I really enjoyed watching Guardians of the Galaxy this past weekend. What follows is not a review, per se, but more my thoughts on what made this movie entertaining for me. It includes spoilers, so if you have not seen the movie yet and want to avoid seeing a spoiler, stop reading now.
The first thing that comes to mind are the 80’s references. The movie makes good use of a collection of 70’s and 80’s music to set the mood, help define the character of Peter Quill and break the dramatic tension. Quill’s precious cassette tape Walkman is delightfully retro, forms a critical link to his mother and somehow fits right in. Having lived through that era and knowing the music made the movie connect with me. How he manages to have a pair of those foam-covered head phones with the foam still intact after all these years is beyond me.
The second thing is the connections to the rest of the Marvell universe. Sure, there’s the usual Stan Lee cameo. But we also see Thanos, tying us back to the scene at the end of the credits for “The Avengers”. And perhaps more importantly, the infinity stones are introduced, complete with a visual cue suggesting the glowing blue cube from the Captain American and Avengers university is an infinity stone itself. I like the way Marvell is making is harder to miss any of their movies by sprinkling links to the greater Marvell universe in them. Cleaver marketing guys.
Third, there’s the scene at the end of the credits with Howard to Duck. Wow! Howard the Duck was the first Marvell comic character to be turned into a feature film and it also almost drove it’s producer, George Lucas, into bankruptcy. And it’s an awful movie. Don’t watch it. Unless you like to laugh at b-grade Sci Fi.
Finally, the movie seemed to have this really nice balance of seriousness and humor. Not too dark, not too goofy. In short, fun. Just what a summer movie should be.