Movie Critic: Lucy Jing, YATI
Movie Genre: Action & Adventure
Ontario Movie Rating: PG13
Opening Date: August 1st, 2014
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista
Guardians of the Galaxy is based on the Marvel superheroes by the same name and features Peter Quill, a wanted outlaw travelling the galaxy under the name “Starlord.” When he steals a mysterious orb, a large bounty is put upon his head and he ends up in jail. With four other criminals, he escapes and they set out on a journey to discover the secret behind the orb and save the galaxy from unimaginable destruction.Guardians of the Galaxy was a huge success, making $313 million so far. Despite Hollywood’s misguiding tendency to use tobacco to portray characters as rebellious, cool, or powerful, this blockbuster had no tobacco usage. Rather, personalities of characters were better shown through witty dialogue and actions. Personally, knowing some of the negative effects of tobacco, I found the movie to be more enjoyable to watch and I certainly did not miss the too-commonly seen cigarette in the hero/heroine’s hand. In fact, had I not been looking for instances of tobacco use, I would not have noticed the absence of tobacco. This proves how unnecessary Hollywood’s incessant use of tobacco is and how the role that tobacco plays is easily replaced by other means. Guardians of the Galaxy definitely sets a precedent for future blockbusters, sending a message to Hollywood that tobacco use is not part of the formula for a successful movie.More importantly, if the movie industry follows the lead of Guardians of the Galaxy and does not place tobacco in its films, youth will be positively affected. Although many youth may not consciously realize the effect tobacco placement has, it still has an impact on their lifestyle choices when they may try to emulate many of their role models from popular movies. When exposed to more movies like Guardians of the Galaxy, where a character’s persona was developed through his/her actions and words, youth will not have the impression that tobacco is a necessary factor in society. Especially in this movie, where a lot of Peter Quill’s actions are motivated by his passions and good will, youth will grow to understand that the most important aspect of their character is their integrity and ability to fight for what they believe in.Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy was an excellent adaptation of the original Marvel comics, displaying an enthralling combination of humour and sentiment. The movie is also equally engaging for people who have not read the original series. The absence of tobacco makes this movie an excellent choice for moviegoers of all ages looking for a laugh and also a thrill.