You have to put a lot of effort in if you want to get a perfect score in anything worthwhile, and the reverse is also true: if you want to score a pure 0%, you still have to work pretty damn hard. After forgetting to put your name at the top of the quiz, you basically need to know the right answers to all of the questions in order to then select the wrong answers, which, of course, begs the question as to why you didn’t just shoot for the A+ instead. This would be nearly paradoxical if it wasn’t just a plainly obvious certainty.
A Deadly Adoption is a bit like that, except that the people intentionally flunking the exam are getting paid handsomely to do it and their classmates are zipping around the playground after the period’s over spreading the word about how cool they are. Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig have been getting pretty good grades so far, but now that the popular table has…aw, f*ck it. Extended metaphors are for the more involved. Besides, we’re talking about passing/failing something worthwhile, which is a thing A Deadly Adoption is absolutely not.
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Chris Pratt dominated 2014. From reprising his role as the lovable Andy Dwyer on the hit comedy Parks and Recreation to his starring roles in blockbuster smashes The LEGO Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy, which will garner the attention of this review, he seemed to be everywhere you looked. While I assert that Pratt was at his best in Guardians, his attempts at seriousness in various parts of the film felt a bit like he was trying too hard. But, his first scene in the film was absolutely brilliant, as he gets a little funky and sings into a space rat as though it were a microphone. This scene sets the stage for the tone of the remainder of the film: a collection of comical ridiculousness that you simply can’t take your eyes off of.
Guardians is a borderline Star Wars spoof, while at the same time paying all due respect to it. The genius of the film is found in the clever dialogue that evidences this point. One scene that comes to mind in particular is the one in which all the guardians decide to fight together against Ronan, all standing up to somehow state their dedication to the cause. Bradley Cooper’s hilarious Rocket comments, “Great. Now we’re all standing. A bunch of jackasses standing in a circle.” While the mocking of the cliché trope that is standing up to display emphasis is something I found to be tremendously clever, I also recognized the themes, such as devoting oneself to a just cause regardless of the dangers attached to doing so, that are so similar to those of the original Star Wars trilogy. Thus, Guardians is a sort of revitalized Star Wars reboot that stresses humor over drama but nevertheless paints a potent emotional portrait when it needs to, despite Pratt’s overacting at times. In addition, the film resolves itself in an incredibly familiar way. A band of outlaws come together to save the galaxy and are rewarded with impunity and heralded as heroes by the galactic authorities. Sounds a lot like A New Hope to me. To take it one step further, I honestly wouldn’t have been disappointed had this film instead been titled Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
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