MCU Moments: Guardians of the Galaxy
Avengers: Endgame is now officially less than a month away, and we are slowly working our way through some of the origin stories that have led us to this point. So far we have reviewed The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America, and today we reach the origin story for an entire group. Released in August of 2014, the film was directed by James Gunn and written by Gunn and Nicole Perlman. The ensemble cast debuted Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as Groot, and Bradley Cooper as Rocket. The film’s robust cast also included Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, and Benicio del Toro. The film went on to earn over $773 million worldwide with its sequel surpassing that total in 2017.
So, what moments stand out in this first tale for the Guardians?
1) Star-Lord Introduction
This introduction still makes me laugh to this day, and at the time, it was an opening sequence unlike any other. Chris Pratt strolling around on an abandoned planet is one thing, but once the music starts the entire introduction changes. It becomes an introduction to Quill’s character and his love of music, but it additionally gives a sneak peek at the wonderful ridiculousness that is about to follow. The mental picture of Quill singing into an alien rat while dancing and listening to his walkman is a unique one and perfectly sets up the film.
Also, his first interaction with Korath sets the tone for the humor to follow, and I still love when they have never heard of Star-Lord.
2) Prison Break
This first joint effort by all of the members of this future team is an important moment in the film and genuinely a hilarious sequence. Groot initiating the plan before they have gathered the other objects is a great starting point. There are some fun action sequences between Rocket and Groot attacking the guards and Star-Lord negotiating for the guy’s leg. We also get Drax joining them without an invitation and the whole discourse showcasing Drax’s inability to understand metaphors or figures of speech.
Their escape is creative and successful and accented with Quill retrieving his walkman from the big, blue guard.
3) Infinity Stone Explanation
While infinity stones had been teased and seen in the MCU by the time this film was released, The Collector’s explanation on Knowhere is a monumental moment. It’s the first time that the origin of the stones is explained on screen, and it is also an explanation of the full power of the stones. It doesn’t hurt that del Toro and the whole dynamic before the explanation is pretty hilarious. The continuing jokes about Rocket and the intrigue over Groot only adds to the enjoyment of the sequence.
The subsequent explosion and the change it leads to in the characters also adds to the greatness of it.
4) The Final Battle
Alright, I will be the first to admit that including the entire final battle is essentially me cheating. There are so many moments that are memorable in this sequence, and I could have used all four points just on this sequence. It contains one of the most emotional moments of the film whenever Groot sacrifices himself to save the group. The whole “We are Groot” statement impacts me every time. It also contains the infamous dance off, which might be the most absurd yet enjoyable distraction Marvel has ever included in a film. From there, this sequence only gets better as Peter and the rest of the team manage to sustain the infinity stone.
It’s a great sequence, and a fun way to wrap up this story while spurring questions about the future of the team and Quill’s identity.
So, what moments stand out for you from Guardians of the Galaxy? Where does it rank among your favorites in the franchise?
Be sure to let us know in the comments, and catch up with us next week as we look at another origin story in our countdown to Avengers: Endgame.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.