[Movie Review] 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is Summer's Funnest Ride
Guardians of the Galaxy is the most fun you will have at the movies this summer. with a visually unique adventure through space alongside a hilarious and oddly relatable team of intergalactic misfits, a must-see spectacle almost overflowing with heart.
Guardians is the latest film from Marvel Studios, but this is no superhero movie, but rather the kind of kid-friendly yet undeniably adult-cool film that would have been right at home in the hands of 1980s-era Spielberg or Lucas.
The opening scene is heartbreaking, but it sets the tone early on, signaliing that this movie may make you feel a little more than the expected pounding in your chest from on screen explosions. Instead, you’ll feel for young Peter Quill, and you’ll find quick relief when he resurfaces as an adult on a very Indiana Jones-type mission to recover an important artifact from some distant planet.
Oh, and Peter likes to be called “Star-Lord”, for reasons that are initially unclear, other than it sounds really cool. But don’t think it won’t be explained by the end of the film, because where Guardians succeeds best is in brining all the seemingly unftting pieces together to form something ultimately greater than the sum of its parts.
If you like Chris Pratt on NBC’s Parks and Recreation or in any of the small but memorable comedic film roles he’s had so far, you will love watching him become a bonafide movie star right in front of your eyes as Star-Lord.
Zoe Saldana proved she can play a fiercly tough blue-skinned alien in the megahit Avatar, and she does it again in Guardians, only this time as the green-skinned assassin Gamora, more than holding her own in a universe that exudes attitude.
I was especially impressed by Karen Gillan (Dr. Who), who provides Saldana’s perfect rival, as Nebula, the equally badass blue-skinned bald sister of Gamora and daughter of future Avengers bad guy Thanos. If anyone is spewing more attitude than Gamora, it’s her even more bitter sister. I have a good feeling this film won’t be the last time we see Nebula in action.
Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead) gets a lot to chew on and makes the most of it as the ruthless bounty hunter who originally abducted Star-Lord from Earth when he was a boy. Director James Gunn gives Rooker free reign to dominate each scene he’s in, and the well rounded actor does so with obvious relish.
Pro wrestler Dave Batista plays the tattooed Drax the Destroyer, and again, he is suprisingly funny in the role, especially because Drax takes everything everyone says completely literally, to often laugh out loud effect.
Rounding the the team is Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) as the voice of the genetically enhanced racoon smartmouth Rocket, and Vin Diesel (Fast and Furious) as the lovable living tree Groot.
While the cast is great, and the eyepopping aliens and other worlds are simply astounding, it’s the way Gunn weaves in so much darn fun, including a purely awesome air chase sequence that reminded me of watching Princess Leia flying through the trees of Endor in Return of the Jedi and made me feel like a kid watching it.
You will smile, you will laugh, and you will cheer near the end, when the words “Guardians of the Galaxy” are first spoken, and when that heartbreaking opening comes neatly full circle, you might just shed a tear.
The Galaxy has not been this much fun since Luke Skywalker hooked up with Han Solo, and these new Guardians have their own unique ride to take you on, and it is truly out of this world awesome.
Official Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Matt Artz
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Guardians of the Galaxy (rated PG13) is now playing at R/C KDH Movies 10 in Kill Devil Hills, and at The Pioneer Sept. 5-11.