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Shrewsbury, Massachusetts- Who are the Guardians of the Galaxy? That was the question everyone was asking when Marvel announced the project way back two years ago. A set of characters that no one, not even most comic book fans, were aware of. A talking raccoon and walking tree? What is that all about? Then the first trailer was released and people starting getting a sense of the tongue-in-cheek direction that a lot of people got on board with. But there was still a lot to risk. Now in its, opening weekend, the official verdict can come in.
Peter Quill, alias Star-Lord (at least that’s what he likes to call himself) nabs a mysterious McGuffin orb that thrusts him into an unexpected journey. It causes him to cross paths with the assassin Gamora, the bounty hunters Rocket and Groot, and Drax the Destroyer. Though they have their differences, they decide to band together to protect the orb and the universe from Ronan the Accuser. They are not the likeliest of heroes, but they are the Guardians of the Galaxy.
This movie should be a disaster. This movie is Marvel’s biggest risk and they made a canyon-sized leap in green lighting this film and they stuck the landing. It’s remarkable to see how much of Guardians of the Galaxy works as a unit. Equal parts funny, exciting, and heartfelt, director/writer James Gunn has crafted an engrossing and enjoyable blockbuster.
The film is loaded with actors who completely commit to the characters they’ve been given. Chris Pratt proves to be a perfect leading man in this film as Star Lord. Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista provide excellent and more serious foils to Pratt as Gamora and Drax. Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel bring some stunning voice acting to the proceedings and Rocket and Groot, who are real scene stealers. A lot of other talented actors like John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Lee Pace, and Josh Brolin.
The film isn’t without its problems though. With so many characters to try and introduce and explain, the movie breezes through some of the character development. Guardians spends a little more time on the action that gets butts in seats over some more explanation as to the Guardians themselves. There are moments when they reveal bits of their past, but they at times feel shoehorned in when it seems convenient to care.
These are only minor foibles because for every fault the film has, it makes up for it in other ways. Even though we’ve just met them, it’s hard not to like the Guardians as a unit because they instantly gel with one another. By going very snide with its humor and acknowledging the absurdity of its premise, Guardians presents its immaturity with pride and it’s hard not to get on board. It’s stupid, childish, and absurd, but that’s what makes it so great. It’s saying “I know this is bonkers, but why not sit back and enjoy the ride with us?” It’s not quite the best movie that Marvel’s made, but it is certainly the most fun one yet.
Guardians of the Galaxy is playing in cinemas everywhere.