Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel's latest, Guardians of the Galaxy, is the most fun you'll have at the movies all summer, bar none. Director James Gunn's "crash-bang!" entry into the ever-expanding Marvel superhero universe is a fresh, often hilarious, action-packed thrill ride full of colorful, eye-popping visuals and purely delightful performances.

In a cinematic universe full of super-powered baddies looking to conqueror and destroy, Marvel's superhero films all tell the same tale: saving the day. In this way  'Guardians' follows suit. However, no Marvel film has been able to tell this tale in such a fresh, exciting way since Joss Whedon's The Avengers, so far proving that more is in fact better.

What makes Gunn's film stand apart from other Marvel superhero movies is its consistent brand of self-referential, outright hilarious tongue-in-cheek humor; not to mention its brilliant use of some of the cheesiest classic songs of the 1970s. Even from its amusing title sequence featuring Chris Pratt's endearing Star-lord letting loose to Redbone's "Come And Get Your Love," it's clear that Director James Gunn is interested in showing his audiences a good time.

The casting of this band of misfits tells you everything you need to know about the offbeat tone of this movie. From Chris Pratt's charming take on Star-lord to Zoe Saldana's straight-faced Gamora; to Vin Diesel's Groot, who is capable of communicating so much with such a limited vocabulary; through even Dave Bautista's tormented Drax, who also gets a lot of laughs. However, it is Bradley Cooper's wisecracking Rocket Racoon who steals the show. Each character in this motley crew is given a plethora of opportunities to make us laugh out loud as well as garner our sympathies in a handful of truly touching, heartfelt moments.

The good times keep on rolling with some of the best choreographed action sequences this year. From beginning to end, there is an abundance of "crash-bang!" action. Combine that with these first-rate visuals and you've got yourself one aesthetically pleasing picture.

Even if you find yourself scratching your head at some of the more complex details of the story, such as the Kree (did I say that right?) peace treaty or the origin of the universe and its infinity relics, Guardians of the Galaxy is a pleasurable outing for anyone looking to have a good time at the movies.

Grade: A

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