What does the new Walt Disney/Marvel Studios film have to do with 1970s hits like “Sharp Dressed Man,” “She’s Gone,” “Angel Band” and “Whiskey and You?” Well, these songs form an important part of the narative of the latest action-packed instalment of Guardians of the Galaxy.
They’re on a “mix tape” given to young Peter Quill (Wyatt Oleff) as a child by his dying mother (Laura Haddock) that becomes his totem and security blanket as the adult Star-Lord (Chris Pratt). And it’s half the reason the movie is so much fun–all the ’70s pop hits sprinkled throughout by way of the mix tape give the film its unique flavor.
The other half is the appearance of characters from past Marvel comics, carefully woven into the storyline by writer-director James Gunn. One of them is the Planet Ego, first appearing in Thor comics in 1966. Originally simply a planet that was a conscious living being, now he’s capable of creating a human simulacrum (Kurt Russell) that ranges across the galaxies having sexual adventures, culminating in a major revelation, which I won’t spoil by telling.