Guardians of the Galaxy: Nihilism Rejected

Ronan the Accuser, Gaurdians of the Galaxy (copyright Marvel Studios)
Ronan the Accuser, Gaurdians of the Galaxy (copyright Marvel Studios)

One of my initial thoughts about the characters in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy–as a Christian who wonders about my duty and role in the salvation of others–was, “Could those guys’ lives really be turned around like that?” You see, this is the story of how the Guardians met and who they were before being awarded that title.

These characters (Peter Quill/Starlord, Gamora, Drax, Groot, and Rocket) aren’t all bad, just selfish with a general disregard for the possessions, and maybe even the lives, of others (oddly enough, Drax the Destroyer seems to have the least of these unpleasant characteristics).  But, of course, as the story unfolds we find that things are not always what they seem.  These characters are rough, violent, and self-serving, but they all have reasons for their behavior–they’re not simply sociopaths.  They were either forced into a life not of their choosing (often brutal) or are reacting to a sense of nihilism.  Those with power control you, even modify you, and no one cares so why not simply do the selfish thing?  But we all are forced into a life we didn’t choose, to some degree at least, and our character is developed and shown by our reactions to life’s crap-grenades.

By the end of the movie, however, the characters have come to know that something exists that they came to think was impossible: there do exist others who actually can, and will, be a friend (you know, a real one).  Their early abuse of each other was just as effective as any armor in keeping others out of their lives, but they learned to let the shield down and not treat others as simply a thing to be used.  I haven’t read the comic that this movie is based on, though I can guess that the story was changed a lot.  It seems to reflect our present socially dispossessed age well.

I’ve only seen the movie once so far and may do a more in-depth article later, but I wanted to “put out there” that the writers of this movie purposefully included dialogue that affirmed an after life.  Many Christians put down Hollywood as wholly ungodly and anti-Christian, but I don’t believe this is justified.  There are script writers, producers, directors, etc., that in their perhaps subtle way acknowledge our spiritual identity.  For any militant atheist, I doubt that the tiny spiritual aspects in this movie seem subtle.

Also, generally speaking, the movie is hilarious and intelligently pokes fun at the super serious and dark sci-fi movie genre.  This movie is different, too, in that it blends ancient myth or legend with the futuristic in a way that can teach any “serious” movie a lesson.  As long as you’re not against some swearing and contemporary crude humor, I highly recommend Guardians of the Galaxy (rated PG-13).  For a ton of details about the film, see its special page at IMDB.

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