Guardians of the Galaxy

Year: 2014
Production Co: Marvel Studios
Studio: Walt Disney
Director: James Gunn
Producer: Kevin Feige
Writer: James Gunn/Nicole Perlman/Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, josh Brolin, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Djimon Honsou, John C Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Gregg Henry

My only theory for why this movie was so popular and beloved and such a box office smash was that nobody in the world had seen a decent, fun science fiction movie in decades. Why didn't Edge of Tomorrow get the same love?

I'm sure it can only be one of two reasons. First, the multiplex crowds will go and see anything made by Marvel. Say what you want about their movies, they know how to market.

Second (and just as possible), I've become so blinded by my own prejudice against the endless string of superhero and comic book movies I can't see quality in them any more when it's right in front of my face.

Yes, there were funny characters, yes there was a lot of action, yes there were great effects. But another CGI universe populated with creatures and otherworldly beasts, a villain full of common bad guy motifs (European accent, Middle Eastern style costume), expansive futuristic cities and well-designed starships?

I've just seen everything in this movie so many times before that none of it impressed me. Even the bickering-enemies-who-become-a-family trope is a staple in plenty of genres – see The A-Team and The Losers (which Zoe Saldana was in too, playing kind of the same character).

Chris Pratt is as bland as he is funny or entertaining as Peter Quill, the ruffian kidnapped by aliens from Earth as a kid (for a reason I can't remember the movie explaining) and who now lives among the inhabitants and other worlds in the rest of the galaxy.

When he captures some trinket I've already forgotten about that turns out to be the key to some despot's plan to rule the galaxy, he means only to take it to an intergalactic pawnbroker to get his loot. But suddenly a ramshackle collection of interested parties are on his tail, from the green alien girl (Saldana) who knows what power it has and wants to stop it to the talking Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and tree (Vin Diesel) who are after the bounty on Peter's head.

As they decide to team up to get the thing to some rightful place to do something else (you can see what an impact the story had on me), they fly from a space-borne prison to a mining colony and back to the big shining city where it all started before the huge black spaceship of the villain attacks and the sky is filled with the kind of aerial battle we haven't seen since Independence Day.

Almost everything in it can be found in a dozen other popular and beloved archetypes, but is that enough to make it a three quarter billion dollar smash? I just didn't know who most of the characters were and didn't care.

Maybe audiences were just won over by the spectacle, or maybe I've just lost my inner 10 year old. I genuinely wish I liked it just so I didn't have to worry that the latter is the case, because I'm going to need that inner 10 year old screaming with delight in December 2015.

Maybe that's the answer here. JJ Abrams will make a sci-fi spectacle people genuinely love for a long time. How many of the squillions of people who paid to see Guardians of the Galaxy felt it was their favourite movie ever?

Maybe comparing it to Star Wars is an unfair comparison. At this point I'm just trying to figure out if there's something genuinely wrong with my movie tastes and am grasping at straws to justify all this to myself.

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