Favorite line: "Never call me a thesaurus."
It took me a while to get into this movie because I wasn't familiar with the characters, and some parts of it bugged me so much that overall I didn't like it, but it had quite a few good moments and a couple of good characters. It's possible I'll like it better the second time around. So this will just be a list of stuff I liked and didn't like.
I could not stand the Starlord character, who is way too much of a Han Solo ripoff, and the actor was way too clean-cut to pull off a Han Solo ripoff.
In general I thought the 1980s tribute angle was too heavy-handed. "Senator, I knew Star Wars. Star Wars was a friend of mind. Senator, you're no Star Wars." (Yes, I acknowledge that Star Wars is more sexist than this movie.)
There were people of color in the movie but (except for Korath, played by Djimon Hounsou) they were almost all hidden behind strange colors of makeup (Zoe Saldana in green makeup, and a couple of extras who were a really bizarre fakey red color).
There were several kick-ass female characters and definitely one female character who could just as well have been a male character (possibly two, depending on how you look at it—the OH and I disagreed about whether Nebula would have worked as a male character; I thought she wouldn't have because I thought sister rivalry was an important part of Gamora's story line, and the OH thought it would have worked as rivalry between brother and sister).
There were too many shots of Zoe Saldana's thigh gap.
I did not like the semi-cybernetic sarcastic Rocket Raccoon, even though I really wanted to.
I did like the raccoon's sidekick, a mostly sentient tree that could only say three words (I, am, Groot) but said them in such a way that everyone could understand they really meant "The tachyon particles have overloaded the dilithium crystal Captain." (Groot is voiced by Vin Diesel. Who knew he was such a great voice actor? Not me).
I REALLY liked Drax, a cuddly, gorgeous, muscular guy with chest tattoos, a tendency to misunderstand idioms, and a big vocabulary. The guy playing Drax looked familiar to me but I guess I haven't seen him before; he's a Filipino/Greek professional wrestler and martial artist. Drax strongly read as queer to me.
The bad guys were cardboard cutouts. To understand what the deal was with Ronan, the guy they are chasing for most of the movie, I had to look him up on Wikipedia afterward. "A Kree radical [who] continues to fight an ancient war between his people and the Xandarians. Ronan has struck a bargain with the Machiavellian Thanos to retrieve a mysterious artifact, and in exchange Xandar will finally be eradicated." WHO CARES? [other than people who were already following the comics]
A 1970s-80s mix tape featured as a tie-in throughout the movie and it felt too heavy-handed (I kept contrasting it with how the TV show Life on Mars, the British version, worked in 70s music—that felt very organic and it worked well for me).
It was VERY COOL that they played almost all of "Cherry Bomb" by The Runaways, though.
I don't usually like the movie reviewer Andrew O'Hehir, because he's a self-righteous curmudgeon about a lot of movies I enjoy, but I like this line from his review: "If this franchise really takes off, I’ll be tapping my toes impatiently for the Drax-Groot spinoff movie."
Aaaaand this was the second movie I saw in the theater in two weeks that featured Hubble telescope images. (The other one was Lucy.) I guess the Hubble telescope is the biggest actor in movies today.
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