A marvelous time: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ - The Explorer: Livenup

A marvelous time: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

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Posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:00 am | Updated: 8:54 am, Thu Aug 14, 2014.

Not since 1977 have such an unlikely handful of misfits stepped forward to save the universe from evil.  Taking a page straight out of the original “Star Wars” (or Episode IV: New Hope) playbook, “Guardians of the Galaxy” delivers a fast-paced story combining camaraderie, humor and even some sexual tension between the main characters.  This richly talented group comes together to make “Guardians of the Galaxy” a funny, playful and marvelous summer hit.

The film stars Chris Pratt (“The LEGO Movie”) as Peter Quill—or Star-Lord as he prefers to be called—who was abducted from Earth as a young boy and has now become a space scavenger.  One valuable item Quill attempts to pawn is a mysterious ball-shaped Orb, which if placed in the wrong hands could doom the entire universe.  Quill, through circumstance, finds himself teamed up with a small group of other outcasts; a green chick Gamora (Zoe Saldana) who’d make Star Trek’s Captain Kirk smile, a witty street smart raccoon named Rocket (Bradley Cooper), mammoth Drax the Destroyer (played by wrestling star David Bautista) and a tree-like human (Vin Diesel).  

Director James Gunn does a remarkable job keeping the film’s focus on the budding rapport between the “Guardians”, never taking viewers too far away from their memorable laugh lines and wonderful screen chemistry.  Any exposure to the film’s villain, Ronan the Accuser, or other mayhem is limited and directed solely at presenting further challenges to Quill and his newfound friends.  Additionally, although computer-generated imagery appears throughout the movie, Gunn never relies on stunning visual effects or action scenes to overshadow the well-written script perfectly delivered by its stars.  The result is an excellent tribute to American pop-culture, music soundtracks from the 1970s and good people triumphing over bad.

As starkly different as every character is in the movie, “Guardians of the Galaxy” also breaks the mold to feel very distinct from any other Marvel Studios film.  While “Guardians of the Galaxy” may not have the look of a comic book superhero action flick, this movie is easily one of the best so far in the Marvel collection. 

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is this summer’s funniest movie.  This charming space adventure leaves audiences laughing with it’s fun, but quirky, style and deadpan humor.  The quintet’s banter will remind viewers of a long time ago in a galaxy, far, far away, with Han Solo, Princess Leia and other unusual, but funny characters.  “Guardians of the Galaxy” now stands as the flagship of the Marvel franchise.  Be sure to stay for the movie credits to see that no raccoons or tree creatures were harmed during the making of this film—and to a get a preview of upcoming Marvel Studio talent.

Grade: A

(Editor’s Note: Patrick King is a resident of Oro Valley and writer for the REEL BRIEF movie blog at www.reelbrief.com.  You may email him at reelbriefmoviereviews@mail.com)

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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