I will probably be the only person who didn’t enjoy Marvel’s latest comic book adaptation “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
The Marvel universe continues to expand in the far reaches of space with “Guardians,” which was alluded to in a post-credits scene from “Thor: The Dark World,” where we see Benicio Del Toro as The Collector (stay after the credits this time for another hint at what’s to come).
I don’t have whatever 12-year-old boy still inhabits most adults’ sense of humor, and light fare is certainly not how I like my comic book stories. It didn’t get one laugh from me, but far worse is the fact that the script never allowed me to care about whether any of the characters lived or died; of course, this is the Marvel world and no one can really die.
Peter Quill (Pratt) was abducted into space as a child and has made the galaxy his wrecking room. Now he is unwillingly part of a misfit group that must keep a dangerous and powerful weapon out of the wrong hands.
His partners in saving the galaxy include a genetically manufactured but highly skilled raccoon named Rocket (Cooper) and his protector, a giant transformative tree named Groot (Diesel). The fourth in their company is a green humanoid-looking alien named Gamora (Saldana), who has until now been under the protection of Ronan (Pace) the conqueror, who wants the weapon to enslave everyone.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is Marvel’s version of a superhero sitcom. As special effects oversaturate every corner of the screen, there is very little organic material for the actors to interact with, very unlike “Lord of the Rings” or “Planet of the Apes,” where everything blends so seamlessly; it purposefully stands out here.
Even in the few serious moments of the film, ’80s pop music dilutes the seriousness of the situation or Quill breaks into dance. The music and all its irony does have significance in the script’s back story, but it’s the lack of seriousness it causes in nearly all the otherwise intense moments.
It’s true that I am not a fan of most comic book films; I prefer them dark, serious and tragic (“The Dark Knight,” “X-Men”). This film — funded by Disney, mind you — has an adolescent male in mind with the jokes and the entertainment. “Guardians of the Galaxy” nearly put me to sleep with Pratt bragging on how much he loved working on this film and his excitement for the sequels, you already know his character is never in serious peril.
Pace (“The Hobbit”) does make for a great villain, although his fascinating face is hidden under makeup and shadow. This film is just the beginning of an endless series to fill our cinemas with more mindless entertainment, which will no doubt appeal to the masses and the teenage boy in everyone.
Final Thought — Marvels comic book movie sitcom.