Review by David Adams
August 7, 2014
“We’re all losers,” says Peter Jason Quill (Chris Pratt), abducted by aliens when he was a boy. “We’ve all lost something – home, friends, family.” His new friends and family, who call themselves “Guardians of the Galaxy,” are a motley crew including four more misfits: green-skinned, double-agent Gamora (Zoe Saldana), revenge-seeking Drax (Dave Bautista), talking tree Groot (voice of Vin Diesel), and bio-engineered raccoon Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper). Together, they seek to keep Ronan (Lee Pace), leader of the nasty Kree, from possessing the Infinity Stone and dominating the galaxy.
Can Guardians save the galaxy? Does Groot expand his three-word vocabulary? What did Peter’s dying mother (Laura Haddock) leave him? Will you love the Guardians? I do.
Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana are entertaining as they play – or give voice to – “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Dave Bautista is literal-minded Drax who misunderstands literary allusions. “Don’t ever call me ‘Thesaurus’!” he says to Chris Pratt who plays Peter Quill. “It’s just a metaphor,” says Peter. His possession of the Infinity Stone brings the Guardians together. Bradley Cooper is the voice of Rocket, CGI raccoon. He thinks he’s the brains of the group and is best friend of Groot, CGI talking tree, voiced by Vin Diesel. Rocket has issues about being bio-engineered. “I didn’t ask to be made,” he says. “But ain’t no thing like me, except me.” Zoe Saldana, who plays Gamora, raised by the treacherous Kree, has issues, too. “I have spent most of my life surrounded by my enemies,” she says before the final battle. “I will be grateful to die among my friends.”
Others in the cast include Lee Pace as Darth Vader-voiced Ronan, John C. Reilly as Corpsman Dey, Glenn Close as Nova Prime and Benicio Del Toro as The Collector. Djimon Hounsou is Korath.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is a comic, comic-book, sci-fi, adventure movie in which actors and audience have a good time. Like most comic-book flicks, it’s bloated with overlong battle sequences but, thankfully, features heroes we like and can identify with. Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, for example, is not the brightest bulb in the box, but earnest and really likes the 70s/80s popular music he plays – and dances to – on his Walkman. His dancing references Gene Kelly in “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952) and Tom Cruise in “Risky Business” (1983). Watch for homage to “Star Wars” (1977), “Blade Runner” (1982) and “Footloose” (1984).
Rated PG-13 for intense sci-fi action, violence and language, it runs 121 minutes. Not for young kids, who lost interest early on. The take-away is the power and pleasures of friendship, music and dancing.
See “Galaxy Guardians” –
One Uzis-armed raccoon,
A talking tree, Drax, Quill –
Lots of fun; see it soon.