I am Groot!

(Editor’s Note:  I won’t even bother to translate the title.  It’s just another lame Dad joke that is becoming an unfortunate legacy of the page. )

I’ve been waiting for this movie since I saw the first one.  Sure, Avengers, Dr. Strange, and Civil War are all cool, but my favorite book as a teenager was Guardians of the Galaxy.  Unlike many of these endeavors, I also liked the reboot and introduction of new characters.  Honestly, though, I was surprised that they made one movie for the Guardians.  The book wasn’t exactly an A-list title.  Moreover, not only have they made one film, but the sequel just released last week and before that one even came out, they announced a third.  My obscure comic fan boy heart is bursting with joy.

This one became a family event.  From the trailer, I knew it might be a bit dicey for the kids.  Unlike Deadpool, though, they marketed this one right at their younger audience. Like I said to Chris, I don’t think our 6 year old is the intended demographic.  But, you put a talking racoon and a baby tree creature in your movie and you get 6 year olds.  So, I went the day before to scout and make sure that it wasn’t too inappropriate.

I am Groot? Yeah, I know little buddy. I can’t believe some of the language in the movie either!

Maybe I’m too lenient, but it passed my filter.  Sure, there is some language that obviously scarred little Groot.  The movie also has some “mature themes”, as Aiden calls them.  He claims that he only knows what they are because he saw them on the video game label for Skyrim.  However, I don’t know what “mature themes” there are in that game, so he might be trying to buffalo me.  Either way, now that you know the potentially controversial topics, you can make your own decision.  The movie is PG-13 after all.  Now, on to the review!

The Good

At the risk of falling into too much of a pattern, I’m going to give this movie the same praise that I gave Power Rangers.  The best thing I can say about it is that it is Guardians of the Galaxy.  It takes what was great about the first one and improves almost all of it.  I said to Chris that the first Avengers movie was still the gold standard of Marvel movies, but this one might be my new favorite.  He remarked that Marvel movies often fall off from the original to the sequel.  I replied that certainly was not the case with this movie.

This movie is funny.  My cousin complained that they seemed to reach too hard for laughs.  The first time that I watched it, I actually thought something similar.  It was way over the top at times.  Not necessarily that they reached,  but that the movie was much funnier than the first.  During my conversation with Chris, I said it felt like Marvel learned their lesson from handcuffing Joss Whedon in Avengers 2 and now let their directors just do their thing once they’ve proven themselves.  So, while some might think he went overboard, I feel like it is in keeping with the absurdity of the characters.

I mean, honestly, look at this cast of characters. And, this doesn’t even include Howard the Duck.

Speaking of characters, in between the required humor and explosions there is an absurd amount of drama and character development.  I remember when Ang Lee tried to bring the “feel of comics” to The Hulk movie–with decidedly mixed results and reviews–but this movie plays very much like the comics that I knew and loved back when comics weren’t so damn expensive.  As an aside, though, I was attempting to sort my comics and it made me want to start collecting again.  I might just have to troll eBay or Craigslist for cheap lots.

Now, back to the review.  There is just so much good about this movie.  If you are a fan, you will enjoy yourself.  If you’re only watching because Marvel makes you watch movies like they make you buy comics during their mega crossover events, then it will be entertaining.  I question if it is particularly informative in the context of Infinity War (which is strange since the Guardians are supposed to play a pivotal role), but at least you will know who these characters are if that rumor comes true.  If you’ve already see the movie, go see it again.  Trust me, it’s just as good the second time.  Heck, I might even go see it one more time in the theaters because I enjoyed it so much.

Hey, I’m just as guilty of falling for the crossover. Secret Empire is part of the reason that I want to start collecting again.

The Bad

This movie is not technically kid friendly.  I already mentioned the swearing.  Personally, I don’t much care about swearing because they’ve heard worse at home.  Regarding the “mature themes”, the older boys are getting to the age when they will learn those things sooner rather than later.  I mean, no questions resulted, so I get the feeling that one already knows and the other had them go right over his head.  I know for a fact that the 6 year old missed them completely.  He only cared about the parts with Baby Groot.

But, for real, that mother fricker is damn cute. But I don’t usually say fricker.

So, it’s a bit dicey.  Especially if you are stricter about those topics than I am.  It isn’t excessive, though, and you just have to make your own decision.  I mean, you could always do what I did and watch it yourself to see if it is something that you can tolerate and handle.  Don’t let that stop you from seeing the movie, though.  Find a sitter and take the wife.  Or, if your wife is lame like mine, leave the kids with her and see it yourself or with friends.

The Ugly

Unlike Power Rangers, Marvel has had over a decade to find and walk that line between audiences for their movies.  Plus, as I already mentioned, they have movies planned through at least 2019 and a third Guardians movie already announced.  So, there’s no chance of one and done like I feared for Power Rangers.

But, I sort of painted myself into a corner with this new review format and now I’m stuck.  I have to come up with an “ugly” section or risk exposing myself as a fraud.  I guess the only ugly thing that I have to say about the movie is that I have to wait for the next one.  Sure, we have Avengers, some great DC movies, and at least one Star Wars in the interim, but they’re not Guardians of the Galaxy.  After this movie not only met, but vastly exceeded my expectations, I’m going to be through the roof for the third one.

The Verdict

This movie is awesome.  Go see it.  If you’ve already seen it.  See it again.  If you can’t wait for the third, watch the first one and then this one because 1+2=3.  I’m out of words to express just how much I love this movie.

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