Saturday, August 23, 2014

Indiana Jones would be proud: why Guardians of the Galaxy is so important.

Just the other day, after coming back from a fire-tour, I had the pleasure of viewing the movie in question for a second time. I had a lot of time to think over all the things I adored about the movie between viewings, laden with many revolutions of the "Awesome Mix Vol. 1" soundtrack. I've said it to a few people here and there when I have to qualify listening to the cheesy 70's and 80's pop music on repeat while in the car, but I can't get over this movie. It has this type of hold on me like an ex-girlfriend long since past, that moment when you look back at the time you had together and fawn over all the laughs and heart-racing moments. In the same sense, every time I see something that reminds me of the movie or characters (which happens a lot when you follow the director on Twitter and Instagram) I feel this rush of endorphins in remembrance of the wonderful time we spent together. But why? Why does this movie has a special hold on me? Why do I feel physically compelled to return for multiple viewing in the theater?

Guardians of the Galaxy has been at the top of my anticipation list for quite some time now, but my excitement was burning a lot hotter ever since the trailer was released. I, like pretty much everybody else out there, had no previous knowledge of this group of bandits until Marvel made the official announcement that the film was forthcoming. Even after that announcement and initial reaction by the internet, my knowledge was only limited to what was on Wikipedia. I remember the night that the trailer first premiered, my twitter feed was a hornets nest of messages and replies, favorites and retweets among my friends. I was enamored by the tone of the trailer, that it could be informative, hilarious, exciting and a tad cocky all rolled into one. I had to have more, I feverishly began searching for these characters in ANY other media that I could get my hands on, I had to know everything about these them.
Right around this time was when my best friend Gage was just getting me in to Parks and Recreation, my only exposure to Chris Pratt up to that point. Like everyone else in America (seemingly), I have fallen head over heels for this buffoon of a man. I had no idea that I would see poor Andy Dwyer, who broke his arms and legs falling into a large pit, wielding elemental guns, the Star Lord mask and rocket boots with suave and focused aggression. This movie caters to the man's acting skills, letting him be the hero with a smirk; always having a good time.

I could certainly go through and break down all of the special places in my hear that each character has, but I don't want you to donate your entire day reading this post. Besides, I'm sure I'll have a hard time not talking about this movie and these characters in the future.
This movie is much more that another installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, released just to set up the next "event movie" (Avengers 2: Age of Ultron). From the very beginning, James Gunn and company lay the land for a spectacular, interplanetary, space adventure. That's what this movie really is after all, an adventure that we're all on. The likes of which I haven't seen or felt this close to since I was a child. How this movie differs from modern films filled with senseless destruction, massive amounts of CGI and fart jokes (I'm looking at you, Micheal Bay) is the gooey sentiment and heart of the movie. You understand the motives of these characters and root for them, even though they may not be doing the most honorable thing. To me this is the work of a truly brilliant writer, to present you with characters who are dastardly, selfish and emotionally closed off and yet you cheer them on throughout every endeavor. Not to mention tugging at your heart strings, I'm not ashamed to admit that I welled up a good 3 or 4 times over the course of the movie. The dialogue and story has a way of relating to me that fills me with good feeling and bad feelings that make me remember my losses. Like Star Lord says "I look around this room, you know what I see? Losers. Meaning we've all lost things, friends, family." But it's the drive to pick yourself up and carry on that makes these characters noble. They all have emotional and physical baggage they're trying to forget or run from, but it helps to motivate and not hinder.

It's one of those stories that stick with us, the ones we can carry throughout our whole lives. For me, I certainly have those stories that influence my imagination and sense of adventure. The types of movies that introduce the concepts of heroics and courage. Like many others that were born in the last 30+ years, a big one for me was Star Wars, I mean, I'm drinking out of a Boba Fett coffee mug right now. This is one of those epic story lines like Star Wars, it's Indiana Jones, Star Trek. To a lesser extent, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter (eh). Stories like this inspire us to display inexplicable amounts of courage and vigor in the face of crippling adversity. Stories like this are the reason I would dawn my rough leather coat and play Indiana Jones in the back yard, they give us characters that we not only admire, but we want to BE. Every now and then we have cinematic gems laid at our feet that we can either pick up wear them proudly on our shoulder proudly as long as we live, or become a closet case and silently appreciate the grandeur of the adventure. I really feel that this is a turning point in the lives of those children who see it as a kid and it stays with them. I wouldn't be surprised if 20-30 years down the road, people stop asking so much about the original Star Wars and start asking "How old were you when you saw Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time?"

So if you haven't seen this piece of history or are on the fence about it, don't be. Not seeing it would be like not seeing the first Star Wars in theaters because you're not sure about it. So go forth, see it, get the soundtrack and relive the glory as you drive around in your car that you'll be tempted to call the Milano from here on out.

That's it for now! More ramblings to come!
Thanks for reading