10 August 2014

The Ones On Who You Can Depend?

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For me, my true family are my friends. These are the people that I spend my time with by choice and not just because it's our dribbling Grandpa's last wish before he does us all a favour and kicks the bucket. Friends might be there when you're in trouble, but the real sign of closeness comes when a computer game causes you to engage in verbal abuse and nobody really cares. I had one friend tell me that he hoped that I'd die in real life and I told another to take his ugly tits and fuck right off. There was this one time when I accidentally went running down a sand dune at about two o'clock in the morning and, due to a combination of drink and gravity, I got carried away. Within seconds I was practically vertical and travelling at about two hundred miles an hour before the obvious happened and I began to fly. Tripping, I found myself hurtling headfirst into the darkness, using only my face to soften the fall and then sliding down the remainder of the way on my chest... What a knobhead! At the top of the dune were my friends who were clearly worried for my life. As I lay still at the bottom, I could hear two things from them... the first was their calls to make sure I was okay or at the very least still alive. The second was their attempts to breathe inbetween the mad fits of hysterical laughter having just witnessed my pretty decent impression of a sack of shit.
I only mention all of this because for me, Guardians Of The Galaxy is all about our self-destructive desire for friendship... oh, and I like to waffle. This is the latest movie from Marvel Studios and is their attempt to introduce a more galactic element to their cinematic universe. It tells the story of some kid who gets abducted by aliens before growing up to be a kind of spaceman treasure-hunter. Throw in an angry, smart-arsed racoon and a talking tree though, and I think you're onto a fucking winner. Obviously the film centres around some bullshit MacGuffin which only exists to bring everybody together but who really cares about that. The film isn't about saving the world but simply giving these random characters an excuse to interact and show off their fucking madcap personalities. There's also a green girl and a wrestler who are good but lets face it... When there's a tree whose got his fingers up an aliens nose or a drunk and depressed racoon thats armed to the tits with a fuck-off lazer gun then my attention has already been pretty much grabbed. Oh- I should also mention that this movie was written and directed by James Gunn who is kind of like the diet-coke version of Joss Whedon. They've both got a kind of pop-culture coolness about them and they've both worked with Sarah Michelle Gellar but you know... Whedon created Buffy and Gunn wrote the 2002 adaptation of Scooby Doo which somehow managed to be even more shit than a post-eaten pile of Scooby-Snacks. People keep comparing Guardians Of The Galaxy to Star Wars however to get a better idea of its tone, I think it owes a lot more to Serenity than George Lucas's operatic space-set story about incest.
"Friends sing together... La, la, la, la!"

I guess we should talk about the positives first because fuck it- why not.. For a start, the cast and characters are all great. Despite what I've just said, I really do love James Gunn and so the fact that within the first twenty minutes I've already seen half of the cast of his film Slither is no bad thing. Although having said that too, Michael Rooker does play some bright blue arse-hole whose voice was kind of distracting for at least a split second. Despite looking like he's been the limp biscuit at the centre of an angry Smurf's circle jerk, he randomly sports this really thick American accent. I know I'm being a twat by saying this but it just made me wonder why this space alien would sound like this? For one moment, I temporarily couldn't get over the fact that every single person spoke English. What's the reason for this? It doesn't make any sense! Then I realised I was watching a film that featured a talking tree and decided to get the fuck over myself. Speaking of Groot, he may well be my favourite thing in the movie with his and Rocket Racoons friendship being particularly sweet. Groot may only say three words throughout the bulk of the film but whoever cast Vin Diesel as a fucking tree knew exactly what they were doing. Not only is it the best performance of his entire career but I'd say that it is ironically also his least wooden!!!! I put all the exclamation marks there because I spent about two days coming up with that joke. Least wooden... Hahaha- I'm so funny!

On the downside, I suppose the baddies are pretty shit but that's almost becoming a kind of cliché of the Marvel films right now. Do we have an eccentric hero? Yep! Do we have a cameo from Stan Lee? Yep! Do we have a bland and forgettable baddie whose motivation is at best a little contrived? Yep! Fuck it then- let's make this shit! Here, the Guardians must face off against against some moody blue prick called Ronin whose motivation, as ever, seems to simply be that he's a bit of a cunt. In fact I think if I'm honest, I'd have been even happier with this film if there was no villain at all. Thanos also shows up briefly but he doesn't really do much more than sit there looking like a chunk of GGI that's fallen off Hellboy's dick. Ronin doesn't really do much either and really just spends his time chasing after the MacGuffin which he only seems to do so that the film can have a story. For me though, the story isn't what makes this film so great with the characters and their bond being so much stronger. We can see shit blowing up in any action film that's been shat out onto our screens but the thing that makes this one so unique is the sassiness and wit of the character interactions. If I'm being completely honest I'd happily sacrifice all of the punching and dog-fights if it meant just having these random fucking weirdos in a room and bickering with each other. Lets face it- if you've seen one spaceship get blown up, you've seen them all. However, how often do you get to see an alien wrestler sharpening his knives as a tree secretly dances to the music of the seventies behind his back?

"Hand me the keys you fucking cocksucker"
If you haven't seen any of the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe then don't worry because you really don't need to, to know what's going on here. Although if you have managed to avoid them all then what the massive fuck? Before the films release, people were questioning how the world would react to a comic adaptation that hardly anybody has heard of. 'How brave are Marvel', I heard people say! It just goes to show how far we've journeyed since the invention of an original fucking idea I guess. Once upon a time there were films that weren't based on anything more than a script and that had no desire to make a sequel. What an odd fucking time that must have been! Having said that, I've already saved my pennies up to see the sequel to this because it was really good fun and I'm a sucker for dysfunctional friendships. This isn't a film about some bullshit infinity stone but rather it's about a group of strangers meeting in the vastness of space and slowly realising that friends are what make life worth living. Yes, they fucking bitch and fight each other but fuck it- that's what friends do. I have a permanent fucking limp these days because one of my chums can't take me beating him on Super Smash Bros. and so has taken to repeatedly punching me in the knee. It's worth the pain though just to know that I've annoyed him. The friendship in this film is what gives it its heart and, despite all the colourful bullshit, is what makes it stand out as actually pretty brilliant. Did I mention I love the tree by the way? I don't think I've emphasised that enough yet! Groot is fucking amazing. As much as I love my friends, I would happily swap at least a couple of the lesser ones in exchange for him. Thanks for reading and I guess I'll see you next time, motherfuckers! 


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