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The Movie Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Friday, August 8th, 2014
Issue 32, Volume 18.
Robert T. Nickerson
Special to the Valley News

Before I get into "Guardians of the Galaxy", I want to bring up "Star Wars." Why? Because it was one of the biggest game changers in all of cinema.

Coming out at around the same time as "Halloween" and "Jaws", it was this movie that not only created a blockbuster, but set a new standard in science-fiction cinema. 

"Star Wars" took a lot of elements that we loved in cinema (aliens, western gunslingers, samurai sword fighting, and amazing special effects) and brought us something that unbelievably unique.

Where I’m going with this is that we often get that space opera that tries to be the next "Star Wars" every now and then. What those movie makers don’t understand is that they’re simply trying to copy Star Wars without realizing that "Star Wars" was made up upon several elements that we’re familiar with.

The magic of going to another part of the universe to find a group that changes everything is something that’s always going to be explored from a cinematic point of view.  Some have done it better than others.

So when I heard that "Guardians of the Galaxy" was going to be made, I was uncertain what it would end up being. This was especially the case for me because I had not read any of the Marvel comics the movie was based off of.

Luckily, I can say I’ve found a space opera that almost as great and memorable as "Star Wars" without being "Star Wars."

Unlike the previous Marvel superhero stories that have been Earthbound, this story takes us to the further limits of our galaxy. In fact, the only Earth being we see is our main hero, Peter Quill (played by Chris Pratt), who was abducted from our planet in 1988 and has since been living as a master thief who will pop on his awesome mix tape as he steels his latest prize.

Quill escapes with a sphere-like artifact, hoping to sell it for big bucks. But when he’s turned away by a prize collector, an assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) tries to kill Quill to take the sphere for herself. While a fight between Advertisement
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Gamora and Quill ensues, a genetically-engineered Raccoon, Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and a tree-like humanoid, Groot (played by Vin Diesel), try to capture Quill for a reward.

The four get caught and sent to a space prison where they meet a too-literal warrior named Drax (Dave Bautista). All five agree to team up and they escape, hoping to split the prize, only to accidently become the only hope against a weapon that could destroy the galaxy.

What I’m writing sounds like a middle school student’s creative writing assignment, but I swear that this is one of the most wonderful space operas that I’ve seen.

If The Avengers are like the Beatles, then the Guardians are the Rolling Stones. This is a self aware, chaotic, manic scenario that still manages to take itself seriously. "Guardians of the Galaxy" gave me something that has wowed me on the same level as "Star Wars." It gave us some awesome fights, creative designs, and a boastful soundtrack filled with ‘70s and ‘80s nostalgia.

The main characters all get their chance to show some good character. Chris Pratt plays what I can only describe as every child’s dream; a childish hero who can crack a good joke even in the face of danger while proving his fighting skill.

Both Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista make good creatures under their full body makeup. The ones who steel the show here are Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. Their team up is just so perfect that I woulden’t be surprised if they got their own spin-off story.

If I had any problems here, the villain is a bit weak; we know he’s only a messenger to the upcoming villain in the next Avengers movie.

They could have used a deeper bad guy, but I’ll forgive that now that we have another team of heroes.

 I’ll give this five Rocket Raccoons out of five. I expect "Guardians of the Galaxy" to be the next big thing for Marvel and Disney. And with the amount of creativity, humor, and passion within the film, they deserve to have it succeed.



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