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After spending several years in social services, Nicole has finally followed her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer. In addition to her work for The Hudsucker, Nicole is also a staff writer for Womanista. An avid comic book fan, BBQ aficionado, professional makeup artist and first-time mom, Nicole can be found exploring Kansas City rich history when she's not blogging about suburban life at Suburban Flamingo.

Hooked on a Feeling: Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel Studios has built a reputation for themselves over the past few years for making entertaining, high quality, blockbuster films based on their beloved, long-running comic book characters. Films like the Iron Man, Captain America, and Avengers franchises have restored careers (like Robert Downey, Jr.’s) as well as skyrocketed others to fame. The films, collectively called the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has also inspired a new interest in superheroes and comics on the whole. It’s a great time to be a geek.

guardian-of-the-galaxy-poster1

Image Source: Disney Studios

All of the success with the MCU thus far was called into question, though, with the announcement of a Guardians of the Galaxy film. Guardians of the Galaxy inhabits a special place within comics that bridges superheroes with straight science fiction, not quite Star Wars and not quite Captain America. It’s full of dynamic characters, vibrant alien races, and, oh yeah, two of the primary team members happen to be an anthropomorphic raccoon and a giant talking tree. It’s a comic book that isn’t for everyone, but has a devoted readership and many of those readers have waited a long time to see their childhood hit the big screen. I am one of those readers. I have been waiting a long time to see my childhood come to life so even up until minutes before the lights dimmed and the movie started I found myself praying to the cinematic gods “please don’t let Marvel screw this up.”

Ladies and gentlemen, geeks and geek-friendly, moviegoers everywhere the cinematic gods were listening. Guardians of the Galaxy is everything you could want in a summer blockbuster, a perfect Marvel film, and a movie that sets the bar for superhero moves as well as for the upcoming Star Wars movies. I have never been so happy walking out of a movie theater in my entire life.

What makes this movie so amazing? Primarily that the movie doesn’t take itself seriously, though it does pay attention to detail. There are very few heavy-handed moments in this film. From the first few moments on the film does a good job of layering the serious with the mirthful and making sure that these ridiculous characters know themselves: they are, by and large, caricatures and they inhabit it perfectly, giving each character a pure honesty.  Peter Quill cracks wise at every possible turn, even after doing something jarringly selfless and heroic because that’s who he is: man putting on a rogue’s face to cover the lingering pain of loss.

The pain of loss is a subtle theme of the movie and it is one that is handled deftly. Nearly every character in the film, hero and otherwise, has suffered some major loss and they each deal with it differently. The film does a beautiful job of showing the colors of grief and how people can come together and be very different. This is particularly well-done with Rocket Raccoon. The film also gives the audience a place to anchor their emotions within the film, providing a safe place for viewers to laugh and check in via the heart of the film, the giant talking tree, Groot.

There are lots of great pop culture references sprinkled throughout and the soundtrack is incredible. The whole movie is put together flawlessly with the seasoned comics fan in mind as well being absolutely accessible to someone new to the idea. Both types of viewer is given something to love, though there is about one minute of the movie that is a gift wrapped nugget of awesome for the serious fans and the stinger scene is full of incredible Easter eggs as well.

I tried really hard to find something to critique about this film and I suppose if I really wanted to get down to grains of sand I could point out that a couple of elements that they did change from comics (specifically the story of Peter’s mom) were a little cliche or I could question the casting of John C. Riley as Corpsman Dey, but the wonderful vastly outweighs the mediocre in this film. I’m already chomping at the bit for Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

Bottom line? Go see this movie. Get a few hours of joy into your life.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Which Comic Book Movie Will Conquer 2016? | The Hudsucker - March 28, 2016

    […] that not many people actually know who this character is. However, with the success of Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, I’m less hesitant to put an unknown Marvel movie here than the likes of DC/Warner […]

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