Guardians of the Galaxy ✮✮

Meanwhile, Back at the Evil Empire …

by Glenn Lovell

Standing between the good guys of the universe and certain annihilation by an evil overlord is a ragtag assemblage of space buccaneers and intergalactic what’s-its. Sound familiar? It should. “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the latest off the Marvel Comics assembly line, is a shameless mashup of just about every sci-fi fantasy since Luke, Leia and Han first teamed against Darth Vader. Unfortunately, this retro space opera plays more like a bad spoof of a “Star Wars” spoof ‒ and even then it’s closer to “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” than “Spaceballs.”

Directed and co-scripted by so-bad-its-good Troma disciple James Gunn (“Slither”) and based on an intermittent Marvel series that dates to 1969, “Guardians” is another of those manic, CG-driven, throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks coguardians-galaxyncoctions. It deals in scattershot humor, lame ripostes, tired in-jokes (references to “The Maltese Falcon,” “Howard the Duck,” Kevin Bacon abound), and monotonous space battles. (And, yes, Stan Lee does his obligatory walk-on.)

Chris Pratt (“Parks and Recreation”) plays Earthling Peter Quill, who, 26 years ago, was abducted by a blue meanie (Michael Rooker) and his crew of scurvy space pirates or “ravagers.” Now billing himself as Star-Lord the “legendary outlaw,” Quill bums around the outer edges of the universe scavenging for priceless artifacts a la Indiana Jones. Early on he retrieves a metallic orb for a client. Before he can deliver the metallic bauble (housing something called the Infinity Stone), he’s intercepted by Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a sexy, lime-green assassin who also wants the orb. Gamora, at least initially, is working for the evil Kree leader Ronan (Lee Pace). (You can sub Klingon for Kree and Darth Vader for Ronan, if you like.)

Mid-battle, Quill is captured by a pair of alien bounty hunters ‒ Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a raccoon with a very bad attitude, and Groot (Vin Diesel), an eight-foot petrified tree that resembles the golem in the cheesy 1966 horror film “It!” For some reason, they’re all packed off to a maximum security prison, where they ally with a tattooed brute named Drax (WWE’s Dave Bautista). Drax lost his wife and daughter to Ronan and means to have his revenge.

En route to the final showdown on Xander, capital of Nova Empire, the mouthy, larcenous Rocket ticks off everyone as Chewbacca ‒ I mean, Groot ‒ proves the ol’ softie of the bunch.

Unless you’ve read the Marvel comics, I’m guessing you won’t get much out of “Guardians” plot-wise. The script by Gunn and Nicole Perlman isn’t much more than a hanger on which to drape some impressive deep-space effects and an entire Republic Serial worth of narrow escapes. The battles are lively but finally leave little impression because we don’t have much invested in either the characters or their alliance. To ward off Ronan and the final Kree assault, Nova’s leader (Glenn Close, sporting a worse hairdo than Jodie Foster in “Elysium”) orders her pilots to hook wings and form a blockade. This midair curtain is pretty spectacular looking, but, like much of this film, it proves hilariously ineffectual.

Though obviously skewed to Junior Space Cadets, ages 7-10, much of the humor and music has a boomer vibe. Quill’s beloved “Awesome Mix, Vol. 1” tape booms over the soundtrack; it’s full of such tired 1970s anthems as “Hooked on a Feeling” and “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.”

Obviously, Disney and Marvel have high hopes for “Guardians” as the next superhero franchise: It ends James Bond-fashion with a promo for the next installment, “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” scheduled for 2017. “What should we do?” Quill asks as the interspecies menagerie takes off for new adventures. “Something good? Something bad? A bit of both?” We’d opt for something a bit more original.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ✮✮ With Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Glenn Close. Directed by James Gunn; scripted by Gunn, Nicole Perlman. 120 min. PG-13 (for slight profanity, over-the-top violence)

73 Responses to “Guardians of the Galaxy ✮✮”

  1. 2 Says:

    Your reviews are a joke

    Like

    • John Willis Says:

      This guy is a joke. I’ve seen his reviews before and he just misses the point on a bunch of topics. For example, look at his opening paragraph. The scene takes place in space and there’s a good and a bad side which is about it for similarities between Star Wars and GoTG. That’s like me looking at a triangle and a pentagon and saying they’re the same thing because they’re both shapes that have an odd number of points. My guess is Glenn went in to the movie already hating it and made his assumption that it was going to be a knock off of Star Wars.

      You don’t have to listen to me though, just look at all the other reviews for 2014’s highest rated movie this year.

      Like

  2. Adam Murray (@Atom_Murray) Says:

    Who hurt you?

    Like

  3. Jonathan Gordon Says:

    Did they touch you, here? (points to a spot on the doll)

    Like

  4. Adam Murray (@Atom_Murray) Says:

    I have a feeling the button that says ‘Be the first to like this’ will remain that way forever.

    Like

  5. Watchtower Says:

    Glenn I believe you missed the boat on this one.

    Haven’t felt this good about a movie since Star Wars…yeah, Star f****** Wars.

    Like

    • Glenn Lovell Says:

      Ah, maybe that’s it — I was never a huge fan of “Star Wars.” Thanks for reading.

      Like

      • Farseer Says:

        It was like Star Wars, without pacing, proper storytelling, or the acting talent of Sir Alec Guinness, Harrison Ford, and James Earl Jones. Flat characters, weak dialogue, and a simplistic plot.

        Nothing in this universe was well developed or even properly thought out. What futuristic ‘lawful good’ civilization has such a barbaric correctional system and no due process? Why is the bad guy so hell-bent on destroying this one civilization? How was one extremist group not completely outmatched by an interstellar civilization? How does a ragtag gang of space pirates have enough military might to face off against anyone? Space fighters that turn into a giant net?

        Initially, I wasn’t interested in this movie. It was getting rave reviews and everyone seemed to love it, so I thought it would be worth checking out. I was wrong.

        Like

    • solidmn Says:

      Why play devil’s advocate when you will lose most if not all credit/integrity you (may) have with the readers that take this review at face value.

      Now if you actually believe what your writing here, I believe your showing yourself to be unqualified ad/or too “emotional” to properly analyze film.

      It’s absolutely fine do dislike this or any film. But in the way you breakdown your opinion it leaves the the reader with a sense that your conclusions formed out of some (unknown to your audience) personal vendetta possibly ranging from unliked/misunderstood message, idea or genre to experiences with directors, cast/crew or even rival critics opposing view. But whatever it is, It’s causing an emotional response blocking the flow of subjective and objective synergy which would lead to the truthful ideal “review” of this movie. The review any reader or audience truly wants and relates too.

      This would also allow you to sign your name to a “good professional piece of work” instead of selling out to get a few extra comments or page views based on reviews that are completely interwoven with……for a lack of better words but with complete truth “Cr@P”. cinema people want others to agree with them on their opinions. It is not like sports or ESPN where the more wrong or controversial the more “right” you are.

      Hell maybe I’m completely wrong. To each his own. I’d just rather say or write what I know/believe to b e true.

      Like

  6. Shiney Sparks Says:

    Finally! Someone who saw the same garbled piece o’ krep I did! Cannot believe the raves this thing is getting. Luckily I was free to leave after the first 20 minutes–sorry you had to stay till the end, Glenn–you called it correctly.

    Like

    • Lars330 Says:

      Just because YOU didn’t enjoy it doesn’t make it a bad movie. This movie is great, and if you can’t see that, then I wonder why you even went.

      Like

  7. J. Miller Says:

    Many of the things you counted against the film actually felt to my eyes to be by design to allow the focus of the film (the disparate group of outcasts and losers coming together to find themselves in the position to become unlikely heroes) to shine all the better. That is the heart of the film. The plot only needed to be present just enough to propel the characters forward and together, no more no less.

    Pluto Nash? Really?!?

    I rather compare the film (favorably) to the original Ghostbusters. Similar premise, with a team composed of personality-divergent members (which drives the humor) who undergo a similar transformation, with humor and snappy, balanced dialog. The antagonists (ghosts, EPA bureaucrat) only exist to give the team an opportunity to provide a final challenge that brings them to where they’re accepted and respected.

    Ghostbusters may have had a more original concept, but the plots themselves are as straightforward as they come.

    All the main characters here endeared, stemming from what is revealed about each, as the characters are allowed to bounce off of each other, uncovering their vulnerabilities to us and each other, which ends up making feel like a genuine team.

    Even Ronan, though weak as a character, comes off as so over-the-top serious that he actually becomes a laugh-worthy joke, which is taken advantage of in the climax.

    Like

  8. Thomas Mullarkey Says:

    Glenn, Your honest and will take the beating for it. [ I expect I will too?]

    From my perspective, after viewing the film, You are correct, Sir.

    But then that is a matter of taste and perspective.

    I saw it in 2D, and the crap added too the FILM for affect, affected this one more than most?

    Maybe 3D and some Mirco- Dot would make it palatable?

    Folks that love comics will certainly love this, but it is NOT the Best Effort from Marvel?

    TJM

    Like

  9. filthpigskin Says:

    You sir seem to have literally no sense of humor. Also, if you didn’t even like Star Wars(!), then what business do you have reviewing a movie like this (or any other Sci-Fi/space-based movie for that matter)?

    Like

    • filthpigskin Says:

      And to further prove my point, I call attention to your poor review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Two stars? Are you actually trying, or do you just innately hate any movie that requires the use of imagination and suspension of disbelief?

      Like

    • filthpigskin Says:

      Well, how about a fan of comic books? This might be the most comic book-like film (in tone) that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen them all.

      Also, just curious, what ruined Star Wars for you? I was single digits when it came out, so it was almost inevitable that I’d love it (I still love the first two). Sorry, I just can’t seem to wrap my head around these reviews… unless you’re trying to to be controversial for clicks.

      Like

    • Elaine Says:

      Did you see that he gave GODZILLA, a movie that is up there with the best movies of the year, a 1.4/5. What? How does that even work.

      He also gave “In the Blood” a 4/4. I walked out of the theater on that one because it was so damn terrible.

      What a disgrace to movie critics.

      Like

      • Glenn Lovell Says:

        Once again, “In the Blood” was graded on a different scale: note we use daggers instead of stars for blood-and-guts exploitation films, usually consigned to our Midnight Spooker section.

        Like

  10. Great Says:

    “Cinema Dope” is the correct title for you…. Figures you taught in Bay area – sad thing that you were a teacher especially of Sci-Fi – I doubt you taught long. I think it might be time to look for a new job Glenn.

    Like

  11. tinyvioin Says:

    Yikes…you seem so unhappy. It was a review as much as bashing on something that was fun. Oh wait…this was troll bait wasn’t it? You’re a troll! Bah! You got me! I thought you were a movie reviewer!

    Like

  12. Drive23 Says:

    You did not give Green Lantern (2 1/2) higher marks than GOTG (2). Thats crazy.

    Honestly someone who isn’t high on Star Wars is probably someone who shouldn’t be reviewing sci fi movies. Because contrary to your beliefs, most people on this planet give it untouchable status and the fact that your opinion could’ve kept a kid from seeing the movie should be enough to send you to sci fi hell. When I saw it as a child it changed my life and I’m in the movie business as a result.

    Fine you didn’t like Guardians of the Galaxy I’m over it. If you truly believe that The Runaways, Marvin Gaye and Jackson 5 created bad 70’s anthems then you are beyond help. Those are some of the greatest songs in history.

    Like

  13. Franklin Says:

    All of these angry comments are hilarious.
    That being said… I don’t think his reasons are valid at all, but the Rotten Tomatoes people who come in to insult the only bad review are rather humorous.

    Like

  14. Travis T Says:

    How is this movie anything like Star Wars? They are both sci-fi movies, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. The archetypal patterns are not the least bit similar. Yet you call this a bad spoof of it. That’s just plain wrong. And how can you possibly complain about the soundtrack? Was there not enough ‘Carpenters’ or ‘Mama’s and the Papa’s” for your liking? Seriously. When 92% of other critics hail something as one of the best movies of the year, and you hate it, then you’re probably wrong. You are entitled to your opinion. But this wasn’t a critique of the movie, it was a tantrum.

    Like

    • Glenn Lovell Says:

      following that line of thought, the critics (in the majority) who panned “Citizen Kane” and “Bonnie and Clyde” were right and the handful of naysayers got it wrong.

      Like

      • James Says:

        Citizen Kane was only initially panned by a majority because Hearst, who owned most of the papers and influenced all the ones he didn’t own, felt that Welles was attacking Hearst and his family personally via Citizen Kane. Hearst STRONGLY SUGGESTED with his ownership and influence that all critics pan Citizen Kane.

        Bonnie and Clyde was similarly panned not for it’s whole but it’s perceived attack on what level of violence should be shown in a film.

        A terrible pair of examples to support being in the minority of a movie critic opinion.

        Given your own admission that this movie breaks no boundaries, your minority opinion just means that you didn’t get it.

        Like

      • Glenn Lovell Says:

        I think you’ve lost the string —

        I was responding to: “When 92% of other critics hail something as one of the best movies of the year, and you hate it, then you’re probably wrong.”

        Re the Arthur Penn film: go back and re-read the NYTimes and Newsweek (mainstream media) pans of “Bonnie and Clyde.” I use them in my film classes. Crowther of the Times slammed it in no less than three pieces, starting with his vicious attack at the Montreal Film Festival.

        Like

  15. Tom Antt Says:

    He seems to try to hard to hate a movie everyone likes…..A movie snob.

    Like

  16. noah monk Says:

    A dud. A cute-ish one, but still a dud. The previews turned me off but the positive reviews reeled me back in. Shoulda heeded that first impression. It did have some amazing moments, some funny, some beautiful, but 95% of it felt like those filler episodes of your favorite TV show. And nearly 2% of the good 5% was in the credits! Sad when you’re flashed a glimpse of what the makers are capable of, and realize that they’re just not trying very hard most of the time.

    Like

  17. meffertf Says:

    You should lose your job as far as I’m concerned, cause you either haven’t seen the movie, feel like you need to go against the grain to get recognized, or thing all films need to be Schindler’s List. I’m by no means someone that gets caught up in hype, and I do not hand out praise readily, but to give this entertaining slice of escapism anything but a positive review does nothing but a disservice to the people you review for, since your advice only made them less credible

    Like

    • meffertf Says:

      Autocorrect strikes again but the meaning is the same. Not a matter of character flaws, just plain wrong.

      Like

    • J. Miller Says:

      Over the top much? Dude, I loved the movie, and I will defend the film based on the actual merits as I see them (using actual film structure and storytelling language), but nobody should lose their job for giving an opinion that doesn’t jibe with yours or the mainstream.

      Why the hell do people react to divergent reviews like someone slapped their mother?

      Anyone who bases their entire reason for going to see a movie on one critic’s review is only doing a disservice to themselves. Especially in the age of the internet.

      And frankly, the marketing for the movie sold itself. It’s exactly the film the trailers sold people on. If you liked the trailer hearing this or any other single review isn’t likely to stop you from going to see it.

      Like

      • John Says:

        I think the hateful reactions are the result of a conclusion that the critic is just trying to show people he is superior, as opposed to actually disliking the movie. On the other hand, I agree that no one should be fired for an opposing view, unless after awhile it becames obvious that is all the critic is doing and thus, is not actually providing a service to customers. (I can think of another critic this applies to)

        Like

  18. Iktomi Says:

    This guy gave “In the Blood” 4/4. I actually like Gina Carano but giving that movie that score really disqualifies the reviewer from being taken seriously. Basically, that movie is about a woman who loses her husband zip lining because she falls over on a motorcycle on the way to the hospital. (It’s already on cable and came out in March of this year BTW)

    To question the effectiveness of the plot of any movie after deeming “In the Blood” a masterpiece is truly the pinnacle of a hilarious failure.

    I wonder if the reviewer gets paid for this. It not, it would put several things in perspective.

    If the reviewer does get paid. I would hope he would have the professional pride to at least get the names of the characters correct. Its Ronan, not Ronen.

    Like

    • Glenn Lovell Says:

      Note the rating on “In the Blood”: That film received four daggers — which, on this site, are awarded low-budget exploitation films. CinemaDope is the only site to differentiate between exploitation films and mainstream releases. As we explained when site was launched, comparing a film that has little on its mind save getting a rise out of the audience and an ambitious studio undertaking is a lot like (pardon the cliche) comparing apples and oranges.

      Thanks for spotting the typo on the second reference to Ronan; it has been corrected.

      Like

  19. Radolinkov Says:

    To the credit of Guardians of the Galaxy, the film only became something it wasn’t when it’s principle antagonist, Lee Pace in the character of “Ronan the Accuser”, was allowed to drive action. Otherwise, audiences and film critics who came to see a standard issue light hearted romp (in the Galaxy, out West or wherever) seem to have gotten their moneys worth.

    “Make her laugh, make her breakfast” best sums up, defends and at once excuses Guardians of the Galaxy and films like it for all their wandering art direction, flawed narrative foundation, utter absence of character development, tedious special effects, shameless references and continuous layering on of banality upon banality upon banality ad nauseam.

    Until, one assumes, “Funny” has been achieved in the opinion of producers and they can all get a good nights sleep.

    The astonishing legion of Guardians of the Galaxy apologists are willingly buying into a film absolutely bereft of compelling characters with competing interests who’s dialogue and actions lead viewers in any direction other than the films predictable and in my case, thankful end.

    When will the repetitious production design and repackaging of ancient material come to an end? Never would be my guess. Not if films like Guardians of the Galaxy continue to enthrall those of the lowest common denominator and in doing so, rack up ticket sales.

    Like

  20. groot Says:

    If this guy is a profesional critic, then I could be to, I enjoyed the movie, it was too original for a super hero movie (now every single hero tries to be like the dark knight, which is becoming boring), my god it is not a wannabe star wars, the characters are very well done, even through we didn’t see a deeper background of everyone of them they had charisma, even groot which only lines were “I am groot” and “we are groot”, the reason of why they were send to a high level prision is because they had criminal antecedents, the fights wasn’t that great maybe but at least they were intense without being a man of steel with levels of massive and dumb destruction that only ruined the movie. You aren’t made for hero movies, has I can see.

    Like

  21. Doc Fluxx Says:

    Wow man, comparing it to Pluto Nash? Your soul called, it misses you. This movie was excellent, and a great adaptation of the current comic series which is also excellent. I thought I was a harsh critic but you sir are just want to stomp on something legit and fun.

    Like

  22. Joshua Werner Says:

    Psst, he intentionally contradicts popular opinions for the pageviews, that’s it. We inadvertently pay him money to disagree with us. Kinda sad that this is the norm for reviews these days, and even sadder that you lot are shocked by it.

    Movie and gaming “journalists” have been doing this for years now, a seething review of popular content will always grab more attention than rave reviews.

    Like

  23. Hugh G Rection Says:

    Honestly, good job on gaining readers by posting the opposite of what everyone else is saying. I have not seen the movie but I did read these comments and I must say, like the Avengers this movie seems like it sucks.
    The Avengers itself wasnt much better than the Transformers of that year yet everyone jumped on the bandwagon to see senseless shit. Farseer knows what I mean.
    All you butt-hurt fans go to hell.
    Thanks Glenn.

    Like

    • Daniel Says:

      So you’re trolling a troll review. Glenn, Hugh G. Rection (10 yo tee hee) and farseer, if you are 3 different people (which I doubt), please go and watch a directors cut of a French film. That is obviously where your taste lies. Oh and you lose all credibility when you say ‘I haven’t seen this movie…but it seems like it sucks’. Farseer, half of the arguements you mentioned could be directly related to Star Wars anyway.

      Like

  24. Roger Says:

    When a movie gets such a high ranking… It is just a matter that this critic didn’t like it… So why doesn’t a critic ever just admit you know… It wasn’t a bad movie it just wasn’t my cup of tea… Because a bad review of the movie that gets 92 to 96% does not hold much credibility

    Like

  25. pokwok Says:

    >Implying the Star Wars saga is even that good

    This reviewer actually sucks.

    Like

  26. The Hermit Says:

    Sounds about right…I felt the humor was extremely forced and unoriginal- basically stuff only people who watch Family Guy and say the word, “epic” several times a day would laugh at.

    Like

    • hector Says:

      I hate family guy, I loved this movie. I had already read all the books 2 to 3 years prior. Comparing family guy comedy slapstick with the situational and context based comedy found in this movie baffles me, is not even comparable. The comedy in this movie is actually on par with other marvel movies like Iron Man 3 which i myself almost consider a comedy more than an action film. Heck I find the comedy of this movie more similar to 22 jumpstreet, than Family guy. I still dont get the humour being unoriginal, how is humour original? give me an example? and take into consideration this is a space movie and an action movie also so giving me a full comedy film would be unreasonable to use that as barometer.

      haters are gonna hate thats the only explanation, with so many crappy blockbusters out there people are really gonna hate on a film like this?, with so many moving parts, few draggy moments, fast talking, sharp direction, originality ( space opera with a talking racoon i rest my case ).

      Like

      • Troi Mal-Al Says:

        You had me until “talking racoon [sic].” Seriously, you thought that was a positive thing? Guess it somehow doesn’t come off as lame and childish if you read the comics first…

        Like

  27. hector Says:

    This guy is an idiot and any movie he is says is good ill avoid and any movie he says is bad ill gladly see, obviously this guy should be working at something other than critiquing movies, his whole coments was written before entering the cinema. Can somebody dislike the movie, yeah possibly althou unlikely can they critizice it like this guy nah, this guy is special in his ignorance.

    so the most original space movie anybody has made since the 90’s and this guys says they need to do somehting more original this guy has issues. honestly should quit critiquing movies.

    Like

  28. Brian Says:

    This movie was a tedious mess. Not one likeable character. Nearly all the humor fell flat, and the repeated sophomoric attempts at it became annoying. I suppose this was intended to be tongue-in-cheek nod to Star Wars, but it just ended up proving that throwing endless fight scenes, space chase scenes and CGI on the screen is no replacement for character development.

    Like

    • J. Miller Says:

      At least three of the leads were given complete arcs, solid reasons for the way they were, and given good reason to want to motivate change. All the hallmarks of well-written characters. The other two supported the ensemble well enough. Their established personalities clashed in dynamic ways, always being able to undercut each other’s goals or motives, which drives the humor and interest (which is why ‘flat’ would be the last word I would use to describe it).

      Like

  29. mommyimmaculata Says:

    Glenn, your review is just fine. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’m amazed at the trollish quality of most of the comments. Is the demographic here under 20?

    Like

  30. kermit Says:

    No need to hate on Glenn. Use his reviews as a barometer. Chances are you will like the movies he doesn’t.

    Like

  31. leadsharp Says:

    Don’t often do this, I do think ‘each to their own’ and all that jazz, if folks don’t like scifi that’s fine, horses for courses.

    but

    If you don’t like gotg you’ve got no soul.

    Like

    • Glenn Lovell Says:

      I love sci-fi — from “Metropolis” to “The Incredible Shrinking Man” to original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” to “Alien” … to “District 9” and current “Snowpiercer.”

      Like

  32. M Curran Says:

    If the objective is to be a contrarian, you succeeded. If the objective was to give a movie review, you did not. Were you wearing 3D glasses that were blocked? Did Stan Lee do something to you? Very odd review for a very good movie.

    Like

  33. SJA Says:

    “Glenn, your review is just fine. I haven’t seen the movie yet”

    Well, when you do, you’ll see how far off the mark this silly and insulting write-up really is. It’s an obvious ploy designed to garner site hits (and it worked! Congrats!). It’s not like anybody would be here otherwise.

    Like

  34. nate451 Says:

    When an opinion is the extreme minority on RT, you’ll get the most vicious, mob-minded members of the majority as well as members of the agreeing minority, desperate for some commiseration.

    I hated GotG, for the relatively simple reasons that the plot was dumb, the jokes were weak, and the pathos was completely unearned. I *did* love the original Star Wars films, as I loved Serenity and Galaxy Quest, the other two movies that GotG reminded me of. But all these films were filled with great characters, action that wasn’t grindingly dull, and sharp jokes.

    I’m glad they had fun, I guess. I suspect they’d get more out of good movies if they learned to perceive what makes movies like GotG so mediocre.

    Like

  35. Kieran Says:

    I was persuaded by my work colleagues to go and watch this film tonight. Like others above, the good reviews made think it would have something to offer and I became quite excited about seeing it.

    I was wrong.
    Glenn Lovell you have it spot on.I was totally unengaged by this film. To enjoy a film I need to care about the characters and these characters did not make me care about them at all. Yes lots of amazing effects, CGI and things flying around and being blown up – but these days I need more than that to enjoy a film, I need a plot, I need a reason to want to find out what happens next. This film has neither.
    I was so bored I walked out after half an hour, I had more worthwhile things to do with my life.
    To save me wasting £10 and an hour of my life in future, I shall be checking out your reviews first Glenn.

    For the record, I love Star Wars and yes this film reminds me a lot of Star Wars, with the slight difference that Star Wars had an engaging plot and good acting.

    Like

    • Mick Says:

      “Glenn Lovell you have it spot on. I was so bored I walked out after half an hour”

      So, you didn’t actually watch the movie, but the review was “spot on”. Ooookay…

      Like

  36. Avery Says:

    You all realize that Guardians of the Galaxy comic books were released before starwars… wouldn’t that make star wars the rip off story line, if anything

    Like

  37. FilmFun Says:

    Despite not agreeing completely with the review, since I enjoyed the film a great deal, I still enjoyed reading. It is encouraging to see a review with a professional, yet personal opinion outside the influence of mainstream media. Thank you for the fresh take, and keep up the good work.

    Like

  38. potbelly Says:

    Wow, so you just wanted to hate this film for the sake of it. Way to go to a movie that was all about enjoying and having fun at a movie, and instead moping about it for no good reason and refusing to see that this was meant to be pure entertainment, and that it accomplished what it set out to accomplish. Won’t ever give any of your reviews any credence from here on out, you obviously went into this movie with a premature dislike for it.

    Like

  39. Aden Says:

    I totally agree with this review. I truly believe that the positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike, aside from being a case of the “emperor’s new clothes”, unconsciously hinge in the longing to capture some of that legendary Star Wars magic, a far off place in space filled with a motley assortment of characters. One problem is the lack of any real archetypal figures. I felt no depth and meaning after the first scene that said a lot about death (of mom). And if I read the phrase “rag-tag” one more time, I’ll puke. Star Wars had it right with the right pacing, helped by the fact that there was no such hurry at the time (1970s) to hurl into CGI battles at every turn. The lead guy, if you can call it that, did an adequate acting job, but his character was too diffuse, he had no real edge, no real feeling of street smarts, like Hans Solo. Cute and funny , dancing around, whatever. I don’t care. Zoe S. Had real intensity that seemed to out run the rest of the movie. But it’s sad when the most interesting engaging characters turn out to be the CGI Raccoon and CGI Groot. I felt most engaged when they pulled that “of mice and men ” bit in the prison. That was archetypal. And it said a lot about who they where, Brute and the brains. After that, it was all a mess. (For example, why call then super heroes? What distinct power did Star Lord have from Gamora? )And about the music: Those feel good 70’s songs where, first of all, a contrived attempt to inject a “hey this is a fun feel good summer movie” vibe, that actually distracted me and took me out of the movie. (Only at the love scene did the song, “Fooled Around…” add to the story). A movie that I already. found myself trying to hard to “put it all together” with hopes of enjoying. Add all the other cliche troubles of this type of sci if fantasy, un relatable names, societies, and villains seeking the typical “all powerful stone that will destroy everyone if in the wrong hands” and… You have a snooze fest extraordinaire. Ok well my eyes where engaged, but not my heart and soul.

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  40. J. Miller Says:

    Did anyone call them superheroes? They’re Marvel characters that don’t happen to be superheroes. That in itself is kind of refreshing.

    There’s nothing wrong either with having the raccon and tree characters steal scenes, and Rocket in many ways was the heart of the film. It’s an ensemble film where the lead isn’t one character but the ensemble itself.

    The soundtrack absolutely works because the tape belonged to the mother and therefore an attachment to Quill and his character. They show on more than one occasion the attachment through what Quill is willing to risk for the sake of what is on the face of it, outdated technology and a few ‘worthless’ 70’s pop tunes. By the end of the film the music becomes an established “sixth” member of the team, being as much identified with Quill’s new family as it had been with his passed mother. Heck, it even elevates the memorability of the songs themselves despite their AM gold qualities.

    Quill was a doofus, but a very capable doofus. He’s never shown to be less than a highly competent and skilled fighter. He’s the one who brings them together and keeps them together.

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  41. Aden Says:

    All points well taken. I think I was a bit let down by doofus portrayal, an anti-hero, I get it. But that point not driven home in the movie.. Instead it was confusing. So, I was still underwhelmed with rushed feel to character development.

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  42. Aden Says:

    Also, who said they were “outcasts and losers”? Sounds like you replaced the idea sold for, what was given in the movie. They seemed no more losers that most of the other characters. Just because you get abducted as a kid doesn’t mean you’re a loser, especially being that handsome. How was Gomorrah a loser? She was a bad ass assassin. The other two, though strange seemed highly capable. (There were strange freaks everywhere). So I disagree that the outcast theme was even established. Maybe establishing from what society the where cast out from, first, would help. Also, I live in LA, and I’m surrounded by talk of “using actual film structure and storytelling language.” This movie proves that adherence to such academic rules do not guarantee a movie with any real heart. It’s in the art and soul of the script, the direction, and performances. In GOTG, I’ll will, however, give highest props to the latter.

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    • J. Miller Says:

      They’re outcasts by virtue of their individual trades. Thief, thugs, assassin, a maniac, etc. We don’t need more information than that to know that they’re outcasts. Civil societies tend to look down on those professions. They live on the periphery of civil society. They’re losers in the sense (as the trailer itself puts it) they’ve all suffered the loss of something significant (family, homes, identities). The idea sold in the trailer is exactly the same in the movie, sold by the same line of dialog used in both.

      Gamora was abducted as a child and raised by a ‘surrogate’ father she despised for making her an assassin.

      It matters little how varied the aliens are around you if you’re still the only one of your kind around. What society considers as the norm includes all kinds of variety because they’re used to a certain kind of variety. That doesn’t mean they don’t react differently when presented with something that still falls outside normal experience that challenges that sense of normalcy. Drax recognized Rocket as a kind of species his species barbequed over an open fire back on his homeworld. Seeing one that talks and has intelligence is as strange to them as it is to us.

      The film opted to bring out their past through character-based dialog and internal conflict. That’s just as valid, and in this case a more appropriate choice. The film is already 2 hours long. A movie such as this does not need to be extended any longer than that if it can establish relationships and backgrounds simultaneously through interaction as opposed to revealing the same information through scenes where they’re shown reacting to society individually.

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  43. KOTF Says:

    .
    Absolutely NO marvel comics fan could dislike GOTG.
    This is not about star wars, its the marvel cosmic universe. If you think Thanos is some second hand Darth Vader, well brother, you need education. But i’m here to help, Thanos is a second hand Darkseid (voiced by Micheal Ironside in the cartoons) Kirby’s super evil god to end all super evil gods, which inspired Lucas to create Darth who is physically a second hand Doctor Doom.

    So this GOTG just scratches the surface of a fantasy universe richer than star wars LOTR star trek combined x 100, and you complain about it? This movie brought these characters to life BIG TIME!
    Eson cracking open that planet like an egg with the power gem blew my mind! But I guess you never read the Eternals(sigh…by Kirby).
    I guess it would help to actually be able to compare the movie to the vast marvel cosmic universe in order to write a more functional review.
    This movie magnificently rewards the comic fan who has wasted his or her time reading almost every single marvel comic from 60’s to 2000’s.

    ’nuff said!

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  44. JayGia Says:

    How can it be “wrong” to dislike something? There is a reason 0% or 100% has not been achieved. I didn’t like Wolf of Wall Street. Sorry Marty.

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  45. Greg Says:

    Sorry folks, but the author nailed his review. I was a captive audience on a 10 hour flight yesterday and still had to abort this movie after only 25 grueling minutes. I’VE SEEN MORE INTELLIGENT PLOTS AND BETTER ACTING ON THE ORIGINAL LAND OF THE LOST. And for the record: I love the original Star Wars. I’m appalled by the hyper-sensitivity from those who enjoyed the movie. Jeez… let somebody have an opinion. Don’t worry, nobody is going to take away your cotton candy or popcorn – or stop spoon-feeding you your mindless entertainment.

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  46. steven Says:

    good review on a ridiculously overrated movie.

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