James Gunn directs Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautistia, and Bradley Cooper.
Consistently chaotic and confusing, the film is the kind of mess that only a mother could love.
Director James Gunn’s first stab at the Marvel Cinematic Universe, released in August 2014, inspired me to write: “Fine, if anonymous big-screen entertainment from a company that appears intent on a course that is slowly flattening. As long as the money keeps flowing, expect more of the same in the future from Marvel Studios.”
His second entry, released in May 2017, indeed featured more of the same. In essence, I wrote, it is “an animated film, well-integrated with live-action players, that is targeted at the young adult audience. Its sole purpose is to entertain, not to disturb or question the order of things; it’s a goal that it meets quite well.”
Thus, it’s no surprise to report that his third entry heaps more of the same, only in greater quantities and with less humor than before. There are more creatures, more characters, more visual effects, and more pop songs, yet the whole thing feels tired and obligatory, as everyone goes through the paces of what is intended to kick off the box office season on a high point.
Writer/director Gunn shows new characters arriving with the assumption that viewers will already know and be invested in said characters, presumably from Marvel comic books, when those of us who are not dedicated Marvel fans whose entire universe revolves around Marvel characters will not have any idea what is going on.
Truly, this is a movie that only a die-hard fan could love. Occasionally, things happened or words were spoken that made me smile or even laugh, especially those related to the “stupid idiot” Drak (Dave Bautista) — his words, not mine. And I suppose Vin Diesel should be commended for dreaming up 1,000 ways to say “I am Groot.”
But, for some reason, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) spends the entire movie moping about his lost love, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), all while he is moving heaven and earth to try and save his “best friend,” Rocket the self-denying raccoon (Bradley Cooper), who lies mortally wounded while he recollects his tragic origin story. *sigh* *sob* Oh, yes, many, many people die, or are at least shot with “phew” “phew” weapons, the sounds kids make to mime bullets or laser explosives. And so it goes.
Only a “stupid idiot” would watch this movie with the expectation, nay, hope, that it would be better, more enjoyable, or funnier than the previous two entries. So call me a stupid idiot.
The film opens in Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding cities on May 5, via Disney. For more information about the film, ask your children.