The unlikeliest of odd-ball heroes-to-be gell together nicely in what would have to be one of the most irreverent, infectious, wackiest and cheekiest blockbusters to come our way in years.
The characters and plot sound like something from a crazy dream. The kind you have while sleeping off a bottle of tequila complete with the accompanying ass kicking when you wake up.
We’re talking a sultry green alien assassin. A boyishly-handsome bandit who loves old songs and not afraid to break out in a dance if he so feels like it. A gun-toting, talking raccoon and his tree muscleman Groot whose vocab is limited to, “I am Groot!”. A big red bad ass of a brute intent on revenge and covered with decorative scars and wielding long knives! It must be a dream, right? Well, it isn’t. It’s Marvel Studios’ new movie, Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Story: Follow It If You Can!
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) aka Starlord is a space bandit who travels to the ruins of a desolate planet in search of an alien orb of which he hasn’t the foggiest idea as to it’s importance. You know you’re in for a different kind of movie experience when he listens to some old classics on his cassette player as he dances his way toward his destination.
Though he runs into some trouble he returns to civilization in possession of the orb but finds himself pursued by the deadly assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and the sentient raccoon named Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and his extraterrestrial Ent bodyguard, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel.) After making quite the commotion they are arrested and thrown into an intergalactic prison.
It’s not long before they join forces and pull off an entertaining prison break with the help of a big red bruiser called Drax the Destroyer (wrestler Dave Bautista.) Part of the escape plan affords Rocket a good chuckle as he had sent Quill on a bizarre mission that was completely unnecessary!
The rest of the story revolves around the alien orb that contains one of the precious infinity stones. A lot of people have it on their mind. Ronan (Lee Pace) is the villain intent on getting the orb so as to trade it with the evil Thanos (a performance-captured appearance by Josh Brolin.) In return, Thanos will destroy the Xandarians who Ronan hates.
Quill’s boyhood kidnapper and father-figure of sorts, the marauder Yondu (a wonderfully delicious performance by the scene stealing Michael Rooker) along with his army of mercenaries are also after it to sell it to the highest bidder regardless of the consequences.
The Collector (Benicio del Toro) we saw at the very end of Thor: The Dark World makes an appearance here offering Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and her companions an astronomical sum of money for the alien device. He explains to them what the mysterious orb is causing them to do an about face on the deal much to the dismay of Rocket. They realize that the orb in the wrong hands could have terrible consequences.
There is humor running throughout this movie like a vein of gold. The lumbering tree Groot says, “I am Groot” with different inflections to convey what it wants to say. These are completely understood by his companion Rocket but no one else.
The beefy juggernaut Drax the Destroyer takes everything so literally. Metaphors and idioms baffle him. His fearsome appearance and deadpan seriousness can’t help but make it funny.
There is also humor that comes from far-left field which takes you by surprise and quite frankly are worth the price of the movie ticket alone. There’s no way I’m spoiling that for you.
Where the movie shines for me though is that these characters abandon their mistrust for one another and become family-like and inseparable. Who would have thought that amid the chaotic mix of elements in the movie that it would in the end have a heart.
As I stumbled out of the theater I didn’t quite know what to make of what I just saw. It defies you to take it seriously and yet beckons you to chill out and come along for the ride. The movie definitely has it’s own charms. Wit, warmth, humor and even the odd moment of tenderness.
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