Let’s be clear before I get into this. I’m a comic book guy. I love them they help me escape the mundane of day to day living into worlds you can only dream of. When converted to film they consistently entertain, can at time amaze and also get me thinking.
That said I know I’m not the only person who feels a little tired of sitting down in their local cinema and seeing the Marvel branding in front of them. This is not to say that the recent spate of Marvel films have been bad they haven’t. Thor 2 not overly memorable but no bad, Iron Man 3: Sir Ben Kingsley scene stealer and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (which I have yet to see). Not to mention in X-Men: Days of Future Past and the preceding Wolverine. None of these are bad but the regularity of Marvel films makes them feel less of a movie event and more of a conveyor belt experience.
This is not to say this is Marvel’s fault. These films are consistent hits at box office and studios want hits. At a time where it feels like the world is searching for heroes more than ever, where better to look than the Marvel catalogue.
So as I sat down to watch Guardians I wasn’t as excited as I had been in the past. In combination with I had no Guardians background knowledge to influence me going in which in many ways is a good thing compared to some comic book purists who watch these films looking for inconsistencies.
I enjoyed Guardians it romps along well, is action packed, is consistently funny has characters you care for even if they are giant walking trees with limited vocab. Chris Pratt is funny and charming, Zoe Saldana is a good strong female character (which is a rarity) and Dave Bautista for me steals the show with some great lines over and above the CGI racoon and tree combo of Rocket and Groot.
I had a good time and I was pleased to see at the climax a message letting us know that the Guardians will return because ultimately so will I when it comes out.
What Marvel and Disney have done here is create a family friendly inoffensive offering that will no doubt generate cash by the bucket load and accompanying merchandise to boot. What isn’t overly clear is what Guardians is for. It didn’t (to me at least) appear to fit in with any ‘on-going’ Marvel story line, although Thanos does make an appearance as he did in the Avengers post credit sequence, (my tolerance for these post credit sequences is becoming less and less) but it seemed to be more of a stand alone film.
So while Guardians is entertaining fair I did however find it difficult to see its role in the wider Marvel universe / storyline other than cash cow which takes me back to my earlier point
Marvel have a plan for films going forward into 2019 and while this vision should be applauded in some regards if it continues to produce films that introduce characters from its universe with great style but not much substance it should maybe be approached with caution.
While I have no real problem with Guardians and again would reiterate my enjoyment of the film my over riding thought was maybe the conveyor belt needs to stop and the cinematic events that these films used to be return instead.