For a Science Fantasy Film, the Science in Guardians of the Galaxy Isn’t That Bad

I saw Guardians of the Galaxy Friday. I loved it so much that I went to go see it again today, because this movie is that awesome. The grandfather sitting three seats from me said, “This is the best film I’ve seen in years.” I’ll write a full review sometime late this week, but here’s one of my early impressions. 

Perhaps most importantly to the scientists among us, it only mildly ignores science, instead of throwing it around like things that get in the way of the Hulk. I would like to quickly reference three points (Mild spoilers ahead.) 

  1. Most of the ship battles take place in atmosphere, so the explosions and accompanying sound effects would actually happen. I can think of only one explosion in actual space, and that one was plot relevant, and set up some gorgeous visuals, so I’ll let it slide on grounds of film quality.
  2. People in space freeze almost immediately. This moment is also almost completely silent, because space is a vacuum. They might not freeze/die EXACTLY as quickly as they should, but alien biology seems a semi-plausible excuse, so we’re running with it. Okay? Okay.
  3. Someone humanoid but still alien is thrown in a giant vat of liquid. Upon being rescued from the liquid, the rescuers puncture his lung to remove the liquid, thus allowing him to breathe. Hmm, drowning victims usually have liquid in their lungs, removing liquid… wait, did this movie use something from actual science? What? 

Is everything in this movie compatible with the laws of our universe? No. Is a lot more of it than some supposedly realistic movies in science fiction? Yes. (For reference, see the Movie Sin Counter for Gravity, which features Neal DeGrasse Tyson informing you of space inaccuracies. Also, see my previous post on the subject.) 

So, in addition to being a really entertaining film, Guardians of the Galaxy is also a really smart film. (Although I knew that after the Maltese Falcon reference.)