Thursday, September 4, 2014
Galaxy, Prepare to Be Guarded
Guardians of the Galaxy must be Marvel's most sheerly delightful movie to date and that comes down to something rather unexpected: the prominence of authorial voice. Few of the previous Marvel outings, no matter how enjoyable they were, were particularly notable for the power of a single filmmaker's vision behind them (maybe Sam Raimi's Spider-Man and Joe Johnston's Captain America: The First Avenger would be exceptions). Even The Avengers, which had one of our great pop storytellers behind it, was still clearly powered by a certain degree of corporate synergy. But from it's subversive penchant to undercut heroic stereotypes and imagery, to its quick-witted dialog (delivered by some truly charming performers), to its soundtrack, everything about James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy felt like it was spun from a singular vision. And so, from the most unlikely of places, do we witness the power of the artist. Kudos must also go to Marvel for putting a very obscure property into the hands of a relatively untested filmmaker.
A quick honorable mention must also go to Lucy, which is an action movie devoted as wholeheartedly to ideas as to thrills, featuring as unlikely (and lovely) a climax as you are ever likely to see in such a film.