With superhero movies being the annual norm come summertime, many audiences salivate at the very thought of seeing their favorite comic book characters portrayed on screen. The entertainment juggernaut that is Marvel has been riding this wave for over a decade and the results just keep getting better and better. Guardians of the Galaxy continues this popular trend and it is a sci-fi-action film that is as exciting as it is funny. Few films manage to capture that magical spirit but Guardians pulls it off in more ways than one.
The film focuses on Peter Quill (a.k.a. Star-Lord) played by Chris Pratt, a cocky half human/half alien braggart who gets into one sticky situation after the other. He gets tangled up in a plot to destroy the galaxy by the ruthless Thanos (Josh Brolin) when he steals a mysterious metal orb. Along the way, Quill reluctantly teams up with warrior Gamora (Zoe Saldana), muscle-bound Drax (Dave Bautista), wisecracking raccoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and tree-like creature Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). Together, these five misfits form the Guardians of the Galaxy and they take the viewer on one hell of a ride.
What makes Guardians so great is its terrific sense of fun. Every character is quirky and unique and the interactions between each of them are just sublime. From Quill’s oblivious hero (reminiscent of Hans Solo) to Drax’s very literal interpretation of common phrases to Gamora’s death stares, to Rocket’s rapid-fire quips to Groot’s gentle giant catchphrase “I am Groot”, what’s not to love?
Each of these actors knocks it out of the park, especially Pratt, who has made a fine transition from bumbling oaf on Parks and Recreation to chiseled leading man. The LEGO Movie certainly helped the man’s career and with a starring role in next year’s highly-anticipated Jurassic World, the young actor is definitely on something of a hot streak.
Director James Gunn (Slither, Super) has directed Guardians with expert precision and with such a heavy plot and so many technical aspects to stay on top of, it’s amazing that the man didn’t pass out from exhaustion. Then again, maybe he did at some point… Like the other highly successful Marvel team-up film The Avengers, Guardians is chock full of energy and high-octane action sequences. The action is actually perfectly balanced with the off-beat humor, creating a motion picture experience different from pretty much anything anyone’s ever seen before.
Rated PG-13, Guardians is the ideal summer blockbuster. The rating denotes that pretty much everyone and their grandmother can enjoy the film. The story and characters are all very cartoony and the action will dazzle even the most casual moviegoer. The visual effects are fast and furious and the acting, top notch. The plot is a bit confusing at times but that is to be expected in a film that is jam-packed and filled to the brim with interplanetary excitement. Guardians might very well be the best action film of the summer and definitely one of Marvel’s greatest cinematic achievements.