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Guardians of the Galaxy - Movie Review


5 stars

The summer of 2014 will probably go down as the box office that wasn’t. The films – while profitable – are nowhere near what industry insiders want to hear from the summer months. Other than two films, I can think of no tentpole films that were released this summer. While next summer seems suddenly crammed with must-see films, this summer was a giant letdown. Until now. One film has made up for a lackluster summer. One film, ushering in the end of the summer and the return of school, makes it all okay. Guardians of the Galaxy is that film. Widescreen, small screen, in 3D or 2D, I don’t care how you see it, it must be seen. For all those who do enter under its banner, greatness awaits.

Guardians of the Galaxy is the biggest and weirdest gamble from Kevin Feige and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some wrote it off upon its announcement. Others – upon finding out that James Gunn of Slither and Super fame would be directing – thought his deranged sensibilities might work with its eccentric cast of characters, including Chris Pratt’s space jockey Peter Quill, Zoe Saldana’s green Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Bradley Cooper voicing the gun-crazy Rocket Raccoon, and Vin Diesel lending his pipes to the tree-creature Groot. Either way, the message was sent that Marvel wasn’t playing it safe.

Winking all the way, Guardians of the Galaxy is an absolute blast of space age silliness and death-defying action. It is as colorful as the irreverent comic book and as sly. There is a supple note of sincerity to its charming ambitions as an adventure flick that cannot be stressed enough. It’s also got white-haired Benicio del Toro as Marvel's newest villain, The Collector, and Josh Brolin as Thanos; a surprise bit of casting revealed at this year’s Comic-Con. The story, co-written by Gunn and Nicole Perlman, Marvel’s first female screenwriter, is a splashy and, in spite of a talking raccoon, extremely relatable affair.

In a screenplay that changes Peter Quill’s background (for the better) as a kidnapped child from Missouri instead of an astronaut, his childhood trinkets (the Walkman and etc.) are all he really has to remember his earth-based origins. And it is the music that brings forth so many exciting moments that it practically becomes a theme as these ragamuffin renegades team up for a showdown involving a powerful orb and the menace it baits to the entire cosmos.    This is the story at its core and, I feel, to go any deeper is to ruin most of the surprises it has in store for its audience. It is both uproarious and fearless and, with a kind heart at its center, Guardians of the Galaxy will not disappoint even the most casual of Marvel fans.

From Glenn Close to Rob Zombie, the movie has its eccentricities covered. There is no letdown in the action as the team learns the ins and outs of the galaxy and each other. We zip along from one crisis to the next as the team confronts the Sakaaran (no Planet Hulk is not on the horizon, so cool it), the monstrous Ronan (Lee Pace), and a mysterious inmate (Nathan Fillion) all the while Quill sings the praises of Kevin Bacon in Footloose and tries to romance Gamora. A true child of the 1980’s, remember?

There is a nice balance throughout the film. Call it cosmic, if you will. For every ounce of humor squeezed, there is an equal ounce of character and heroics to match. Cheeky as it is, this is an action adventure flick for the ages. How it is even possible that Marvel continues to top themselves is beyond me. Guardians of the Galaxy is delightfully zany and - chockfull of expressive new landscapes such as the one found on Morag – outrageously interstellar. Like no other Marvel film before it, Gunn’s picture is where pop culture meets its comic book counterpoint and the irony is lost on no one.

A New Hope arrives with Guardians of the Galaxy.


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Guardians of the Galaxy - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language.
121 mins
: James Gunn
Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper
: Sci-fi | Advetnure
When things get bad, they'll do their worst.
Memorable Movie Quote: "We've already established that you destroying the ship I'm on is not saving me!"
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Official Site: http://marvel.com/guardians
Release Date:
August 1, 2014
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available
Synopsis: In the far reaches of space, an American pilot named Peter Quill finds himself the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb coveted by the villainous Ronan.


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