Pros: A fun story expertly paced with great laughs throughout
Cons: Mostly the language for me
The Bottom Line:
This film is a blast
Will the galaxy be saved?
Fun the whole way through
"There's One Other Name You May Know Me By - Star Lord." "Who?"
I haven't made it to the theaters much this year. Part of it is I've just gotten lazy, and part of it is how expensive they have gotten. As a result, Guardians of the Galaxy was on my list to see, but I was planning to wait for the DVD. That is until a friend asked me if I wanted to see it with him. I'm glad I changed my mind because it was a lot of fun.
Our story follows Peter Quinn, aka Star Lord, (Chris Pratt) a rogue retriever (or thief and smuggler depending on who you ask) who has headed out on his own to retrieve a sphere from a mysterious planet. However, by double crossing the rest of his retriever clan, they now want to punish him. Meanwhile, other people show up to try to get it from him.
The result is a chase across space and a fight when he tries to sell this sphere. See, it turns out that the sphere is actually wanted in an intergalactic ethnic fight, and it could help one side destroy the other. With so much on the line, Quinn must team up with the very people he was just fighting against, including assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket the Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), to break out of prison and get the sphere into the right hands. Can this new team learn to trust each other enough to succeed?
Having never even heard of these characters until I started hearing about the movie, I didn't really know what to expect. But before I even got into the theater, I'd started hearing great things about it. They were all correct.
Even without any background going into the film, I thought it did a great job of giving us the background we needed to fill in the pieces of the story. I don't have all the species names quite down, but I could easily follow which side the characters were on, so it was easy to root for the heroes and against the villains.
The movie never bogs down in exposition. The characters are introduced and the background given as the story unfolds. While it meant I had to pay close attention early on to get everything, I found it entertaining throughout.
The characters are wonderful. Over the course of the film, we get to know our five heroes quite well, and I like them and the relationships they form. While I didn't quite feel the emotion we were supposed to at the end, that was a minor quibble.
Meanwhile, there's the wonderful humor. There are tons of funny one liners, and at times even a character's expression got a laugh from me and the rest of the audience.
The acting was great as well. Whether an actual actor or just a voice actor, there was not a false moment to take you out of the fun.
Likewise with the action and special effects. Two of the main characters are computer generated. The movie is set in space. Plus there are several action sequences. Never once did I stop to think about what I was watching; instead, I was pulled into the story and enjoyed every second of it.
Because Peter left Earth in the late 80's, he's got a cassette tape of music from the 70's and 80's. This forms the basis of the soundtrack, and the producers use it perfectly to reflect the mood and draw even more laughs from the audience.
My one complaint was the crude language. It wasn't swearing as much as it was other off color words. I'm not quite sure why it bothered me so much here, but it did. Just be aware of the PG-13 rating going in and you'll be fine. (The rating also comes from the violence, which was about what I expected.)