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Chaos In A Box
Guardians of the Galaxy
Movie Review
August 4, 2014

Directed by James Gunn

Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, and the voices of Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, and Josh Brolin.


Backstory
Well, when Marvel announced their Phase II of films, the curve ball that surprised everyone was Guardians of the Galaxy.  A much more recent comic (the incarnation seen in the film debuted in 2008), full of relatively obscure characters.  But still, there was hope.  Marvel had already established a good track record, and the space opera was one subgenre of superhero film that really hadn't been done yet.  It was time to venture into the outer regions of space for a comic book film.  So, then, is Guardians of the Galaxy a good introduction to the more cosmic aspects of the Marvel Universe? 

Plot
Peter Quill is abducted from Earth when he is just a child, and grows up to be part of a group of space pirates called the Ravagers.  Calling himself Star Lord, he eventually strikes out on his own to steal a priceless orb.  However, there are other forces at play who want that orb.  The warlord Thanos and his desciple Ronan the Accuser send Thanos's adopted daughter and assasin Gamora to retrieve it.  With a bounty now on Quill's head, two bounty hunters named Rocket -- a walking, talking racoon -- and Groot -- a tree that can only say "I Am Groot," are hunting down Quill.  When all four get in a scuffle, they're thrown into a prison called the Kyln, where they encounter Drax the Destroyer, who has sworn vengeance on Ronan for killing his wife and daughter.  Now, these five are forced to work together, unlock the secrets of the orb, and save the galaxy from the wrath of Ronan.  Will these five become the guardians of the galaxy that the galaxy needs?    

What I Liked
The music.  Oh dear God, the music.  The collection of rock and pop hits from the 1960s through the 1980s meshes with the outer space action in a beautiful, brilliant way.  Every character in the film is on fire.  The quips and the wisecracks are funny.  More hits than misses.  Rocket and Grooth steal the show.  And I was shocked to see Lee Pace as Ronan.  He's come a long way from being the Piemaker on Pushing Daisies.     

What I Didn't Like
So many characters, it only makes sense that some are going to get short shrift.  I felt like we could have spent more time Gamora and learning about her and what makes her tick.  Oh, and the plot is a tad formulaic.  Marvel's got their formula figured out by this point.

Final Assessment
Just a fun movie.  Lots of action, lots of humour.  Just fun.

3.5 Nibs



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Mark Sladen Cappis, 2014