Since the movie came out, I had been hearing it was actually a really good movie -- e.g., this Tumblr post:
spoiler-free immediate post-guardians of the galaxy thought: i’m kind of pettily mad but also begrudgingly impressed that in a movie so wholeheartedly and admirably committed to a nonstop glossy thrill ride of silliness and gratuitous badassery, marvel still found time to touch on its recurring fascinations of weaponized bodies, the delineations of personhood, and the willingness to reach for emotional connections as the only sustainable lifeline in an uncertain and dangerous universe.I don't dispute any of that post, but the movie was more like the preview than I was expecting from all the really positive reviews.
#guardians of the galaxy #i enjoyed that a lot more than i thought i would honestly #i laughed lots many good jokes #but also i was very moved by the talking tree? #and the way it used pop music/culture/but especially music is sooo #like #relevant to everything i care about in this whole world
I had seen some Read More posts on Tumblr tagged #ableism, so even though I hadn't read any of them I was particularly primed to be uncomfortable with Rocket's "I need that guy's prosthetic leg -- except not really, haha wasn't that funny?" and was grateful that Peter was like, "That's not funny" (though the fact that he mentioned having to pay the guy 30 thousand units sort of undercut the suggestion that Peter flat-out thought it was a not okay thing to joke about) and did not appreciate Rocket trying the joke again with the guy's cyborg eye (though I was pleased that no one else in the movie seemed to think it was funny).
A bunch of the brash!Peter with the coat and everything in the early scenes reminded me a lot of Mal in Firefly and various stuff felt very Joss (even though I don't think he was even involved in this movie) -- e.g., Gamora being made into a weapon.
Even though the movie was so over-the-top basically constant jokes and/or blowing shit up, we still get these serious notes -- Rocket talking about the torture that created him (... which is actually kind of the origin story of all of the GotG -- I mean, it's Gamora's story, and Drax is all rage and anger as a way to deal with his grief, and Peter's an orphan, and okay we don't know Groot's story ... who was the one who the lineup info said was the last of their kind? Drax?) --- and I want to like that, because it makes them more than one-note plot devices, these additional character dimensions also felt single-note, and like pasted in because they felt like they had to (I'm thinking especially of the Rocket one ... like, I really appreciate that bit of characterization, but it also feels too isolated, like a telling-not-showing way of trying to develop characterization ... idk).
likeadeuce said [in a spoiler-filled post I skimmed after I got home tonight], "The tone was just ALL OVER THE PLACE," and I concur. I also feel like the movie tried to cram too much in -- like okay, we know Thanos from the Thor movies (ditto the Infinity stones -- though I'm unclear what exactly Nova Prime is and why we're supposed to trust their security and/or goodness; I mean, the last time we handed an Infinity stone over to someone it was the Collector and he was super-creepy collecting them all) and now there's the Kree and Ronan's avenging like 3 generations of his fathers being killed, and maybe we're not supposed to care about that backstory but then there's this thing about Gamora and Nebula being his daughters only they're adopted, and I couldn't really keep track of all of that ... didn't Gamora say Ronan killed her parents in front of her? but Nebula says something about Ronan being willing to kill her father (Thanos), which she seems to be in favor of. But Nebula tells Gamora "of all our siblings, I hated you the least," so Gamora and Nebula are actually blood siblings? Yeah, there was too much going on for me to map everything in my brain fully.
Um, what else?
Drax's need to kill Thanos now that Ronan is dead reminded me of Memento.
When Nova did the interlock thing and we started to see that mesh, I thought, "That is so beautiful. And you're all going to die."
I hadn't bothered Tumblr Savioring GotG, so I had seen this post:
You know you’re a plant veterinarian when Groot’s exploded into a bunch of twigs and everybody’s sad because he’s deadSo when the ship is heading down and Groot gets a determined look and extends Groot's arms (do we know Groot's pronouns?), I understood immediately that Groot was going to protect them and die in the attempt.
and you’re just bouncing up and down because cuttings
Oh my God there are going to be SO MANY GROOTS
I had sort of seen stuff about about dancing bb!Groot in a pot, but apparently I didn't actually retain that part, so I was genuinely surprised that Rocket got a cutting to take in canon.
Dancing bb!Groot in that end scene was ♥ the cutest thing ever!!! ♥
I thought the package from Peter's mom was going to be a photo of his dad.
I saw some post I now can't find that comments about how GotG subverts(? plays with, anyway) lots of (Marvel) tropes, including the post-credits stinger scene, so I was expecting it to be ridiculous and/or superfluous ... but that was not what I was expecting. (The Internet informs me that was Howard the Duck because reasons.) I think I am soured on Marvel post-credits scenes ever since the one with the twins who I didn't recognize (because I am not a comics nerd) but whom the Internet explained MCU had whitewashed and made the super-powerful girl crazy and broken (why, Joss, why?).
Edit: Also, I learned that in a PG-13 movie you can flip someone the middle finger and you can say "bitch," "jackass," "dick," "whore" ... and I'm guessing you could say "asshole" they just thought it would be funny or whatever to do the spoken equivalent of bleeping that one out. (Wikipedia informs me that apparently the language rules are laxer than I thought they were.)