There’s no doubt, Guardians of the Galaxy is a heap of fun, probably the most fun I’ve had with a Marvel movie since The Avengers. Plenty of humor, non-stop action, an unlikely group of heroes and the only Marvel flick to take place almost entirely off Earth give it a personality all its own (including being daring enough to have a totally crappy after-the-movie’s-over add-on … seriously, that was awful).
But Guardians of the Galaxy is also a symptom of a larger problem within the Marvel-verse: The big, city-destroying battle. I say “the” because the same battle seems to pop up at the end of every one of these flicks: Bullets and lasers flying, hordes of faceless minions gunning for our heroes, some sort of large aircraft/spacecraft, buildings falling, streets broken to shards of concrete, etc. The only thing that seems to change is the heroes doing the fighting. It’s starting to wear a little thin, in part because the big battles aren’t all that interesting.
Case in point, our titular Guardians. The big battle at the end is meh, lots of ships flying around, an enormous spacecraft closing in on a near defenseless city, and so on. The fun battles come when our fearless five escape prison with an ingenious and risky plan, as well as a confrontation with a pair of feuding factions when the Guardians go to see the Collector (a complete waste of Benicio del Toro’s creepiness, perhaps the only unforgivable part of Guardians of the Galaxy).
Even in the other movies, the better battles are the smaller ones. When Thor and his gang face The Destroyer in the Thor, when Thor battles Captain America and then takes on the Hulk in The Avengers, when Captain America’s elevator dust-up in The Winter Soldier, the smaller-scale fights are more intimate and interesting. Yet they seem to get buried in the body and building count of the large-scale, city-destroying climactic battles.
Is this a problem moving forward? On the one hand, like I said, more of the same gets old. On the other hand, most people are going to Marvel flicks to for that big, popcorn movie experience. Thoughts?