Friday, December 19, 2014

Marvel's The Guardians of the Galaxy

I remember when this movie was first shown in the theaters.  There was hype and praise for this film, a product of the Disney/Marvel Comics partnership, such as Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, etc.

Never having read the comics I didn't know what the fuss was all about. I have to say this one surprised me in a very good way.

The Guardians of the Galaxy is about a group of five outcasts who band together haphazardly to fight for a common cause.

They truly are a disparate group.  There is the humanoid, Peter Quill, Drax the Destroyer (who looks human but we don't know WHAT he is), Gamora (a green-skinned female who has been tortured and turned into a walking weapon), Rocket, a genetically engineered Raccoon-like creature with quite a vocabulary and an attitude to match, and finally Rocket's sidekick, Groot - a tall, walking, talking (in a limited fashion) plant. (I am Groot.)

In the beginning, Rocket and Groot are a team. They have issues with Peter Quill as do Drax and Gamora. But they all end up forming an alliance to go after their mutual enemy.

This is a rollicking adventure with colorful, BIG special effects, vast numbers of aliens with different DNA, recognizable actors (for the most part), all set to the music of the 1970s, which is played on a cassette tape player.

Guardians of the Galaxy is filled with wry humor and references to other movies and pop culture.  It is a hoot, pure and simple.  I watched it a second time to make sure I got all the jokes.  I laughed too much the first time and missed some lines.

The Guardians are played by the following:

Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill - an Earthman who was kidnapped as a young boy with his backpack (hence the cassette player and tapes).  In many ways he has never grown up.  He calls himself "Starlord" and insists he is a bandit.

Dave Bautista plays Drax the Destroyer - a muscle-bound blue and red hued alien who at first speaks in monosyllables and monotone, but warms up to the gang after a few mutual battles.

Zoe Saldana plays Gamora - a green-skinned alien with scars from her mistreatment and a serious outlook until Peter pulls her into his world.  Saldana exhibits the fighting skills she showed us in Columbiana and the Star Trek films.

Bradley Cooper plays Rocket - well, that is, this actor, a very attractive man, is the voice of Rocket.  He is hilarious with the wise-cracking lines and off hand remarks.

Vin Diesel plays Groot - and similar to Cooper, he is the voice of Groot, who is the most sympathetic and wise character of the entire film.

Look for John C. Reilly, Djimon Hounsou, and Glenn Close in small parts. And as found in other Marvel films, Benicio Del Toro returns as The Collector. I laughed myself silly with The Collector's items, particularly when his place of business met with an unfortunate accident...One of his specimens, Latka the Russian Space dog, kept licking him in his face.  (If you don't know who that is, the Soviets sent up dogs in the beginning of their space program..and of course the poor dogs did not return.  In the old television comedy, "Designing Women" one of the main characters found out about poor Latka still floating out in space and insisted people should go bring her home...)

I could have told the Soviets that any civilization who mistreated dogs would go the way of the dodo bird.

Anyway, when Latka, wearing her spacesuit with CCCP on it, is licking The Collector in the face, a voice from across the room says something like, "you let her lick you in the face? Oh, man, that's gross..." The voice turned out to belong to Howard the Duck - remember him, anybody?

Now see what you miss when you don't watch the credits through to the end?

Seriously, I had the best time watching this movie and am sure I'll be watching it again.

For a good time, check this one out.  The music is wonderful, it's a colorful action-packed two hours filled with humor and comic book villains.  What's not to like?

Until next time...

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