Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Stars: 5 out of 5
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.)

If you are like me and have no real idea who the Guardians of the Galaxy are, don't miss your chance to find out.  This is a fun movie that will entertain everyone who goes to watch it.

This is an entry in the 2014 Funny Pages Write-Off.


  1. I went to see it again today - I had like 6 hours between 2 work related classes today and I didn't want to drive all the way home between..so I saw it again. It is just as awesome the second time.
    Oh, did you know that Nathan Fillion did a voice for a character?

    1. The friend I saw it with (also a Castle fan), mentioned it to me during the credits. I had to look up who it was later, however.

      I haven't bought any of the Marvel movies, but I might make an exception for this one. It really is that fun.

    2. I knew ahead of time and I still wasn't completely sure who he did the voice for until I saw the end credits.

      I have all of them. Though I can't seem to find Incredible Hulk at the moment..it is not on the shelf where it is supposed to be and that is annoying me because I wanted to do a Marvel movie marathon.

    3. I hate it when something is misplaced when you really want it. So very annoying.

    4. Yes it is. It is annoying enough if I notice that a movie or season of a tv show or a book isn't where I thought it was when I'm getting something else or dusting or whatever. But when I specifically want that movie or book and I can't find it...it drives me nuts until I find it. I looked again today and I still can't find it. Maybe it got sucked to the other dimension with the socks that disappear in the dryer.

  2. I'm debating on whether to see it again just because it was that fun. I know I probably will. I'm impressed that Marvel took a chance on unknown characters.

    1. I'll probably wait until it hits DVD, but I definitely plan to see it again.

      It was a risk going with unknown characters, but right now, I think Marvel can take those risks and people will go see it. Now if they start making bad movies, they'll stop taking these risks.


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