Guardians of The Galaxy (2014) Movie Review

Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) Movie Image

“Guardians of The Galaxy” has hit theaters and it has blown critics and fans away. When first announced, the choice to make this movie was met with concern and confusion by some (not me) with there being more popular and noteworthy characters in the Marvel stable. But the choice makes sense in order to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmic realm, and with Thanos being teased at the end of “The Avengers” it was a given. Some thought it was a gamble, but it’s one that has paid off.

From a cold open that gives a glimpse to how the movie can evoke emotion as well as laughs, to Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill dancing across an alien landscape to Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love,” you can already tell what kind of movie you’re going to get: A fun ride that’s still not afraid to have some heartfelt moments. James Gunn’s “Guardians of The Galaxy” is quite possibly the most well rounded and most fun of the Marvel films so far. From the cast to the music to the story, “Guardians of The Galaxy” explodes with fun. It’s not perfect, but oh man is it damned near close.

Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) Movie Image

So just in case you missed all the media blitz, here’s a quick rundown of the plot: Human Peter Quill was abducted from Earth as a child and has been soaring the spaceways with space mercenary Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his crew of Ravagers. After a mission takes a turn for the worse, Quill is incarcerated at the Kyln, an intergalactic prison. Here, he meets cantankerous raccoon bounty hunter Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and his tree-like partner Groot (Vin Diesel), master assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and vengeance seeking former family man Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista). After the ragtag group manages to escape the prison, they find something to keep them together — money.

There’s more to the story obviously, but I don’t want to ruin what is just a great experience. It’s hard to say anymore, other than that the movie is awesome. The cast is rounded out by some great actors, with Glen Close, John C. Reily, and Benecio Del Toro reprising his role as The Collector from the mid-credits sequence from “Thor: The Dark World.”  I would have to say the villains of “Guardians of The Galaxy” were the weakest part of the film, though, but not for lack of any motivation, just a lack of character building. Djimon Honsou’s Korath is just a henchman, and Karen Gillan as Nebula was little more than an enforcer with a chip on her shoulder and some daddy issues. Ronan (Lee Pace) was pretty much a Kree Zealot who takes his beliefs to a more violent and extreme level. I actually saw him as an analogue for religious zealotry in the world today. But it was Josh Brolin’s Thanos that had me all smiles. He was spot on! Intimidating, yet calculating and unflappable, and all this came off a 5-minute scene.

Lee Pace in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) Movie Image

Speaking of 5-minute scenes, there’s a great one inside Quill’s ship, the Milano (named after Quill’s crush Alyssa Milano, yessir!) that was just hilarious and heartfelt. It’s because of scenes like this that the movie shines. The dialogue between the characters is crisp but not bogged down by annoying pop-culture references, and the few that are made are out of date because Quill left Earth in the late 80’s. It actually makes for some funny moments. As a matter of fact, speaking of old school, the soundtrack is absolutely awesome (pun intended) and is practically a part of the film. The soundtrack is a mix tape Peter’s Mom gave him called “Awesome Mix Vol 1,” which I may just have to go buy.

One part heist movie, one part space opera, one part comic book movie, and 100% fun, “Guardians of The Galaxy” is a good time all around. You’ll laugh, you’ll dance, you’ll get choked up, you’ll cheer, and then you’ll laugh some more. I can honestly say that I haven’t been more pleasantly surprised by and thoroughly enjoyed a Marvel movie — or any movie — this much in a very long time. Go on out and see what it’s about. You won’t be disappointed.

Got a favorite part let us know down below!

SPOILER WARNING FOR THE DISCUSSION!!!!!

James Gunn (director) / James Gunn, Nicole Perlman (screenplay)
CAST: Chris Pratt … Peter Quill
Zoe Saldana … Gamora
Dave Bautista … Drax
Vin Diesel … Groot (voice)
Bradley Cooper … Rocket (voice)
Lee Pace … Ronan
Michael Rooker … Yondu Udonta
Karen Gillan … Nebula
Djimon Hounsou … Korath


Buy Guardians of The Galaxy on DVD or Blu-ray