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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
A lot of fun, but misses being a classic
It had been awhile since I had such a good time seeing a movie. Maybe it was that I saw GOTG on a rainy day during a vacation, or maybe it was just that I was genuinely surprised that GOTG had some originality rather than being another over-rated, paint-by-numbers superhero movie.
Regarding the latter, many of us have grown weary of The Dark Knight, Avengers, and other superhero films that get 8's or 9's here or 80 or 90 plus rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and repeatedly fail to live up to those expectations. Of course, GOTG IS over-rated (much less than the other superhero movies), but that's more of a statement about the flaw in the Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb ratings systems than anything.
GOTG is more original than those other films because of witty dialogue and memorable/original characters. Chris Pratt's "Starlord", "Rocket Racoon" and "Groot" were my favorites and at least one of them will likely be yours as well. The other characters are more supportive and serve that role admirably. I did have a quibble about the 2 main bad guys - one of them needed to go because it just cluttered the field and storyline. While this probably made sense to the fanboys, I'd never heard of GOTG before this movie and it was likely made to appeal to a broader audience than just fanboys.
The thing that prevents it from being a classic (or "A New Hope" - seriously?) is that the story is fairly run of the mill and not nearly as expansive or original as what you would see in a classic sci-fi film. The best sci-fi films introduce an original world that even after the credits roll still has huge potential to continue in a number of directions, with great depth and vision. GOTG has some unresolved story lines to give it a place to go, but it's world/idea is too small to have the breadth of possibilities that one would find in Star Wars, Alien, The Matrix, etc. However, not all of the sequels to these films succeeded (Matrix, recent Star Wars sequels/prequels), but this was due more to the failure of script and direction than lack of potential. Of course, that does give GOTG hope - with a well- written sequel that adds original story elements to the fun dialogue and characters we could have a series that rises above its solid, but limited beginnings.
Maybe that's what all this "New Hope" talk is all about?
dumb premise and why did Sutherland do this film?
While scenes were played about as well as could be expected from the material, the premise killed this movie. Way too flimsy in my opinion. And why would Kiefer do this film amidst his big 24 success? Must have been bored and needed the distraction. Paula Patton is too beautiful to keep picking dogs like this - if MI-4 is as good as MI-3 she will be moving in the right direction. The gore was over the top, but viewers should have realized that after the opening sequence. If they don't bail out by then, then it's their own fault if they make it to the horrific bathtub scene and get grossed out (and start developing TMJ issues :). I didn't like the cheap scares which combined something springing at the camera accompanied by some jolting sound. If you have to do that a lot it shows your story is weak. It also makes the viewer expect it and lessens future attempts. Spend your time watching something else.