It's crazy to think that a film with a tree and raccoon from outer space would be one of the buzziest films of 2014. Since Disney's decision to bring Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy to the big screen the reaction from many was simple. Who? The Guardians are third tier heroes of the Marvel Universe, but the Mouse recognized the potential with the space heroes devoted following from present day comic readers. I would go as far to say Guardians of the Galaxy is the most talked about Marvel movie since The Avengers, because of the unique fringe characters unknown to the general public. The Avengers are a great team, but Guardians of the Galaxy proves the "Other Guys" can be just as entertaining with a whole lot more personality.
Guardians of the Galaxy is part superhero, Western and comedy film wrapped up in a huge space odyssey, which will remind some of the first Star Wars film in 1977. Imagine if Han Solo ditched Luke and Obi-Wan and decided to hang with the alien scum from Chalmun's Cantina on Tatooine - NOW you have Guardians of the Galaxy. Chris Pratt takes the lead and his first steps towards superstardom as Peter Quill, or as he likes to call himself Star-Lord. Pratt takes over the screen as the goofy space outlaw who comes into possession of a relic that everyone in the Marvel universe wants for themselves. Pratt is able to balance the action and laughs perfectly in what will end up being a career defining role for the actor.
Pratt's not the only one getting to shine in Guardians of the Galaxy. Zoe Saldana as Gamora proves once again she can play the strong female role, while still showing her soft side as a villain trying to go straight. Gamora has daddy issues with here adoptive father, Thanos, who no longer sits with his back to the audience in Guardians of the Galaxy. Dave Bautista has the ideal physique for the role of Drax and come to find out, the pro wrestler excels at deadpan humor. We all knew Bautista could pull off being a dominant physical presence on film, but who would have expected Drax to create some of the biggest laughs in Guardians of the Galaxy?! Not this critic.
As for the two characters that have garnered the most intrigue, Groot and Rocket. The living tree and genetically engineered creature that resembles a raccoon are the scene stealers of Guardians of the Galaxy. Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) is the muscle of the group, but is also the heart - even if he can only say "I am Groot". Just like Chewie in Star Wars, we know what he's saying even if we don't speak his simple language. Rocket is brought to life by two-time Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper. Cooper gives Rocket the swagger he needs to make the audience believe a raccoon could be one the coolest superheroes in the Marvel film universe. Groot and Rocket are without a doubt the breakout characters of the summer of 2014.
Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel's version of a Genre Buster. It's a huge space epic that's full of big laughs with a lot more heart than one would think for a movie with trees, raccoons and pro wrestlers. This group of heroes that are completely different from any super team we have ever seen before. A bunch of ruthless misfits that might just end up saving the world. Guardians of the Galaxy will be fun for anyone (Not Just Comic Book Fans) who like to experience a film that has multiple themes mixing together from comedy to Sci-Fi into a crowd pleasing space epic with a killer soundtrack that sets the tone for the film. Going forward I don't think anyone will be asking "Who?" when the Guardians of the Galaxy are mentioned.
Overall, I give Guardians of the Galaxy 3.5 out 4 stars.
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