Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy ★★★★

At this point I can't muster any more interest in superhero movies. What once seemed like an interesting exercise in large-scale storytelling now seems bloated and rote. With that in mind, I had ow expectations for Guardians of the Galaxy, and I was surprised to find that instead of a boilerplate Marvel movie what I got was an exciting stand-alone science fantasy. Two sequels down the line corporate synergy will probably have sucked all the life out of each character, but this installment at least is refreshing.

What makes the movie really succeed is its imagination, and that shines through in the visual design. Each location has a distinct look, and the cumulative effect hearkens back to the tremendous sense of adventure of old pulp science fiction. The panopticon stands out particularly; I would have been perfectly content if the whole film had taken place in that setting. It all captures the sort of feeling that so many contemporary science fiction movies strive for and fail.