Guardians of the Galaxy

Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                I was in the theater when I first saw promos for Guardians of the Galaxy.  I vaguely remembered that it was a title from Marvel Comics, but that's not why I decided that I wanted to see the movie.  It wasn't even the action, the comedic moments or the big name stars associated with the film that made me want to see it in theaters.  No, what made me want to see the film was the talking raccoon.  That's right, a talking raccoon made me want to pay good money to see Guardians of the Galaxy.  Thank goodness that wasn't all the film had to offer.

                Based on characters from the Marvel Comics' superhero comic books series, Guardians of the Galaxy takes audiences back to the very beginning...back to before Peter Quill had any notion of how important he would become to the galaxy.  We meet Quill as a six-year-old in 1988.  Grieving the loss of his mother, Quill is abducted by aliens right outside the hospital in which she died.  Flash forward twenty-six years later, and we meet an adult Quill (Chris Pratt), a member of a group of space pirates known as the Ravagers

                The adult version of Quill has been living with the Ravagers since the abduction and has decided it is time to strike out on his own.  Searching for and finding an orb coveted by many, Quill basically cheats his benefactors out of their own commission.  Unfortunately, Peter Quill has no idea what he has gotten himself into.  Thanos, a titan with dreams of ruling the entire galaxy, wants the orb so he can control/destroy whole planets at will.  His adopted daughter, an assassin named Gamora (Zoe Saldana) offers to retrieve the orb.

                After attempting to steal it from Quill gets Gamora lands her in prison with Quill, a genetically engineered raccoon turned bounty hunter named Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and his tree-like partner Groot (Vin Deisel), Gamora reveals that she had no intention of turning the orb over to Thanos and was trying to sell it in an effort to obtain enough money to break free from his hold.  Escaping prison with the help of Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), a powerful warrior seeking revenge against Thanos and his fanatical Cree enforcer Ronan (Lee Pace), the group takes the orb to Gamora's contact.  But once they learn just what the orb can do, they realize that they can never let something that powerful fall into Thanos' hands.

                On the run from Quill's former associates, the law, and Thanos' henchmen, can the five unlikely heroes keep the galaxy safe from the likes of Thanos and Ronin and the destructive energy kept inside the orb?

                The promos of Guardians of the Galaxy were enough to tell me that the movie wasn't going to be one of those seriously dramatic types of superhero films.  I knew that it would be heavy with comedy, but would it be the stupidly funny variety or the witty type?  I have to say that there is a little of both in the film, but I've never laughed so loudly and so often during a superhero film and could still say it's a winner. 

                That's because each of the main characters of Guardians of the Galaxy have endearing qualities that make you fall in love with them.  From Groot's sweet nature to Gamora's sense of morality to Rocket's tough exterior covering a kind heart, these characters make you root for them, hoping that these unlikely heroes will come out on top over the bad guys.  Add to that the awesome action scenes, including hand-to-hand combat, shootouts and space battles, an awesome soundtrack filled with songs that I grew up listening to, great chemistry between the actors, great cinematography and digital effects and you have a solid comedy action feature.

                And, of course, there will be a sequel.  Especially after we learn the secret behind Peter Quill's abduction all those years ago.   I can't wait to check it out!

                A word of caution - just when you think the movie is over and the credits are about to start running, there is a great scene you won't want to miss.  It's not a preview of the next film or anything, but it is cute and funny and worth checking out.  What's not worth waiting for: the scene after the credits roll, one I found incredibly disappointing.

                I've been telling every one of my fellow movie enthusiasts that they simply have to check out Guardians of the Galaxy.  No, it's not your dramatic superhero film, but haven't we been bombarded with enough of those?  Guardians of the Galaxy is a hellofalot of fun and well worth the cost of a movie ticket, which is something that we don't find very often these days.  Go see it - you won't be disappointed!


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