Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – Ace Mini-Review

Guardians of the Galaxy
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana
Written by: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman
Directed by: James Gunn
U.K./U.S.A., 2014

How good is this movie?

This is not the strongest effort from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I won’t fault its goofy story, which is par for the course, but where other movies get by with likeable characters, this one gives us a “bunch of a-holes”. Many jokes are made about the heroes being obnoxious and at each other’s throats, none of them very funny. However, the film wants to have it both ways without actually doing any work, and so half-way through they all decide to be best friends for no clear reason. Ordinarily I like movies about friendship, but this one exploits the word for its rhetorical power without seriously examining the benefits and responsibilities of being a “friend”. In the end, it’s too corny to be heartwarming and too keen on being clever to be really intelligent.

How ace is this movie?

Peter is your stereotypical girl-in-every-port womaniser. Also, one of his few “heroic” qualities – his irrational and rather sexist protectiveness of Gamora – is clearly based on his sexual interest in her. This is obviously not ace-positive, woman-positive, or even sex-positive if by that you mean “promoting positive sexual attitudes”. That said, it is only a small part of the story, and the focus stays on the “friendship” and the battle to save the galaxy.

2.5 Stars; 3 Aces

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