I had the pleasure of watching Guardians of the Galaxy for the second time this past weekend. It definitely merits multiple viewings. I enjoyed noticing more details to the non-stop, action-packed, cleverly-plotted and hyphenated-accolade-worthy fun story of Star Lord and Company.
As this past weekend's movie report shows, apparently I was one of many cineplex-goers who made Guardians the top box-office movie for the fourth weekend in a row. I think the relationship between (and respective excellent voice portrayals of) the two CGI-rendered characters, Rocket and Groot stole the show. But, don't misunderstand, I enjoyed the terrific complexity and fine performances underlying all the characters.
There was so much I had forgotten about the movie from the first time I saw it (It's an indictment of my overly-hectic schedule that I don't take much time to reflect on movies much after I see them). The "We are Groot" scene was brilliant! And I had to laugh again at the "blacklight/Jackson Pollock" reference. So many of the lines and plot twists were terrific.
Watching the movie a second time also confirmed for me part of the symbolism of the movie that shows it as part of our time in the character of the villain Ronan the Accuser. His particular brand of malevolence echoes the villains in present day news: Islamic extremist terrorists. I am not the only one who noticed this connection. A conservative newspaper movie review makes an analogy not only to Islamic terrorism in general but to Hamas leaders in Gaza specifically. Another newspaper review (this time a conservative Christian paper) is only too happy to point out the Ronan/Jihadist connection.
But was happier to find a less partisan blogger Paul Michael Carlisle, who, in his well-analyzed, incisive write-up, briefly acknowledged the connection with no ax of his own to grind:
"Ronan the Accuser is a thinly veiled interpretation of a Jihad extremist; a religious fanatic who wants to bring his ancient code of tyranny to bare on a progressive mostly-white society for their perceived sins. His tactics include suicide bombings and even his facial warpaint resembled an Islamic beard!"
I hadn't even noticed the beard/warpaint connection.
So there you have it. Guardians not only is a fun, humorous, action-packed, delightful movie. It also has cultural relevance.