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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Seldom has a movie surprised me like “Guardians of the Galaxy”. I went into the film expecting a minor league version of “The Avengers”. Not only is “Guardians of the Galaxy” major league level entertainment, but it could give “The Avengers” a run for its money.

There are many things that are crucial to making a superhero movie work. One of them is the cast. Chris Pratt (who is having a great 2014 so far) is Peter Quill, or, as he lets the enemy know, “Star Lord” (the enemy has  never heard the name before). He is a Han Solo type renegade who comes in contact with a cube that can threaten the existence of the galaxy, and, indeed, the universe itself (again, like “The Avengers”).

He eventually teams up with Gamora (Zoe Saldana), step daughter of the evil Thanoss, Rocket (a raccoon voiced wonderfully by Bradley Cooper), a super strengthed being called Drax (pro wrestler Dave Bautista, who is also great here), and a scene stealing mega tree creature named Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). It is a credit to Diesel for doing a great job with the same line throughout the whole movie (Groot’s vocabulary is limited to “I am Groot”.) They need to keep the cube out of the hands of the evil Ronan (Lee Pace) and Nebula (Karen Gillan).

There are quite a number of actors who are not on screen long, but make the most of their time. They include Oscar nominees Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, and Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro. All wonderful actors having great fun in their roles.

Like any great superhero flick, a key ingredient is comedy. The film supplies us with plenty of it, and I will not spoil it for you (although my favorite was a nod to “Footloose”). The special effects are so well done I did not even notice them. I was so enthralled with the characters (and caring for them as well) that special effects were not as important to me. That is rare for a superhero movie (and any movie for that matter).

Parents, there is some swearing, but not much else to worry about (Gamora wears kind of revealing clothing, but nothing too horrible). If your kids have seen “The Avengers”, then they can see “Guardians of the Galaxy”. This is a great movie not just for kids, but for parents to see with their kids. It is not even that long (around two hours), has the greatest soundtrack to any superhero movie ever made (provided by Quill), and is one of the best summer movies in recent memory. It is a lot of fun!

Note: Yes there is something after the credits. Just as an FYI

Rating: Four Stars ****

 

 

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