guardians of the galaxy problems

(Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or sets their sights on a movie seemingly beloved by all. In this edition: the massively popular Guardians of the Galaxy enters the crosshairs.)

Almost without fail, every published ranking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has the same two movies in the top spots: Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. This trend is probably why most people give me a funny look when I tell them my favorite MCU movies are The Winter Soldier, Thor, and Iron Man 3. In fact, Guardians doesn’t even make it into my top five. It might not be at the very bottom of the barrel, but it’s certainly not at the top either.

James Gunn’s take on Guardians of the Galaxy quickly earned rave reviews in 2014 for its fun and colorful space opera take on a lesser-known Marvel team. When I first saw it, I enjoyed it too… and then I quickly proceeded to forget it. It isn’t that I consider Guardians an actively bad film, more that I view it as an actively average film with fundamental flaws that, when dug deeper into, make the film’s shining surface fade much more quickly.

Unfortunately, these glaring flaws prevent me from placing it among the best of the MCU and instead have soured the film for me, especially within the larger context of the MCU.

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