DIRECTOR: James Gunn LEAD CAST: Chris Pratt, Zoe Zaldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker SCREENWRITER: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman PRODUCER: Kevin Feige EDITOR: Craig Wood, Fred Raskin, Hughes Winborne MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Tyler Bates GENRE: Science Fiction, Superhero (Sci Fi) CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ben Davis DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures LOCATION: United States RUNNING TIME: 122 minutes
Technical assessment: 4
Technical assessment: 4
Moral assessment: 3
CINEMA rating: V 14
Hurt beyond words by the death of his mother from cancer, the grieving boy Peter Quill (Wyatt Olef) bolts from the hospital to a grassy knoll but, alas, he is sucked in by a spaceship, abducted by aliens presumably. Next we are shown a grown up and wise-cracking Peter (Chris Pratt), dancing to the songs of the 70s he had enjoyed as a boy. He is now one among a band of intergalactic thieves and, calling himself “Star Lord”, is in fact on a mission to steal an orb. He succeeds but the orb, it turns out, is coveted by so many others, among them the terrorist Ronan (Lee Pace), The Collector (Benicio del Toro), the war lord Thanos (Josh Brolin), and lesser characters interested in selling it. Besides losing the orb to one of them, Peter is arrested and imprisoned; and there he and fellow inmates—Thanos’ daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the genetically engineered raccoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a tree-like creature called Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), and a hulk called Drax the Destroyer (wrestling champ David Bautista)—band together with one aim in mind: to retrieve the orb.
Any movie with a hero who dances to 70s tunes while kicking around dinosaur-rodents in a grungy cavern can’t but be an entertaining movie. Despite some loopholes in the plot, Guardians of the Galaxy deserves a bunch of medals for being Marvel’s most surprising production to date. Not only because it is so lighthearted and breezy (and therefore un-Marvel-ous) but also because it has the swagger to put its heart on its sleeve, confident that the audience will love it nonetheless. At first it looks like another story about another superhero playing cute, until the would-be Guardians start popping and zapping into the picture. And it is in the interplay of these characters that the movie finds its redemption.Values, there are many. Teamwork, for one. Self-sacrifice for the greater good is another. Character transformation is yet another. These five Guardians are all rascals one way or another and are after the orb for their own selfish agenda: Peter Quill the intergalactic thief and smuggler is the payroll of Ravager Yondu (Michael Rooker); green-skinned Gamora is sent by her father Thanos to grab the orb from Peter; gun-toting bad-ass raccoon Rocket is taking out his anger for having been experimented on countless times; Rocket’s sidekick Groot who has only three words to say—“I am Groot”—all throughout the movie; and meathead Drax who joins the bunch to avenge the killing of his wife and child. No one would have recruited these five to work as a team, but the movie glides on the charm of these characters. Rivals become allies, agreeing to set aside their individual aims in order to secure the orb and keep it out of reach of the genocidal maniac Ronan. In the end, Groot justifies his supreme sacrifice by saying, this time, “We are Groot.” If action movies can fill the outer spaces with heart such as Guardians of the Galaxy has done, then it is hoped that the dancing twig as the credits roll is a subtle set up for a sequel.