Sci-Fi/Adventure, 121 Minutes, 2014
Before I get into the movie I’m going to begin with a totally harmless spoiler about the end-credit tease. It has nothing to do with the main plot of the movie and I won’t give anything meaningful away. Sometimes coincidence can blow your feeble brain.
I purposefully avoided everything about this movie. I knew I didn’t want to go on opening weekend (I hate crowds) so I put myself in a self-imposed information lock-down. When the day came we picked a two o’clock matinee. We had about an hour to kill.
While waiting to leave, as I sometimes do, I read passages aloud from literature to my family. In this case the selection was the hilariously disturbing “10 Stories About Donald Trump You Won’t Believe Are True” on Cracked.com. The article, as you might guess, details some of the unbelievably douche-bag things this unbelievable douche-bag has done. The last lines of the article are: “Screw you, Trump, The Duck is “The Donald” around here. Hell, we’ll take financial advice from Howard the Duck before you.”
After reading that, I turned to my wife and offhandedly commented, “you know it would be so cool if they stuck Howard the Duck in the background of the movie someplace.” Then promptly forgot about it. We got up, hit the convenient store to purchase our contraband candy, then hit the theater.
Got through the whole movie, and the credits roll. As usual the kids are antsy and want to leave even tho’ we spotted several Davis’ in the massive scroll (it’s a game of ours – we call it “finding cousins”). Then the post-credits tease pops up and there is Howard-the-Duck.
He’s got a line and everything. Mind. Blown. Of course my wife didn’t remember me saying that, and the kids had no idea what I was talking about so figured I’d tell you people.
Guardians of the Galaxy is awesome, by the way, but you already knew that. The god-damn thing is pulling an 8.7 on IMDB and a 92% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes after all. Hell, it’s already pulled in $300 million at the box office: you probably already saw it.
It did struggle through the first act. It basically had to invent common ground for our heroes to come together on from whole-cloth. It’s also a little light on the “logical motivation” front. Once it finds its groove, tho’, watch out: it forms to it like a glove and rubs all the right places going down.
It’s just a flat-out fun movie. The Marvel movie universe has been kind of a bummer lately with all of its dark worlds and Winter soldiers. While this fits into the over-arching story well, and actually deals with vastly more deadly ramifications, it sheds the grit and the darkness and just lets loose.
The final, massive space-ship battle is set against a gorgeous, clear-blue sky. Extended sequences are choreographed to the best music the 1970’s has to offer. Conversations are littered with hilarious, anachronistic references that will make good Farscape [IMDB] fans pine for John Crichton.
The comparison to Farscape isn’t made lightly. People who loved that show – which means everybody – will love this movie. It has the same slightly-left-of-center sensibility that brings fun and wonder back to science-fiction. Still, let’s not forget what’s really important: I’m totally psychic about Howard-the-fucking-Duck.