Making the Grades
Guardians of the Galaxy is one of those movies that comes off better than expected. As a non comic book connoisseur, I have to rely on my friends to get an educated opinion about how accurately a film reflects the series it is based on. That is especially true when the characters are a lesser-known lot of outcasts who make up the Guardians of the Galaxy. But I don’t have to be up-to-date on Marvel Comics to know an incredibly entertaining soundtrack accompanies this film.
And that proves to be a little bit of a problem.
Like Spider-Man, The Avengers and the X-Men, this movie is packed with plenty of violence. While most of it is bloodless, there is still an abundance of fistfights, blazing guns, impalements and flying debris from massive explosions. (That’s what you pay the 3D up-charge for!) Countless hosts of faceless soldiers also die amid the mayhem. But the music, along with a hefty dose of humor, makes the brutality seem… well, less brutal. That can be good or bad depending on how comfortable you are with this type of action. Still, the pervasive fighting is something parents of younger viewers will want to consider before taking their kids to this PG-13 movie.
Thankfully the film has some redeeming qualities for older viewers.
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) isn’t an obvious hero. The junk collector will stoop to almost any low in order to make a quick buck and bed a new girl. He gets in over his head however when he nabs an orb that houses a special stone with incredible power. To protect the orb from Ronan (Lee Pace) and his evil army, Peter joins forces with four other outcasts, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket, the scientifically modified raccoon (voice of Bradley Cooper) and Groot, the gentle tree monster (voice of Vin Diesel). For the most part, they appear to be more of a nuisance than a threat to society. All the same, their antics land them in a high security prison where they have to break out in order to save the world.
While they don’t initially want to work together, the gang eventually recognizes there is strength in numbers and becomes a kind of dysfunctional family. And that’s not the only time the theme of family comes up. Many of them talk about their spouses or children, which gives the audience a sense that there really is a reason to save society. With time, the main characters begin to experience personal growth. This not only moves the plot along, but also makes the cast more likeable. As well, the script includes several revelations that let the audience understand their back-stories and sets up the options for a sequel.
This production employs a bucketload of body paint, some sexual innuendo and a slew of profanities. Yet it also offers positive messages about teamwork, personal sacrifice for the greater good and of course, a great soundtrack that may inspire you to make your own awesome mixed tape.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Guardians of the Galaxy.
Humor and a fun musical soundtrack seem to lessen the brutality of the violence in this movie. Should comedy be used to make violence less offensive? Would the actions on the screen play out differently with a more dramatic score?
Several of the characters mention their families. Do they take their responsibility to defend society more seriously because their family is involved? Why do the guardians of the galaxy consider themselves to be a family?