Ah yes, the Guardians of the Galaxy, a ragtag group of criminal anti-heroes with hearts of gold. I had never heard of these characters until the movie came out, and I don’t think I’m alone on that. Then I saw the movie and fell in absolute love, and I don’t think I’m alone on that either.
This was the first movie within the MCU universe that seemed wholly separate from the rest of the story. There was no SHIELD, no allusions to Stark technology or gamma radiation. Sure, there were easter eggs, but nothing blatantly tying the events of this movie back to the heroes we already knew and loved. It was a reprieve from the larger story, from having to remember who fought who and who was where, and why who did what to whom.
And sweet (Star) Lord, was it ever fun.
Fun… and sad. For a movie known for its comedy, it was surprisingly grounded in emotion. It began with the death-by-cancer of Peter Quill’s mom, and his immediate abduction by aliens.
And so the non-legend of Star Lord began.
We then jump 26 years to our reluctant hero pulling a solo heist on a dead planet while dancing to Come and get Your Love, and it was pure delight.
He deployed optimal awesomery and escaped on his ship, forgetting that he had a lady in there from the night before. Quill! You scoundrel!
Meet Yondu, the captain of this particular band of Ravagers, and also the man who abducted Quill from Earth. He ‘raised’ Quill as a Ravager and sent him on this job. Little did he know, Quill had plans to leave his motley band of criminals and branch out on his own.
His crew accused Yondu of being “soft”, and were all, “hey! Do you have actual feelings?” and Yondu was all, “WHAT? Pfffffffffffffffffffffffffftttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt.” They also dropped the detail that Quill was “cargo”. Hmmm, intrigue!
Meanwhile, Korath (the fellow who tried to get the orb from Quill) was meeting with his boss, Ronan the Accuser; a totally cool, chill guy.
Ronan was peeved that the Kree government signed a peace treaty with Xandar, whom they’ve been at war with for a while. But Ronan ain’t no stooge for the man! He’s going to take matters into his own hands and destroy Xandar completely, with the help of a little-known dude named Thanos. But in order to get Thanos’ help, he NEEDS that orb. What a pickle! So Ronan politely asked Nebula to go get it for him.
Nothing to see here, folks!
On Xandar, Quill tried to sell the orb to the Broker, who wanted nothing to do with a deal involving Ronan, even though Ronan is a totally cool and chill guy.
Putting anything other than “I am Groot” as a caption for Groot feels disrespectful. But just so you know, that was him agreeing that a cappella is awesome. ANYWAY – remember in The Avengers when I was like, “this meet-cute is very Three Musketeers,” well, so was this! I love it when friendships start with a duel born of misunderstanding.
They quickly got arrested because you can’t just have an all-out brawl and repeatedly electrocute each other without the cops getting involved. This resulted in a fun line-up of our main characters while John C. Rieley and Peter Serafinowicz as Nova Corpsmen called them a bunch of A-holes, and you guys this movie is just so damn delightful.
They played a getting-to-know-you game on the walk to prison and learned a lot; like how Gamora was stealing the orb to betray Thanos, and that Rocket was the result of an experiment, and how Groot has a limited vocabulary. Then Quill saw a guard fiddling with his walkman and got electrocuted while the others watched on in apathy.
The prisoners weren’t fans of Gamora, considering they all thought she was an ally of the biggest terrorist their culture had ever seen. They dragged her away from the sleeping masses and were going to cause bodily harm until someone else claimed the right.
Drax was like, “hey are you guys hanging out without me?” and the little alien guy was like, “whaaaaaaaat? Of course not, buddy!” and Drax was all, “cause it looks like you’re about to torture someone, and you didn’t tell me about it.” And the guy was all, “naw, man, we texted you a bunch. Did you change your number?” and Drax was all, “no! But… my carrier has been spotty.” and the guy was like, “that must be it.”
So Drax got first dibs on killing Gamora in retaliation for Ronan murdering his wife and daughter (*sad face*).
Quill talked him out of it because she’s the only one with a contact to sell the orb, and NOT because he thought she was real pretty, so stop teasing him about it.
Thanos did not give one eff about anything Ronan said. Not one single eff. He was like, “if Gamora betrayed me, then it’s your fault. You’re the worst and she’s the best. Now piss off and do your job.”
In order to break out of Nova Prison, Rocket turned the watchtower into an indoor-ship by turning off the artificial gravity. So up, up and away they went!
Quill went back to for his walkman because of the aforementioned surprising emotional roots of this movie. So now they had the orb, a plan to sell it, and a very cute team-like friendship brewing.
They arrived on Knowhere and were besieged by starving children that everyone ignored except Groot, which be honest, is the exact moment we all fell in love with him. What followed was a fun couple of scenes of drunken friendship building and flirting which quickly dissolved into friendship fighting and violence. Gamora pulled a knife on Quill for trying to kiss her, Drax was mad they hadn’t faced-off against Ronan, and Rocket was pissed everyone was calling him names.
“I didn’t ask to get made!” – Surprising. Emotional. Roots. Dammit, Rocket, stop making me feel things! (Never stop)
They were about to sell the orb to the Collector (a scenery chewing Benicio del Toro), but thought better of it when they found out the Power Stone was inside, and that it has the capability to wipe out entire planets with a single tippity-tap.
They got their chance to skedaddle when one of the Collector’s employees (slave), grabbed the stone and exploded herself rather than work (be enslaved by) him for another dang second.
Meanwhile, in his haste for revenge, Drax had sent Ronan an e-vite to the party on Knowhere.
They fought, and by that I mean Ronan owned Drax and threw him in some brain-juice to drown.
Yondu didn’t get an invite to the party, but he DID find out about it from the Broker on Xandar, so he showed up with some pals, which was lucky for Quill and Gamora.
Her pod was blown up by Nebula, who, after admitting that Gamora was her fav, made off with the orb. It seemed as though Gamora was kaput, but then Quill popped outside for a quick sec, called Yondu for a pick-up, then put his space-mask on her. It was all very heroic and romantic, which he was the first to point out.
Rocket, Groot and Drax had a short debate on whether or not to rescue Quill and Gamora from the Ravagers, and since there was still about an hour left in the movie, they decided they probably should.
Once Ronan saw what was inside the orb, he didn’t feel the need to include Thanos anymore. Instead he popped the Power Stone onto his… hammer… staff? Nebula was into it, and vowed to help him destroy Xandar in exchange for a little patricide. I’m starting to get the feeling that Thanos’ ‘children’ didn’t have an awesome childhood.
Yondu was posturing in front of his crew, knowing that he had to punish Quill for double crossing him, but not really wanting to. Luckily Quill came up with a plan to include Yondu and the Ravagers in the theft and sale of the orb. This way Ronan won’t have it, and the Ravagers will get rich. Everybody wins! (Except maybe the rest of the universe, depending on who they sell it to, nbd)
Rocket, Groot and Drax showed up to ‘save’ Quill and Gamora by attempting to blow up the ship they were on, which was very, very funny. This lead to a team meeting about how to get the orb back, and whether or not they should risk their lives to do so.
Now that everyone was on board, it was time to get to schemin’ in a strategy montage with some slow-motion walking. Then they called Nova Core to warn them of the impending fight for the planet.
“He said that he may be an… ‘a-hole’. But he’s not, and I quote, ‘100% a dick’.”
“Do you believe him?”
“Well, I don’t know if I believe anyone is 100% a dick…”
“Do you believe he’s here to help?”
“…Yeah, I do.”
John C Rielly is a gift to this world, and Glenn Close is a legend. No bull-corn caption I put over this scene would be better than the pure delight of this interaction.
So Nova Corps was on board, too! Onward to the spaceships doing space-battle!
The air battle seemed to be going well, with Rocket and the Ravagers protecting the people on the surface, and the Nova Core creating a net with their ships to stop Ronan’s ship from reaching the planet. It didn’t quite work out, though. Ronan used his power-stoned-hammer-staff and blew all the ships up. It was very sad.
You guys, Saal’s last word was, “Rocket!” That got me. That really got me.
Nebula tried to stop them, but Drax shot her with a bazooka (LOL forever).
Meanwhile, Yondu had been grounded and was surrounded by Ronan’s dudes.
Hahahahahahaha, Yondu DESTROYED them with his arrow, and NONE of them thought to move. Amazing. Speaking of a bunch of red shirt villains getting easily massacred, Groot brutally murdered an entire wave of hench-aliens by impaling them on his tree-arm and smashing them around a bunch. Then he turned to the team with a face that said, “I did good?” and it was disturbingly adorable.
Gamora was having her own tussle with Nebula, who ended up dangling off the side of the ship.
Gamora was like, “hey look, maybe your invite got lost in the mail, but you can still-” and Nebula was all, “ya’ll bananas, I’m out.” So she cut off her own robot-hand and stole a ship from a passerby.
Just in time, too, because she missed the showdown with Ronan that resulted in his ship crashing.
Groot grew himself around the team and shielded them as the ship crashed, and it was SAD AS HELL YOU GUYS. Good grief. How this movie thinks it has any right to be so damn emotionally compelling while also being a comedy is just BEYOND ME.
Anyway. Ronan wasn’t dead (obvs), so he came out all, “I’m da bessss!” and was about to thrust his mighty hammer-stick upon the ground when Quill started singing and dancing to distract him from the fact that Drax was about to shoot his toy with a huge gun.
And it worked! His Power-Stick was blown apart and the stone went flying, and Quill dove to catch it before it hit the ground.
The stone was about to kill Quill, but then the team all held hands, dispersing the power.
Ronan (and the audience) was like, “but HOW?” and the team shrugged and zapped him dead with the stone. Yay!
Oh, and we had a moment of Rocket sobbing over Groot’s ‘body’ and Drax petting him and MY GODDAMN HEART EXPLODED.
Then Yondu showed up to collect his spoils, and made off with the orb. OR DID HE??? No. He didn’t. Quill did the ol’ switcheroo and gave the Power Stone to the Nova Corps, who were so grateful that they cleared the team’s criminal records.
The credits scenes consisted of a baby Groot dancing, and also the Collector with Howard the Duck. Nothing really teasing future movies, but that’s fitting for a movie that was, for the most part, unconnected to the rest of the MCU.
And there we have it! A fun, shockingly emotional romp through space, with countless quips, awesome action, and a little sexual tension thrown in for good measure.
What did you guys think when you first saw it? Or, if you’re just catching up now, who/what movies are your favs so far?
- What’s the stuff Ronan puts on his face? Is it dirt? It looks very textured.
- Rewatching this movie knowing what we know from Guardians Vol 2, Yondu becomes a whole different character, no? Do we think he knew the switcheroo was happening AS it was happening? Why else would he open it? Yeahhhhhh, he knew
- Bechdale Test: Yup! Gamora and Nebula hate at each other.
- When Quill started dancing at Ronan and tried to get Gamora involved – her shy little shake of the head was PERFECTION.
- Did you guys join the 2014 conversation about who in the sweet heck Quill’s dad could be? What was your guess? Did anyone get it right??
- How many times have you guys listened to the soundtrack to this movie? How many times did Ohh Child get stuck in your head? Is it stuck in your head RIGHT NOW? Yeah, me too.
- If someone lied to me about a chocolate fountain, I would burn their party to the ground.
OKAY SEE YA HAVE A GREAT TIME WITH YOUR LIVES!