Guardians of the Galaxy

What a pleasure it is to write this review. I attended the first showing (not a press screening) at a Friday matinee, and the theater in downtown Seattle was PACKED. (People have to pay for parking down here!) Director James Gunn ("Slither") has a nice feel for humor. When I saw that this science fiction action adventure would feature a machine-gun toting raccoon, I knew I would have fun; I just didn't realize how much! I heard the audience laugh out loud more often than I have heard in the movies in a long time!

Screenwriters James Gunn and Nichole Perlman have given us a great PG-13 script based on comic books by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, so this is a different type of Marvel superhero film (but Stan Lee makes his requisite cameo!). For example, one of the characters described tough guys, "Like Bonnie and Clyde, Billy the Kid, John Stamos..."

Chris Pratt has been on my radar since the 2002-2006 "Everwood," so watching his gradual rise has been very satisfying. Besides, he's from Lake Stevens, Washington and his wife is from this neck of the woods, too. Way to go! In fact, many of the actors in this one have registered with me. In this review, I've listed an early work for each actor that I personally have seen.

Between live action and voices, here are a few we appreciate:
  • Chris Pratt ("What's Your Number?") Peter Quill/Star Lord steals an orb which of course turns out to be the cause célèbre for the entire film. So now he's really in for it! BTW, he speaks Terran, e.g., "Dude," and "Bro" but eventually he has his heroic moment and it works out well.
  • Lee Pace ("The Fall") Ronan the Accuser is hot on the trail of the fellow who stole that orb and wants it so he can rule the universe.
  • Zoë Saldana ("Centerstage") Gamora comes to Peter's rescue AFTER she tries to kill him in an early, funny battle of gadgets. He tells her the folktale of a god on Terra named Kevin Bacon who taught earthlings how to dance; his religion was called "Foot- loose." She rejects his dance lessons, calling them "pelvic sorcery."
  • Bradley Cooper ("New York, I Love You") Rocket Raccoon steals the movie. Between the dialogue, the vocal work and the wonder- ful animation, there is not a weak element to this character. He is selfish, smart and supremely confident. He doesn't like to share.... AND he is easily exasperated.
  • Vin Diesel ("Find Me Guilty") Groot always joins the conversation but all he ever says is, "I am Groot." Rocket is his only friend and Groot is a steadfast friend in return.
  • Dave Bautista ("Riddick") Strongman Drax claims he is so fast he can catch a metaphor before it goes over his head.
The sound track is worthy of mention because we are hearing music from a mix tape our hero's dying mother gave him on Earth before he was kidnapped into space 20 years ago. He's been living outside the law ever since, he flies sort of a Millennium Falcon type ship. The CGI is necessary to the plot, as is all the blowie uppie stuff. At least these elements are broken up with funny moments.

Some scenes are really touching, many lines are very funny, the plot is (barely) solid enough, and the audience went home happily entertained. We got our money's worth and that's what it's all about.
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Take a peek:
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