Friday, August 1, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

It's about time Marvel stops re-making the same movies with the same tones over and over again. Get ready for something absolutely fun and refreshing with 'Guardians of the Galaxy.' Made for not only the comic book geeks, but the fans of extremely fun, funny and even sentimental blockbusters.

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Before I proclaim my love for this very good (but not entirely perfect) movie, let me explain my recent personal history with Marvel’s cinematic universe. What started off strong (see Iron Man, Thor and Captain America) turned really weak really fast (see The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and TV’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — better yet, don’t. Don’t see any of them.) The Avengers was the pinnacle, but repeat viewings proved it to be boring. This summer’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier was decent, but it suffers the same problem as the other bad ones I mentioned: it’s more of the exact same thing. Same tone. Same devices. Blaa. Blaa. Like eating your favorite dish for every meal, Marvel burned us out on something good – that is, until now. Just when I literally couldn’t care less about Marvel’s movies, they finally switch things up with Guardians of the Galaxy.

When Marvel made the big announcement that Guardians would be their next new adaptation, like many others, I asked, “Who in the world are the Guardians of the Galaxy?” Already burned out on Marvel, when I learned that one of the fivesome was a rocket-weilding raccoon, I immediately had no hope in it. It wasn’t until Disney screened 17 minutes of the movie in IMAX last month that I finally tossed out my preconceived notions and submitted to the fact that Guardians of the Galaxy is the most original and fun installment of Marvel’s cinematic universe yet. Walking into the full-length film with huge expectations, I’m glad to say that I walked out completely satisfied.

Guardian kicks off on Earth in the late-80s. We meet a young boy named Peter Quill. He patiently sits in the waiting room of a hospital while listening to a cassette tape titled “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” over his foamy headphones. His grandfather eventually comes in, takes the ’70s music out of Peter’s ears and brings him to say goodbye to his dying mother. After her surprisingly emotional passing, Peter runs away from it all. Stopping in a nearby field, a bright light beams down on him from above, revealing a sleek spaceship that immediately pulls him up into a beam of light.

Cut ahead 20-something years later. Peter (Chris Pratt) is now a one-man bandit, thieving artifacts and valuable items for intergalactic buyers. With Awesome Mix Vol. 1 playing in his ears, we see Peter – who now tries to go by the self-given nickname of Star-Lord – go after a coveted object that’s wanted by one of the galaxy’s most dangerous beings: Ronan (Lee Pace). With Ronan’s men hot on his trail and bounty hunters also tracking him down for another reason, Peter soon finds himself at the center of a large man-hunt. In the process, Peter becomes entangled with a pair of bounty hunters (Rocket Raccoon and Groot, respectively voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel) and Ronan’s lead assassin (Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana). Along with a large alien seeking revenge on Ronan (Drax, played by WWE wrestler Dave Bautista), the five-some must cling together to not only save their lives, but the entire galaxy a major threat.

No matter your opinion of Guardians based on the TV spots and trailers, do yourself a favor and go see it. I wanted nothing to do with it and ended up loving it. Mrs. Hickman also wanted nothing do with it – I had to coax her into joining me for the press screening – but she also ended up loving it. Guardians is an extremely well-rounded movie. More-so than you’re expecting. It’s thrilling, exciting, extremely funny, a little emotional and it packs a big old heart. You’ll love the action, the characters and their dialog and interactions. There’s very little to it that isn’t purely entertaining. So, get off your cans this weekend and spare no expense on Guardians of the Galaxy. The bigger the screen and louder the sound system, the better.

Photo credits: Buena Vista/Marvel Studios

4 1/2 out of 5

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