Guardians of the Galaxy is truly one of the most fun movies ever made. It starts off like a typical rural drama with a young boy involved in a family situation, but quickly turns into an alien abduction, then becomes an interstellar romp filled with conflicts among alien individuals, species, and civilizations. It is quite epic in scope, with the fate of planets in peril hanging on the actions of a rag-tag assemblage of five totally different individual characters from vastly unique backgrounds who unite to stop a truly sinister menace.
It may frequently remind you of Star Wars, but it’s way more Buckaroo Banzai than Star Trek. That’s not a bad thing for this corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a fun flavor infused throughout this outer space thrill ride.
The 3D version gives warmth and depth to the experience but doesn’t overwhelm the senses. It puts you right in the action, adding without distracting (as some uses of the 3D technique do). It’s an appropriate and justified aspect of storytelling without becoming a nuisance.
Without giving away spoilers, the story focuses on Peter Quill (known as Star-Lord). He is somewhat of a Hans Solo/Mal Reynolds type space cowboy looking for deals to fund his lifestyle of interplanetary adventure and romance. Chris Pratt is perfect in the role, effusively charming and built like a brawler. He captivates you with his earnest joy of life and sincere desire to do the right thing, all the while having fun doing it.
Two CGI characters, Rocket and Groot, have captured the imagination of fans of the ongoing comic book series. Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) is a genetically modified and cybernetically enhanced being who may have started life as a raccoon, but is so much more. He’s a weapons expert and electronics whiz. Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) is an alien plant-based life form, basically a super tree. He speaks only three words, “I am Groot,” but shifts in intonation give them a wide range of meanings, which Rocket understands.
Drax the Destroyer and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) complete the Guradians. They seek to stop Ronan the Accuser who threatens to destroy a planet while in the employ of Thanos, adoptive father of Gamora and Nebula (Karen Gillan).
Music pulls the story together in a way unlike any other film in recent memory, topping off the smash of the summer. You’ll be dancing in your seats to the jams of the ‘70s and early ‘80s on Peter’s ‘Awesome Mix, Vol. One.’ By the end of the movie, you’ll be thoroughly entertained and eager for ‘Volume Two.’ And yes, the sequel will be in theatres in 2016.
Guardians of the Galaxy runs 122 minutes, and is rated PG-13 (for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language). See it now at your local Carmike Cinema.