Friday, August 8, 2014

Marvel's Bad Boy: Thoughts on 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

Let me start with: I pretty much love all things Marvel. I haven't seen a Marvel movie yet that I haven't liked.
I'm also big into action movies, preferably laden with comedy.
Finally, I'm a sucker for the bad-guys-become-the-good-guys storyline.

Suffice to say, I have been looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy for awhile.

I saw it this week and enjoyed it. However, I've got Opinions.

Generally, my family is just as much into the Marvel movies as me. (Okay, not just as much, but definitely fans.) They may not see it until the film hits the $2 theater, but at some point there's usually a Marvel movie outing with our happy foursome.

They had no desire whatsoever to see this film.

While my dad thought it looked dumb, and my mom disliked all the characters from the previews, the biggest issue was the one reason my sister refuses to even consider seeing it: Guardians of the Galaxy has stepped down from the kid-friendly overtones that has made this franchise so universal.

Before seeing the movie, I'd had this hope that it wasn't really as 'un-kid-friendly' as my sister feared, that the few moments of vulgarity just happened to be featured in the previews. I hated the idea that there was a Marvel film she wouldn't watch, because we're kind of superhero freaks. (Well, she likes superheros, and I'm a superhero fangirl.)

Unfortunately this wasn't the case.

I'm not saying the movie was wrought with the 'f' word and sexual innuendo -compared to many action films the content was the low end of middle ground- but Guardians is still a part of the Marvel cinematic universe. It still has to hold its ground with the other films.

Did the amount of swearing ruin the film for me?

It lowered my estimation of it, it will make me wary of other Marvel films in the future, and it put a chink in my faith of Marvel's understanding that movies can be epic and kid-friendly.

I understand shaking this up a little and catering to a slightly different crowd, but I noticed. I noticed much more swearing and the several crude references in this film. While I still liked the movie, these additions put a damper on my adoration. I don't enjoy vulgarity or swearing so yes, the addition of these did lower my estimation of it.

I know this has been an ongoing issue. Just from the first preview's release I saw scores of complaints from people about the middle finger gesture featured. Some people are up in arms about it, and some people are up in arms against the people up in arms about it. I'm somewhere in between. As a writer, I understand the need for accommodating character personalities, etc, but as a stickler for more conservative views, I also understand there are ways to work around it, too.

What kills me is that it was such a fun film. I wanted to go see it with my sister, because I think she might have enjoyed it. But she refuses to see it, because of the extra swearing. That is the only reason she won't watch it. And I know there are more people like that out there.

The extra swearing was unnecessary, I don't think it made the movie better, and it was not worth alienating a part of Marvel's audience.

I give GotG a 3 1/2 out of 5. I will watch it again. I will continue to like it. I will never get over Starlord's opening dance number scene or Drax's insistent literalism or the idolization of the great hero Kevin Bacon or the honest-to-goodness DANCE BATTLE in the climactic finale or that ridiculous ending cameo.

I just wish my sister could enjoy it all with me.

To sum up:

Guardians of the Galaxy was a good movie, but with just a little less swearing, it would have been Great. 


Also, seeing Kirk from Gilmore Girls was a bonus. I couldn't help laughing every time he came on screen and I'm pretty sure the guy next to me thought I was crazy. 


  1. It's one of my favorites from this year because of how much fun it has with itself and doesn't ever stop with. Good review Amanda.

    1. Thanks! The nonstop fun was right up my alley. Can we have more movies like that, Hollywood?