By M. Scott Morris
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is a colorful, comedic, thrill ride of a movie.
Based on Marvel comic book characters, it’s the story of Peter Quill, an earthling who gets picked up by space aliens as a child in the late 1980s.
Flash forward to the present day, and Quill (Chris Pratt) is a roguish thief – dare one call him “scruffy looking?” – who calls himself Star Lord.
The fun starts when Quill double-crosses his boss to claim 100 percent of the profits from the sale of a valuable and mysterious relic.
This attracts the attention of a green-skinned assassin, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), as well as a pair of bounty hunters who would stand out anywhere in the galaxy because one is a talking raccoon, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and the other is an intelligent tree-beast, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel).
The team is rounded out by Drax (Dave Bautista), a metaphorically challenged warrior seeking revenge for the killing of his wife and child.
Not doubt they’re an odd crew, and it’s fun watching these distinct and hostile personalities come together. Call it a Space Age “Dirty Dozen,” except, you know, there are only five of them.
The movie’s filled with battles galore, and aliens willing to say and do all manner of cruel things.
The writing team, which includes director James Gunn, also delivers a steady supply of character-based comedy, as well as surprisingly tender moments.
In addition to the main cast, Michael Rooker makes a splash as Quill’s psychotic boss, and Karen Gillan delivers the menace as Gamora’s sister, Nebula.
John C. Reilly is almost a surrogate member of the audience, who watches this team of misfits slowly earn the title of Guardians of the Galaxy.
The soundtrack deserves special mention, since hits from the 1970s, including “Cherry Bomb,” “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” and “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” affect the movie’s mood and tie Quill back to Earth. In the movie, all of the songs appear on Quill’s “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” that his mother made for him.
This is the summer movie of 2014. It’s violent at times but not bloody, and the language gets rough but no one drops an F-bomb.
As part of the credits, it’s revealed that Quill, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket will return for further adventures, which is great news.
Until then, “Guardians of the Galaxy” appears to be the kind of the movie that would reward multiple screenings.
I give it an A plus.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.
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