20161115: Fantasy Review--Guardians of the Galaxy

Name: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
IMDb: link to Guardians of the Galaxy page

Genres: Fantasy   Country of origin: USA.

Chris Pratt as Quill, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Djimon Hounsou as Korath, Lee Pace as Ronan, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as Groot (voice), Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta, Karen Gillan as Nebula, John C. Reilly as Corpsman Dey, Glenn Close as Nova Prime, Benicio del Toro as The Collector, Brendan Fehr as Corpsman Dey's partner.

Directed by: James Gunn.  Written by: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman (screenplay); Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning.
the main five
The Three Acts:

The initial tableaux:
1. Young Peter Quill listens to music on his Walkman in 1988 at a hospital where his mother is dying of cancer.  His mother gives him a gift and asks for his touch.  He refuses, and she dies.  He runs away, only to be captured by parties unknown in a starship.

2. Twenty-six years pass.  Peter Quill still has his Walkman and his 80s music.  Currently he's landed on a planet to obtain an artifact of some sort.  Other parties want the object as well.

Delineation of conflicts:
Thanos wants as many of the Infinity Stones as possible.  The wielders of the Stones can express huge powers, but also can be overcome by the Stones.  Unfortunately, Thanos seems strong enough to wield the Stone, and possibly all six of them.

The Ravagers, who kidnapped Peter some years ago, want the Stone to sell it.  Ronan, a leader of the Kree Empire, wants the Infinity Stone to give to Thanos, who promises to destroy the central planet  Xandar.

Quill's friends in all this mess are Gamora, a 'daughter' of Thanos, who is upset with Dad.  Drax, a large powerful warrior whose wife and daughter were killed by Ronan.  Rocket, an illegal raccoon-cyborg construction, wants Quill for the bounty on him offered by the Ravagers.  Quill manages to gain his loyalty through a variety of misadventures.  Groot is Rocket's ally.

Quill manages to enlist the help of the Ravagers (as long as Yondu gets the Infinity Stone afterward) and the Nova Corps who defend Xandar, to breach Ronan's ship and stop the destruction of Xandar.  Nebula, Thanos' other daughter, wishes to stop them.  Korath, one of Ronan's officers, has the same goal.

To make things more fun, when Ronan gets the Stone, he decides to keep it, rather than let Thanos wield it.

Will Ronan be stopped?  Will Thanos get the Stone anyway, or will Yondu make off with it?  Will Gamora and Nebula ever be friends again?  Will Xandar remain in one piece?  Will Thanos fry Ronan?

Resolution: There is a lot of fighting at the end.  Many, but by no means all, of the issues are settled, and not without significant losses.

One line summary: Comic space opera from Marvel.


Cinematography: 9/10 Much as I do not like CGI, this was rather good.

Sound: 9/10 The dialog was clear.  Some of the old Earth music was good to hear again, even though it was usually wildly inappropriate and disruptive.  Of course, that was its purpose.

Acting: 1/10 Utter and complete scat.  Chris Pratt is a thousand tons of bad.  I've liked Michael Rooker in the past, but not this time.  I would say the same of Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, John C. Reilly, and Glenn Close.

Screenplay: 1/10 Oh, goodness.  This came from a third-rate, bottom of the barrel Marvel comic.  The first class production values did not make up for the flimsiness of the script, the bad casting for Peter Quill, or the direction that did not make proper use of the good actors who were cast.

Final Rating: 5/10