SPOILERS AHEAD: BE FOREWARNED!
Guardians of the Galaxy
Director: James Gunn
Adapted From: Marvel Comics’ Guardians of the Galaxy
Call to Adventure: Peter Quill is abducted from Earth shortly after his mother’s death; Drax’s family is killed by Ronan the Accuser, leading Drax on a path to vengeance; Gamora is chosen by Ronan to obtain the orb Quill has just taken from Morag over her adopted sister Nebula; Rocket and Groot encounter Quill and Gamora while attempting to arrest Quill to collect on his bounty.
Cross the First Threshold: Quill, Gamora, Rocket, and Groot are incarcerated in the Kyln prison by Nova forces, meet up with Drax; all five stage an escape using Rocket’s plan to commandeer the control tower.
Supernatural Aid: Rhomann Dey, Nova Prime and the Nova Corps; Yondu Udonta and the Ravagers
Road of Trials: The Guardians’ path to getting the orb to safety crosses several worlds and environments, including Morag, the Kyln, Knowhere, and Xandar.
Meeting with the Goddess: The Collector (Taneleer Tivan) reveals that the orb contains an Infinity Stone, the Power Gem, which destroys all organic matter it touches.
Talisman: The Power Gem is pursued by the Guardians and by Ronan the Accuser, who initially has a deal to turn it over to Thanos in exchange for the destruction of Xandar and the Nova Corps (which he later reneges on).
Belly of the Whale: After Drax drunkenly brings Ronan to Knowhere to challenge him, he is nearly killed for his trouble; Gamora is nearly killed trying to get the Power Gem away from Nebula, fails to do so; Quill nearly succumbs to the vacuum of space attempting to saver Gamora.
Rescue from Without: Quill allows himself and Gamora to be captured by Yondu; later Rocket, Groot, and Drax join them after threatening to destroy the Ravagers’ ship.
Atonement with the Father: Quill convinces Yondu to help him fight Ronan and defend Xandar, in exchange for the Power Gem.
Crossing the Return Threshold: Quill calls Rhomann Dey and asks him to convince Nova Prime of the Ravagers’ intention to defend Xandar.
Magic Flight: Quill, Gamora, Drax, and Groot infiltrate Ronan’s ship, the Dark Aster, while the Nova Corps deploys a thousand-ship net to hold Ronan at bay.
Dragon-battle: Gamora fights Nebula to reach the ship’s power core; Drax kills Ronan’s lieutenant Korath; Quill uses Rocket’s custom rocket launcher on Ronan, but with no effect.
Second Rescue from Without: Rocket crashes through the Dark Aster's bridge, bringing the ship down.
Crucifixion: Groot forms a pod around the others to shield them from the crash, is rendered a scattered pile of twigs by the impact.
Second dragon-battle: Quill challenges Ronan to a dance-off as a distraction from Rocket and Drax blasting his hammer, releasing the Power Gem.
Master of Two Worlds: With help from the others, Quill is able to wield the Power Gem’s full force and uses it to defeat Ronan.
Apotheosis: “You said it yourself, bitch. We’re the Guardans of the Galaxy.”
Refusal of the Return: The Nova Corps rebuilds Quill’s ship, the Milano, and erases the criminal records of all five Guardians; they band together to have further adventures.
Resurrection: Re-potted by Rocket, Groot re-grows his face and arms as a miniature version of himself.
The 1980’s: Much of the film employs aesthetics of 1980’s science fiction cinema, including light pop music of the 70’s, quirky dark sets (a la Dune, Blade Runner), and the appearance of Howard the Duck; Quill’s ship is bedecked with the contents of his backpack, which includes varied ’80s bric-a-brac including an ALF trading card and a troll doll, which winds up with Yondu; Quill’s pop culture references in his dialogue mention numerous staples of ’80s cinema such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and Footloose.
Heroic Unity: A scene near the end, before the battle over Xandar, has the heroes in the traditional “stand in unity” pose; “zapped” by Rocket’s comment about “a bunch of jackasses standing in a circle.”
Alien Culture Clash: Drax has a hard time initially with Quill’s speech pattern because his people take everything literally; Groot’s full vocabulary consists of “I am Groot” with various inflections to mean different things.
Innocent Hero: Groot has an altogether sweet and pure personality, in contrast with the violent acts that Rocket perpetrates with him.
MYTHOLOGIST’S NOTE: This one is a unique property and called for a unique analysis, because in the Campbell sense the entire team stands in as the singular hero.
MYTHOLOGIST’S SECOND NOTE: 200 posts. WOOT!