Friday, August 8, 2014

Movie Note: Guardians of the Galaxy

So, my little monster wanted, for his birthday, to go see Guardians of the Galaxy, which I was happy to oblige. It's another Marvel comic book movie, and so, what the heck...

Actually, I took him and his mother while his sister was out of town, and we all enjoyed the movie. Fair warning, though: It's being called a science-fiction comedy, I guess because they fly around in space ships, but there's precious little in this movie that resembles science. It makes Star Wars look like it was written by Arthur C. Clarke.

Anyway, Marvel is apparently gearing up for The Avengers 3, which is supposed to explain why all these second tier Marvel moves involved the hero and the bad guy both chasing after some secret artifact with the power to destroy the universe. Supposedly, these will all be tied together in that movie, which, if it works, will fairly well rock.

So, anyway, the movie...
As I implied, it's about a hero, or in this case, a ragtag band of misfits and outlaws, searching for an orb that, as it turns out, has the power to destroy worlds and kill people by the billions. A mini-Death Star, so to speak. There's a guy who was abducted by a UFO as a boy, a hot green chick who's trained to kill, a convicted murderer who is incapable of understanding metaphor, and a thing that is the result of an experiment that looks an awful lot like a talking raccoon that is, arguably, the smartest of the bunch. Also, a walking, talking tree.

They all chase around the galaxy for a couple hours and have big action adventures and, SPOILER ALERT: it ends pretty much the way you'd expect a Marvel comic book movie to end. As if you couldn't see that coming. It's funny, the characters are amusing and generally likeable, and if you are in the mood to kill a few hours pleasantly, you could certainly do worse. We saw it in 3D because the boy insisted, and it was alright, but I think it would be just fine without.

Word of warning: It starts out pretty brutally. I don't think I'm giving any plot points away to sat that the kid's mom is in the hospital dying and it's pretty heart-wrenching. I was worried my son was going to have a problem with it, but he made it through fine. I on the other hand, bawled like a baby, because that's just kind of what I do, nowadays.

I was concerned from reading certain reviews that the tone of the movie would be, um, a little bawdy, but aside from one absolutely ARTFUL joke that the kids and probably half the theater wouldn't get, there was pretty much no naughtiness whatsoever. Even though the hot green chick is, at one point, in an apparently all male prison unit, there is no suggestion that she is in danger of anything other than being killed, which is pretty reasonable, given who she is in the movie.

The violence was about what you'd expect: No blood, not particularly graphic, although the walking tree, who goes by the name Groot, has a pretty good kill that gets a smile. If you see the movie, you'll understand why.

As far as the cursing and profanity, my son was actually moved to count the naughty words they said throughout. Final total: Two. And they were fairly mild. And there was one that I don't think he counted (Think Nixon: Tricky ----) that gets used twice in another pretty good joke.

So, for a PG-13 movie, this was pretty family friendly. If your kids can handle Star Wars, I don't think there would be a problem with this one. Frankly, I don't know why this was PG-13 to begin with, though someone suggested to me that if it weren't, the 12- and 13-year-olds would think it was for babies. Even though STAR WARS was PG, for cri-yi-yi. And my boy, who at least PRETENDS to be afraid of his own shadow, wasn't scared or upset by this one at all.

Actually, I was reminded of another movie, not from a comic, but in a comic style, The Fifth Element. It's been a while since I've seen that one, which was better, but somewhat less kid-friendly. But if you liked that movie, you'll like Guardians.

It's nice to have a movie marketed to kids that you don't have have to feel guilty afterwards for bringing your kids to see (Talkin' about YOU, Dark Knight).

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