Will a Talking Plant Win Your Heart During ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)
'Guardians of the Galaxy,’ the tenth movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, will be available for viewing at your local multiplex on August 1. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is the weirdest and funniest of the Marvel movies to date as we follow a ragtag group of strangers (to each other and, most likely, to most audience members) led by Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord, a name he desperately wants to be called). Will you like ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’? It depends! Though, as always, here’s an answer to every question you could possibly have about ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’
Q: Is ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ the best superhero movie of the year?
A: I wouldn’t really call it a superhero movie. It’s more of a sci-fi comedy. It more resembles ‘Galaxy Quest’ than it does a Captain America movie.
Q: Who is Peter Quill?
A: We first meet Quill as a young boy in 1988 while his mother is on her hospital deathbed. Shortly after, he’s abducted by an alien spaceship.
Q: How long do we spend with Quill has a child?
A: Not long. Once he’s taken into space, we jump ahead to the Chris Pratt version of Quill.
Q: I’m going to ask again, who is Peter Quill?
A: Quill’s a galactic treasure hunter, but he’s in it for the money. Quill is basically the guy who tells young Indiana Jones at the beginning of ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,’ “You lost today, kid, but that doesn’t mean you have to like it,” before giving Indy his hat.
Q: Does Peter Quill wear a cool hat?
A: No. Though, he does have a computer-generated facemask that lets him breathe in space.
Q: Does Peter Quill’s treasure hunting get him into trouble?
A: Yes. Quill is sent to retrieve a sphere of some sort, which turns out to contain an Infinity Stone, which gets Quill into a whole mess of trouble.
Q: What is an Infinity Stone?
A: Remember The Tesseract from ‘The Avengers’? That was an Infinity Stone. It’s like that, only a different one.
Q: Who else wants this Infinity Stone?
A: A rapscallion named Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), who is hired by Thanos (Josh Brolin) … who, if you don’t remember, is the smiling fellow we see in a post-credits scene after ‘The Avengers.’
Q: I don’t think I’d like to spend any time around someone nicknamed “The Accuser.” He sounds very judgmental.
A: From the events portrayed in the movie, he doesn’t seem very nice.
Q: How does Quill wind up meeting the rest of his Guardians team?
A: Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) are a kind of Han Solo and Chewbacca bounty hunting team, only instead of Harrison Ford and a Wookiee, it’s a talking raccoon and a barely-talking plant. They are hired to capture Quill who went AWOL on money he owed a client. At the same time, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) has been sent by Ronan to retrieve the Infinity Stone. Anyway, the Nova Corp. throws them all into jail, where Drax (Dave Bautista) already lives, for causing a ruckus on their planet. Anyway, their adventures together on what exactly to do with the Infinity Stone they still own start from there.
Q: What is a Nova Corp.?
A: They are kind of like galactic police officers. The most interesting Nova is played by John C. Reilly.
Q: How many times is the phrase “Guardians of the Galaxy” spoken in the movie?
Q: How many dick jokes are in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’?
A: At least two.
Q: If ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ had been released in 1984, how many anniversary pieces would have now been written about it?
A: If I knew what keyboard combination produced the infinity symbol, I’d use that right now.
Q: What’s the best thing about ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’?
Q: How is that possible for a CGI humanoid plant who only says “I am Groot”?
Q: Is Groot Vin Diesel’s greatest performance of his career?
A: I realize by saying yes that it will be taken more as an insult than it will be taken as a compliment, but, yes, it is.
Q: I don’t like sci-fi, will I like ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’?
A: Well, there’s an awful lot of sci-fi in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ and the fact that the word “galaxy” is in the title and that it's a movie that features a talking raccoon and a talking plant might be your first three tipoffs. But, ‘Guardians’ has an almost secret weapon with Peter Quill, who has the ability to ground the story in a weird sense of our own reality.
A: The fact that Peter Quill lived on Earth until 1988 means he’s full of popular culture references – which he uses a lot.
Q: That can be annoying.
A: But, here, surrounded by so many weirdos, it’s strangely comforting.
Q: What is an example?
A: Well, one non-specific example is the music, which is basically the equivalent of listening to your local classic rock station.
Q: What’s the biggest problem with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’?
A: The editing is ragtag at times. Funny lines aren’t given time to breathe and during a couple of the action sequences, I had no idea how certain characters wound up where they wound up. 'Guardians' is not what would be considered a "polished" film, but, at the same time, that's kind of part of its charm. (Kind of.)
Q: How are the visual effects in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’?
A: First of all, Groot and Rocket look dynamite. But, some of the computer generated effects -- particularly during the first 30 minutes on the Nova planet -- don’t look particularly great. The practical effects are great throughout.
Q: Yet, is ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ still the most pure fun movie of the summer?
Q: Will Kevin Bacon love ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’?
Mike Ryan has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and GQ. He is the senior editor of ScreenCrush. You can contact him directly on Twitter.