Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
James Gunn directs the latest movie in the Marvel franchise. Here, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) partners with a group of criminal misfits in preventing Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) in destroying a planet inhabited by billions of extraterrestrial beings. Peter teams up with Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper). While the team’s initial meeting at a prison for high level criminals isn’t exactly a pleasant encounter, their desire to escape is what essentially fuels and propels the characters in uniting and forming the goofy, yet formidable “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Gamora is lethal assassin and adoptive daughter of Thanos, a god-like destroyer of worlds. Her empathy for the beings that will be destroyed if Ronan is successful in his quest is what leads her to betray her “father.” Drax is seeking vengeance for his family’s death and Rocket is seeking a bountiful reward. Unlike other Marvel movies, this one essentially occurs in space and as a result lends to some splendid visual effects. While the core plot of the movie isn’t terribly original, what I found striking is the level of humanity and spunk not often expressed in this genre. This is not your typical comic book movie and I’m thankful for that.
The interlude of classic songs (from Quill’s cassette tape) often leads to some of the best and hilarious scenes in the movie. Admittedly, I had never heard of these characters and when I first saw the trailer several months ago I thought to myself that this would be an absolute disaster at the box office. Well folks, I was wrong. This film is a solid entry to the franchise. It provides a firm foundation for a sequel (of which was announced before the movie’s premiere). My only qualms with the film is that in many respects it’s the same stuff from past films and I wish they’d spend a bit more time educating us on our heroes, especially since they aren’t as well-known as say Iron Man.
My favorite characters in the movie probably are Rocket and Groot. Rocket definitely has the best lines and Groot has the single best line in the entire movie (which he often repeats). There are some instances of jokes that only adults would (should) understand. There are a few spots of violent outbursts that may not be appropriate for young children. The movie is PG-13 after all. I think this film warrants to be seen in theaters and is one that would be a good choice to see in IMAX. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
*There is a short clip post credits.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action and for some language)
Running Time: 122 minutes
My Grade: B
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