copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

I don't think there is much of a point of telling you that this movie is good. A seemingly endless amount of positive reviews speaks for itself. The movie surpassed $200M in box office revenues. However, perhaps we all got a little carried away in our communal cheering. This movie is not without sins.

I continue to lack understanding for the argument that action movies do not have to adhere to realism. I do not see the need for the sacrifice. Towards the end of the movie I lost count how many times this flick broke the laws of physics and I felt it did not have to. According to this film, being encased in a ball of wooden branches makes you survive a crash. Come on! Sometimes one is able to suspend disbelief, but sometimes the violation of truth pulls you right out of the movie. Suddenly you are just an ape wearing 3d glasses and starring at a large screen.

The other issue with the movie is a number of movie clichés. Maybe this says more about the number of movies we, the public, have been spoiled with over the years, but throughout this film I saw scenes from Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Serenity. Sometimes, either during or shortly after such a cliché, the movie would acknowledge it with a joke or a little twist, but if it is so self-aware then why did it not avoid such scenes in the first place? I mean here was the one chance to be different. The movie has a talking raccoon in it and yet the makers still decided to stick to formula. I don't get it.

The plot resembles Serenity quite a bit. A crew of rogues with a spaceship, who do not all like one another, are thrown by fate into a situation that eventually turns them into heroes. And I am sure Serenity probably took it from somewhere else. Again, come up with some new stuff, people.

Another issue is that some characters change their motivations mid-movie without there being a discernible character arc justifying the change. The main male protagonist is portrayed as a scoundrel for the first 80% of the movie and then suddenly he is convincing others to be altruistic, including those who were already established to be more so than him. That felt forced and contrived, like the makers remembered that they had to wrap this movie up so they started cutting corners.

In fact, with the story containing so many different characters and motivations, this movie really could have used another 30 minutes or so of screen time. The backstory is explained in about 30 seconds and if you didn't pay attention, too bad. Here's a bad guy, he looks evil; moving on.

As already mentioned, the movie is good. The visuals are pretty. It manages to be funny, which often does not work out in action movies. But it is unfortunate that it feels the need to trod in formula. I hope that next time, in the inevitable sequel, Gunn just takes a left and doesn't look back.

Guardians of the Galaxy