Guardians of the Galaxy (IMDB) is an action comedy based on a Marvel comic book. It might have been better with a bit less action and a bit more comedy.
The hero, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) was abducted from Earth as a small boy by a flying saucer in 1989. He has grown up to be a roguish interstellar thief. He carries around some mementos of his childhood; the most precious is a mix tape of 1970s pop music hits that his mother gave him. (Much of the humor is based on pop culture references from the 1970s and 80s.)
At the beginning of the movie Quill steals a mysterious orb which apparently has some sort of mysterious evil power. Naturally everyone wants it.
He gets thrown into prison and teams up with four other misfits: a beautiful green-skinned cyborg assassin named Gamora (Zoe Saldanaa), a muscle-bound warrior with a huge vocabulary named Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a walking humanoid tree named Groot (Vin Diesel), and a bad-tempered talking raccoon named Rocket (Bradley Cooper). (“Rocky Raccoon,” get it? Don’t say that to his face or he’ll kill you.)
The movie is fairly predictable but it does have some funny moments. It also has lots and lots of loud frenetic computer-generated action sequences.
It seems that the more CGI (computer-generated images) I see in movies, the less impressed I feel. Today’s action directors just seem to be too in love with the technology. Great movies are based on great writing. If it isn’t there then all the CGI in the world won’t make up for it. Directors would do well to heed the watchword: “with CGI, less is more.”
In the worst case the producer cheaps out on the CGI and it ends up looking bad. So they try to cover it up by turning down the contrast and brightness and the whole movie ends up looking like it was shot in Beijing at the height of the smog season.
That’s not the problem here. This is a Marvel/Disney production. They know how to do CGI that doesn’t look like crap. In fact some of the visual imagery is quite beautiful. But the endless action sequences don’t thrill me. They look good from a technical standpoint but my gut is telling me that they aren’t real.
The best moments are the funny ones. It’s too bad there aren’t more of them.