If you really want to see a totally ass-kicking space fantasy adventure movie that is well-written and produced, with characters you care about from start to finish, then go see Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Based on the Marvel comic of the same name, it’s the action flick of the year, hands-down.
Peter Quill, aka Star Lord (Chris Pratt) has found a mysterious orb that holds the key to the salvation – or destruction – of an entire planet and the race of people who live on it. Chased by the henchmen of Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and with a bounty on his head, he encounters Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a killer raised by the mysterious character Thanos (Josh Brolin), as well as Rocket (Bradley Cooper), a self-aware raccoon who’s the product of genetic experimentation. Rocket’s accomplice is the giant enigmatic plant-being Groot (Vin Diesel), whose vocabulary is seemingly limited to the three words “I am Groot.” Arrested by Nova HQ and sentenced to prison, the group encounters Drax the Destroyer (David Bautista), whose family was killed by Ronan, and who has sworn to avenge their deaths.
In prison together, they hatch a plan to break out and sell the orb to another buyer known as The Collector (Benicio del Toro). But Ronan and his forces, along with a group of space pirates led by Quill’s longtime mentor Yondu (Michael Rooker) are all after the orb for their own ends, and frankly, to say anything more would be to say too much, and I’ve already dropped enough spoilers.
Let me just say this: I haven’t had this much fun at a movie – or cheered more loudly for its unlikely cast of misfit protagonists – since the opening of the original Star Wars in 1977, and I do not say that lightly. I was a wide-eyed kid back then, and Star Wars instilled a passion for sci-fi action that I haven’t lost since. I have used that film as the yardstick by which I have measured all others of the space fantasy genre, including, of course, the rest of the Star Wars saga. Guardians of the Galaxy matches it blow for blow. The action is intense, the screenplay is well written, the characters move the story along beautifully, and the music takes center stage without detracting from the story, action, or characters. The music, in fact, could almost be described as its own standalone character, hovering in the background, as essential to the story as the characters themselves.
Bottom line? Go see Guardians of the Galaxy while it’s still in the theaters. Unless you have specific issues with the medium – and I understand if you do – go ahead and spend the extra few dollars it costs for a matinee in 3D. Believe me, it is well worth it.
Or, you can hold out for yet another boring Hollywood remake or sequel with a bunch of cardboard character cutouts and a plethora of meaningless violence and special effects meant to make you part with your hard-earned dollars for a minimum of entertainment value. The choice is entirely yours. Frankly, I’m going back to see Guardians next weekend. In 3D. I haven’t done that in years.
Be sure to check out our own Famous Monster’s review of the film as well.