see the little bits and pieces thrown in that got us there. Furthermore, as the first space story in the MCU, it introduces new characters and species. Ronan the Accuser a Kree renegade, is the main villainThe Nova Corps are introduced into the mix, as are the Celestials (briefly) along with more screen time for an Elder of the Universe (The Collector, played with great understatement by Benecio del Toro), who provides a great deal of background and set up regarding the Infinity Stones, indeed affirming that two prior MacGuffins (the Tesseract/Cosmic Cube from Phase I, and the Aether from Thor II) were such artifacts, and the MacGuffin of this movie is a third.
Cracked Magazine proffered that nostalgia evoked by the soundtrack, Star Lord’s trusty walkman, and his just slightly off pop-culture references from his youth made this movie slip on like an old shoe. They’re pretty much spot on with that analysis. Indeed the soundtrack is so fun, that Dr. J. downloaded it when he got home.
The Czar might have more to add, but the MCU team pulled off a huge victory with Guardians of the Galaxy, and one that will pay dividends in future offerings.