I think some folks are afraid to say it, but I’m not. Guardians of the Galaxy is the best movie of 2014, and it’s only been out a couple days. I saw it once and I want to see it again. When’s the last time you heard someone say that about a movie? This is the one. Meet me after the jump for a quick spoiler-free review of Marvel’s newest hit flick, Guardians of the Galaxy.
Based on the ragtag group of super-powered refugees from Marvel’s Annihilation event of a few years ago, and taking their name from an earlier group of heroes. All of its members have long and complicated histories in the tapestry of the Marvel Comics Universe (heck, Groot even dates back to the pre-Marvel days), but the good news is that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’re given everything you need to know about these characters to enjoy the movie.
Yeah, to be sure there are Easter eggs and tidbits from earlier Marvel movies in here, and it’s a major bonus if you know about them, but you don’t need to know anything to see and enjoy Guardians of the Galaxy. This could very well be the first Marvel movie for all the background needed. In other words, the fanboy and the fangirl can bring their significant others to this flick and they will enjoy it just as much as their partner.
You’ll meet Star-Lord, played by Chris Pratt, playing his charm and charisma for all its worth. He’s a funny leading man who will make you blow raspberries at that Robert Downey Jr. guy. He is the default leader of the rogues who become the Guardians. Zoe Saldana plays living weapon Gamora, with wrestler Dave Batista as the literal-minded Drax the Destroyer. The personality quirks of these two characters mixed with Star-Lord are part of what makes this flick so much fun.
The real fun with characters and interaction come from the two CGI entries Rocket and Groot. Rocket is a genetically engineered raccoon (but don’t call him that) who’s as handy with tech as he is with big guns. Voiced by Oscar-nominated actor Bradley Cooper, Rocket and his bodyguard/partner Groot are the breakout characters here. Groot, whose vocabulary consists of three words, “I am Groot” (voiced by Vin Diesel), is a huge tree creature of many different abilities. Both of them are lots of fun.
These characters go from hating each other to making a Great Escape break out to eventually saving the galaxy – I’m sure that’s not a spoiler or surprise, but their bonding is at the core of the flick. Real plot details involve big bads everywhere, including James Brolin’s Thanos, Benicio del Toro as The Collector, former “Doctor Who”companion Karen Gillan as Nebula, Michael Rooker of “The Walking Dead” as Yondu, and the wonderfully designed Ronan the Accuser as played by Lee Pace. As far as cameos go there is of course Stan Lee, but also look for Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman, and the voices of Nathan Fillion, Rob Zombie, and in the after-credits sequence, Seth Green.
One of the best parts of Guardians of the Galaxy is the soundtrack, not the terrific score by Tyler Bates, but the songs featured throughout. Star-Lord has a cassette tape of 1970s hits that play throughout the film, and it is almost as important as the characters to the film, because the movie wouldn’t be the same without it. The 1970s vibe rocks the movie and makes it special.
Guardians of the Galaxy is the movie of the summer, it’s the movie you should be seeing this weekend, and it’s the movie everyone will be talking about. See it, now. And as always, with a Marvel movie, don’t forget to stay through to the very end of the credits.