‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Review: Not Great, But Still A Good Popcorn Movie

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy might not be on par with movies such as Iron Man in terms of greatness, but there’s still plenty of stuff that will please the comic book geek in you. Not to mention it also has everything you expect from a Marvel movie, plenty of action, some humor every now and then, jaw-dropping special effects, and who can forget the 3D?

The film focuses on Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), who – after (spoiler alert) her mother dies of cancer – is abducted by aliens, and ends up living on another planet throughout his teenage-to-adult life. Oh, and did I mention the cassette tapes Peter’s mom gave him as a present before she died are filled with 70’s music and Motown, which, as a result, forms part of the films soundtrack? If you like Motown and 70’s music, then you’ll probably like this movie. Anyway, back to the beginning of the movie. In the opening sequence, which was probably an intentional nod to Raiders of the Lost Ark (which would later be referenced, along with a misguided nod to the 1984 Kevin Bacon movie, Footloose), Quill steals one of the most powerful weapons in the galaxy… The McGuffin.

Suddenly, everyone wants Quill’s McGuffin, not only can this 40 billion credit weapon destroy entire planets, it can also kill those who want to destroy other planets as well. As a result, everyone wants to go after Quill, and this is where the plot is going to be all over the place.

Gamora (Zoe Saldana) is the adopted daughter of the film’s main antagonist, Thanos. She was trained to be a lethal assassin, but later betrays him when she is given a mission to steal the orb from Quill.

Also coming after Quill are are raccoon-like bounty hunter Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and his sidekick Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). There’s also Yondu (Michael Rooker), the leader of the group of Ravagers who abducted Peter as a boy and made him a part of their family. For some strange reason, Peter betrays this intergalactic thug.

Finally, there’s Drax (Dave Bautista, a.k.a. Batista), who definitely looks like a tattooed-to-death version of his WWE alter-ego. He’s by far the only original character in the movie, he wants revenge from Thanos for killing his entire family, and gets help from Quill, Gamora, Groot, and Rocket.

The plot is pretty inconsistent, especially in terms of suspense, you fear for the lives of the main characters a few times, but  you don’t believe Thanos’ minion, Ronan, will be able to achieve his evil goals. You can tell that Guardians wants to ape the operatic adventurism of the Star Wars franchise, but it luckily fails, and it ends up being its own thing, like a Marvel film should be.

The plot was pretty thin, but the relationships with the characters make up for the inconsistent plot; their uneasy alliance and how all five of these misfits evolve into superheroes out to save the galaxy. The chemistry, although forced, works very well in this movie. The production design is also first-rate. Director James Gunn knows how to give you plenty of eye-candy, and this is absolutely no exception.

Overall, it’s a good movie to see once if you just want to escape from reality for a day or if you’re really bored and you want something to wake up your mind, but once is enough. It’s definitely not something you’d want to see over and over again, but it’s still a fun popcorn flick, and if you’re a Marvel fan, you will not be disappointed.

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