This post contains SPOILERS from Guardians of the Galaxy (the movie). Also, RANT WARNING.
I saw the movie yesterday. A movie that had me interested from the first time I saw the machine gun slinging raccoon trailers. I hadn’t read the comic and didn’t know what to really expect but I was cautiously hopeful. When Star Lord started dancing below the title I felt I was watching something special. While the feeling did last long into the movie - another feeling started tugging for my attention. Namely “wow, this is some sexist shit”.
To be clear, I don’t have a problem with sexist characters. I do, however, have a problem when there isn’t really any consequences unless it adds something to the story or theme. But let’s back up a bit and examine what kind of a movie this is. GotG is a sci-fi adventure that has a very simple story to the point that you’ve seen it a thousand times before. Villain can’t get powerful item or people will die. Lots of people.
When a story has this kind of thing I usually get bored unless a few other important things are well worked out. Those things are: setting, situation, character and theme.
The setting - SPACE! Well made and interesting looking places. Loved it.
Situation - Yeah, the characters get thrown around a lot of interesting places.
Character - No no NO. See, this is where I start to get bothered. The Villain was boring as hell, but that’s a small crime compared to some of the leads. Star Lord is an douche, it’s well established. But the playboy stuff the movie lets him get away with under the guise of being a lovable douche is not ok. It’s the fact that it has no consequences and that he on the flip of a coin turns into a altruistic hero that pisses me off. But this does not reach critical mass until you add Gamora to the mix.
Gamora gets to be a fighting character. A step up from ordinary female characters? Would be, unless for a few things. She is touted as being a ruthless assassin badass from the start. Something that disappears from the start of the prison scene, onwards. From that point on she is saved twice by the “hero”, constantly T&A-filmed, falls into the “female character who gives a shit about people dying so she can turn the hero into a good guy” trope, and oh - has a fight against the evil female villain. These two things combined leaves a sour taste in my mouth, especially in a movie with few to none other interesting female characters. The movie spends more time telling me Gamora is an badass than it does showing me.
Ironically, the character who feels real ends up being Rocket Raccoon, with hints to his tragic past and his friendship to Groot which completely shines through his emotions.
I feel the movie skipped out on time it could have spent on focusing on showing the Guardians friendship growing and on making us believe that Star Lord isn’t “a total dick” when we instead got a Anakin Skywalker-ish “I’m suddenly evil” turn.
Rant too much, I do. When I start pulling things from Star Wars, I know it’s time to end the rant. In the end I’m pissed of at this movie since I liked it, while being force fed sexist jokes and tropes. A crime worse than being a obviously sexist story from the start, a la the Transformers movies.