Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

A lot was made of the fact that no one could predict Guardians of the Galaxy being one of the biggest summer hits of 2014. But in a way I’m not too surprised. It is a real throw back to the fun and visually dynamic movies of the 1980s and 1990s. Lots of people have compared it to the original Star Wars trilogy. To folks of my generation that is a real ringing endorsement, but one that can be tough to follow. Does this film actually meet that criteria?

When Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) was a young boy, he was abducted from his home by aliens. Since then he has grown up as a space fairing rogue calling himself Star Lord, blasting his 1970s mix tape, picking up more alien chicks then Captain Kirk and getting into lots and lots of trouble. When he obtains a mysterious orb during a treasure hunt, it puts him square in the sights of the religious overlord Ronan (Lee Pace). A series of misadventures puts Peter into a galactic prison, where he meets some new and exciting friends.

First there’s Gamora (Zoe Saldana) an assassin who may or may not be trying to kill Peter. There’s the incredibly strong but incredibly literal Drax (Dave Bautista) who has a major grudge against Ronan. Then you have Groot (Vin Diesel) a sentient tree that can fight as well as an Ent. Wrapping up the team is Rocket (Bradley Cooper) a super intelligent raccoon with a pentient for shooting huge guns and blowing things up. This unlikely group is going to have to do some major team building to become the Guardians of the Galaxy and stop Ronan.

Good Points:
  • Plenty of action and amazing visuals from the very start
  • Fun characters and crazy alien designs abound
  • The perfect selection of 1970s pop songs
Bad Points:
  • If you have a low tolerance for snarky one-liners, then avoid this movie
  • Struggles a bit with the origin story blues
  • Seems a bit too self aware at times
If you are looking for the perfect blend of sci-fi adventure and summer movie madness, then you don’t need to look much further. Packed with fun characters, exciting action, witty banter and more than a few pop culture one-liners, this movie is a blast from beginning to end. If you are a fan of the Star Wars films or anime like Outlaw Star, I think you’ll find this to be one heck of a ride.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals: 5
Sound: 4
Acting: 5
Script: 4
Music: 4
Direction: 4
Entertainment: 5
Total:  5

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.


  1. Good to know. Despite generally positive reviews I'd been a bit hesitant since it all seems rather silly. Silly is not always a bad thing, but it usually is. A deft touch is needed to make it work.

    1. I gotta say, it does have some silly moments. But the movie knows they are silly, so it just rolls with it. To be fair my wife didn't like it as much as I did because she felt it was a little too "in on the joke". But that said, it was a lot of fun, certainly worth a rental.

  2. Yes, I haven't seen it yet either yet. I have already put it on the NF queue. It looks like a fun movie, and a lot of friends have said they've enjoyed it. Maybe being a bit silly is a good thing for summertime fun, but yes, I have limit on that as well, though it's a common troupe of comic books--heroes talking smarmy to each other. I'll probably enjoy the space scenes and space opera, etc. I'm looking forward to it on DVD, it'll probably be one of those I watch and think, I bet that would've been good to see at the theater.

    1. Yeah the scope on this is pretty large, so the big screen helps, but I don't think it is a deal breaker. Something like "Gravity" worked wonderfully on the large screen and especially in 3D. One recent movie I wish I had seen in the theaters was "Hugo". Some amazing visuals in that one and they were probably a treat on the large screen.

  3. Yeah, this movie just works on all levels when, on paper, it really shouldn't. Just flat-out entertaining and breathes new life into the space opera where the STAR WARS prequels almost KILLED it.

    1. I agree. This movie had a spirit of fun that the prequels really lacked. And some of the dialogue in this film was perfect. Just a ton of fun, and maybe some of the most fun I've had in the theater in a long time.