Collateral attractions: Afternoon double feature part 1 – Guardians of the Galaxy

Tuesday, cheap day at the movies again, and I rather foolishly, given the pressing things on my list of stuff to do, checked in for two films. First, Guardians of the Galaxy.

The main thing I probably need to say about this film is that I lack the necessary cultural background to appreciate it or understand it for what it is, except in the most rudimentary of terms. I was glad dad didn’t come along, as I don’t think he’d have had the necessary background to “get” this film either (even less so than I did). The first scene — not surprisingly, given the subject matter — was a huge, huge turn off for me, and I found my thoughts wandering for the first twenty minutes. Eventually I started to understand it as a bit of a “buddies on the road” film and that made me like it more. Rocket the Raccoon and Groot were cute and I thought Zoe Saldana delivered the strongest performance of the actors playing the “heroes.” And there was some pretty sophisticated humor around metaphor, I thought.

As to the reason that I was watching it (cough), I think that the comment by the reviewer that I cited here is just spot on, and in fact, Lee Pace was the only thing about the movie that made me wish I understood more about comic book universes in general and this one in specific. I caught the references to Emperor Palpatine, though I haven’t seen the other films the reviewer mentions. But I think the comment that Pace is playing the villain Ronan specifically plus riffing on the idea of the comic universe villain was really accurate — his performance pulled on all the very meager stock that this idea has in my own repertoire. The voice is just amazing — the way those lines are delivered, and most of his postures and movements are stunning. A sort of inertial evil that doesn’t have to move to show its power because that element of the character is a sort of reverse radiance, I kind of odd black hole that sucks up all the light around it. And yet every now and then we glimpse his sclera and we can see that there is some kind of pain behind the stoic malevolence that will not be denied. And all of that in counterpoint with the baggage that we bring to this film from watching other similar films (in my case, Star Wars 4-6). But most of all the voice. Wow. Pace is not afraid of much, is he?

~ by Servetus on August 20, 2014.

3 Responses to “Collateral attractions: Afternoon double feature part 1 – Guardians of the Galaxy”

  1. Yes you probably just aren’t into this sort of film. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I read comics when I was a kid though this one is new to me. I thought it was fantastic and the soundtrack was a big part of it all working for me. Pace was excellent certainly but not the draw for the film in general. As with Richard he has a commanding voice which is why it works so well in this sort of genre.

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  2. […] The upsetting opening scene of Guardians of the Galaxy. As you may remember, I felt the same way. […]

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  3. […] Here. My reaction to his first appearance in this role is here. […]

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