REVIEW: Marvel’s space opera “Guardians of the Galaxy,” now in theaters, tells the story of a group of rebels and criminals who come together to save the galaxy. With a band of misfits, Marvel has found some fortuitous heroes.
By James A. Molnar
Marvel’s space opera “Guardians of the Galaxy,” now in theaters, tells the story of a group of rebels and criminals who come together to save the galaxy.
Chris Pratt plays misfit ringleader Peter Quill aka Star-Lord, giving a breakout action performance.
Star-Lord, a galaxy-traveling thief, leads a cast of characters that includes alien assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a one-phrased tree (“I am Groot,” voiced by Vin Diesel), talking raccoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and burly tattooed convict Drax The Destroyer (wrestler Dave Bautista).
These are not the Avengers, but they aren’t trying to be. This group of “Guardians,” as they call themselves, is just a means to end. They work together, but each has goals and want autonomy.
Some are driven by revenge — others, money. Saving the galaxy from lurking evil is not a top priority.
While this storyline is set in the same Marvel universe as the superheroes audiences have come to know and love — a recent one being Captain America, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is set in a galaxy far, far away.
Some plot points of the general Marvel story arch come into play, but viewers unfamiliar with the preceding movies and storylines won’t be too confused. Most of the characters introduced in this movie have not been seen before. Only comic book aficionados will know these guardians, introduced in a 1969 issue of “Marvel Super-Heroes” and more recently in 2008.
Putting this disparate group together in an offbeat movie is a risk that pays off.
Kudos to writer-director James Gunn, along with writer Nicole Perlman and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, for making this work on the big screen.
It entertains until the final frame and it’s also funny, having more laughs than most comedies this summer. And the ’70s-inspired soundtrack is a great companion to this movie that harkens back to great space operas like “Star Wars,” “Star Trek” and “The Fifth Element.”
The two-hour runtime flies by with great visuals and okay 3-D.
With a band of misfits, Marvel has found some fortuitous heroes.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language.