If ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Indiana Jones,’ and ‘Firefly’ had a baby, it would be ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ Marvel has brought back the pure fun in summer movies, with the most comical of comic book films, ever. It also introduces an intriguing mythology that is likely to affect future Marvel movies, as well as ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), AKA Star-Lord, is essentially a space pirate who, as a child, was abducted from Earth by a band of interstellar mercenaries led by Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker) at the moment his mother died. Upon finding a mysterious orb that he has sought to sell for a profit, he becomes the subject of a galactic manhunt by several outlaws, and Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace).
Quill ends up in prison where he and a band of outlaws that had initially tried to kill him, hatch a plan to escape, so they can save the galaxy from being destroyed by Ronan.
This is where the movie becomes truly fun.
The characters are what drive the movie. Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) is a walking tree that only ever says “I am Groot.” He is partner to Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a machine-gun toting, talking raccoon. Gamora (Zoe Saldana), is an assassin sent by Ronan to retrieve the orb. Drax (Dave Bautista) has Inigo Montoya’s zeal to kill Ronan, and has no understanding of metaphor. Together, this odd group become the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Director and cowriter (with Nicole Perlman) James Gunn (‘Slither,’ ‘Super’) has skillfully taken a little-known Marvel comic book series and put it on a raucous trajectory to be nearly as big as anything in the Avengers’ corner of the universe, while causing the audience to laugh, and sometimes cry, throughout the movie.
Most of us grew up knowing Iron-Man, Captain America, and Thor, so those films already had an audience. Now we’re learning about a whole, new, wonderful set of characters, with a backstory that is huge, and encompasses Kree, Skrulls, the Supreme Intelligence, Titans, Sentries, and Inhumans. For our children’s children, Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Rocket, and Drax will be household names.
Guardians of the Galaxy is hilarious fun. It also plants the seeds for at least a decade’s worth of stories, as well as a barrel of Groots.