Guardians of the Galaxy


By Thomas Cowley

For the last decade or so Hollywood movies have been living under a cloud of dark and gritty realism from which there seemed no escape. Between the success of Christopher Nolan’s, well everything, and the growing trend of pessimism and negativity that seems to have permeated every aspect of today’s culture, films with an almost simplistic joy are harder and harder to find these days. Which is exactly why the newest Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy is such a breath of fresh air.

There has been a lot of hype surrounding this movie after its much lauded opening weekend. So much so that many are beginning to go against the tide simply because they want to be different. Let me say this before I go any further; Guardians of the Galaxy is not the most amazing superhero movie of all time. Perhaps it is “over-hyped” as some of the more negative viewers are calling it. But it is also exactly what we, and Hollywood, needed. It is a bright, vibrant, exhilarating adventure with great characters, a funny script, and some of the best special effects in any Marvel movie to date. More importantly, Guardians of the Galaxy shows us that we can still have a good time at the movies.

Perhaps one of the most outstanding aspects of this movie is the color. Throughout the movie there is a veritable orgy of colors colliding on the screen at any one time. From the city of Xandar that looks straight out of Mass Effect, to the brilliant purples, oranges, and greens of space, every second of this film is absolutely beautiful. There is something else that is almost exclusive this movie; fights in the daylight. I know! I was surprised as well. The color palette reminds us that movies and heroes can consist of colors other than dirt brown and soulless silver. Just take one look at some of the other superhero movies coming out and see how many colors there are in them compared to this. (Wonder Woman anyone?)

Aside from the color, the movie does a great job of compiling a vast number of incredibly varied characters and worlds into a coherent narrative, which is something that many movies with fewer characters and fewer locations cannot seem to pull together. That’s right, I’m looking at you The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Every one of the main characters has their own moment of heart breaking humanity that we can all relate to in some way. Every one of these heroes feels like a real person with loss and dreams and aspirations that make them far more human than many other heroes.

More importantly, Guardians of the Galaxy allows us to have fun. Does anyone remember the days when we could go to a movie and escape for an hour or two? So many movies harp on the state of the world or how fractured humanity has become and how bleak things truly look at times. In many ways it is an ode to a bygone age of movies; the days when we would have fun by living out an adventure through films likeStar Wars & Indiana Jones. And like those films, Guardians allows the audience to escape the world and instead spend a few hours among the stars where we can meet strange characters and explore exotic worlds without dragging us back down into the darkness. It does not require a major character to die. It does not force us to admit we are just people who cannot make a difference. It does not force us back down into the dark and gritty real world. Guardians of the Galaxy lets us escape into a fantastic universe where we can all make a difference, no matter who we are. It reminds us of what it is like to look to the sky and wonder, rather than worry. Even if only for a few hours.

Published Source: