Monday, September 01, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy - Film References Part 1

Guardians of the Galaxy was a nice treat for a busy summer this year. I almost felt like I was watching the original Star Wars for the first time. Nice balance between action and humor. And experience helped me notice quite a few references to other classic movies. These were deliberate tributes, I believe. Such as the classic prison line-up shot:

(All images copyright Marvel/Disney, unless otherwise noted.)

"The Usual Suspects"...

...which comes from classic Film Noir.

(original copyright Bad Hat Harry Productions, Blue Parrot, 
Spelling Films International, Gramercy Pictures, and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment)

Star-Lord, played by Chris Platt, gives us a misfit, wise-guy hero who is still lovable. He's sort of a jerk, but he grows on you the way Han Solo did. Peter Quill/ Star-Lord has the same identity/disrespect issues that Mister Furious (Ben Stiller) had in Mystery Men. His first opponents respond with "You're who?" or the "I don't care” attitude.

The Raiders of the Lost Ark homage didn't register with me. The scene went by too quickly. Star-Lord didn't have too much trouble getting the Orb out of it's force field container, and then he seemed to give up to easily when confronted by Korath The Pursuer.

(copyright Universal)

Neither guy gets the respect he demands. Rodney Dangerfield, look out!

Another movie reference in Guardians gives us the classic "Walk" shot...

Mystery Men had theirs...

(copyright Universal)

Which was a play off of The Magnificent Seven...

(original copyright The Mirisch Company/Alpha Production)

Which in turn was inspired by Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai.

(original copyright Toho Productions)

The bigger theme was the oddball, rag-tag fighters coming together for a common cause. The obvious example was the original Star Wars:

(original copyright 20th Century Fox)

Nothing new under the sun, or the galaxy for that matter.

I don't mean to be critical here, but they may have been trying to squeeze in too much.

In Independence Day we have the giant starship descending on the planet, and the high-tech fighters engaged in a frantic dog fight over the city...

(copyright 20th Century Fox)

 And the similar scenes with Ronan's ship.

The Abyss: Maybe I'm reaching here, but the way Star-Lord rescues Gamora seems like a switch on Ed Harris' Bud Brigman's decision to let his ex-wife Lindsey (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) deliberately drown in hopes that she can be revived later:

(copyright 20th Century Fox)

In Guardians it's sort of the reverse: Peter Quill/ Star-Lord puts his space helmet/ mask on Gamora to save her life, without regard as to how long he can withstand the lack of air in space.
Korath The Pursuer
Korath The Pursuer

Coming up next: Vin Diesel's Groot as compared to his Iron Giant, alien abduction themes, such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the Dirty Dozen - misfits sent on suicide mission.

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