Synopsis:From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team-the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits-Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand-with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. – (Source)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92% (Critics) / 96% (Audience)
Directed By: James Gunn
Written By: James Gunn and Nicole Perlman
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista and Lee Pace
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
This cast was everything… Burt Macklin, Star-Lord was not something I ever knew I would enjoy but Chris Pratt is a great self-deprecating action hero who reminded me more than once of beloved FIREFLY character Mal Reynolds and the team itself harkened back to the crew from FARSCAPE…both of those are influences that automatically resonate with me. Pratt also had a nice chemistry with Zoe Saldana’s Gamora.
Whoever had the genius idea to get Bradley Cooper to voice Rocket needs a raise. Cooper’s amazing voice acting helped to make Rocket the breakout character of the movie. Not to be left out and coming in a close second for best scene stealer was Groot. From the Vin Diesel voice work to some of the best CGI I have seen lately, Groot was just great. And amazingly pro wrestler Dave Bautista showed a ton of charisma as Drax despite never being able to show any while working in the WWE.
This movie was also all James Gunn. You could feel his singular wit and distinctive filming style in every scene. Hopefully Marvel can keep him around or the inevitable sequels because I can’t see this franchise being the same without him. Just the look and feel from all of the world building he did is superb and would be hard for another director to duplicate.
Aside from Loki, Marvel is still striking out when it comes to memorable movie villains (Thanos doesn’t count since all he has done is grin menacingly and sit in a snazzy chair). Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser had potential but it was never fully met and the character descended to posing and pontificating more than anything else. The same goes for Karen Gillan’s Nebula who was most memorable to me in this film for her struggles to hide her natural accent.
I honestly don’t think that many of the younger folks in the audience I was in had a clue who the character was in the after-credits scene which makes me feel freaking ancient.
Final Verdict: At times thrilling, hysterical, goofy and endearing…GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is a perfect example of world building and yet another homerun from the Marvel movie house but this movie is so good that it’s connection to the greater Marvel cinematic universe is completely unnecessary. This is how I recall feeling when I first saw STAR WARS and it is pretty cool to have that sense of childlike wonder given back to me at my advanced age.