RACCOONS IN THE NEWS: What else was I going to talk about?


Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy came out this weekend. I’ve enjoyed the Marvel movies in general; even their duds (the Thor movies) are still a ton of fun. They rank far above the “turn off your brain” popcorn flick that are the abysmal Transformers movies because they have actual characters and a plot.  So I was going to see this movie anyway. It’s just that the inclusion of Rocket Raccoon (and yes, he is a raccoon) made me hyped for it.  It was also something that comic book fans were rather anxious to see: Marvel attempting to base a movie on one of their more obscure comic book properties. When production of the first Iron Man movie began in 2006, the character wasn’t the tentpole character it has since become, but there had at least been a Saturday morning cartoon series for it. Guardians of the Galaxy was comparatively unknown; territory that hadn’t turned out so well for DC comics.

So Marvel’s now sitting pretty on top of a $94 million opening weekend.  They be confident knowing that with decent production values and marketing, they might be able to sell even the more obscure properties they own. Maybe we’ll get lucky and see a She Hulk movie after all (but base it on the Dan Slott run of the character.)

As for my take on the movie?  I thought it was great.  It was funny.  I liked that none of the other characters were treated as chaff, which of them getting their own development and role to play in the proceedings.  I was really afraid that Rocket Raccoon and Groot would be played off as jokes and then mostly ignored.  I also really enjoyed the design and animation of Rocket Raccoon, based on real life raccoon, Oreo, had a certain raccoon-ness to it.  Especially his tendency to work on things without quite looking at them (I’ve watched a lot of raccoon videos on Youtube; I’ve noticed this.)  Otherwise, the action was satisfying, the movement from one sequence to another was logical, and the imagery was fantastic.

The movie wasn’t perfect, mind you.   The setup of the movie was a little confused.  As an audience member, I just felt thrown into a conflict that I was indifferent to.  In a way this mirrors Peter Quill’s involvement in the conflict between the Kree and Xandarians (which I would guess are better than Kandarian Demons.) However, unlike the Starlord, I really didn’t care about what was happening except for “how will this affect Rocket Raccoon?!”  Rocket’s moment of development seemed slightly out-of-place and overly angst-ridden, but I was thankful he got one.  Also, the music (not the songs, but the score) was kind of forgettable.  Or memorable, but at this point I can’t recall if it differed from the theme for the Avengers.

And was that Lloyd Kaufman?!


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