I’ll admit, the previews for this made me a bit nervous. For one thing, the whole idea seemed like an odd choice for the next Marvel movie, since Guardians of the Galaxy was never a hugely popular title. I vaguely remembered the angry talking raccoon and the green woman, but that was about it, so I wasn’t sure this was such a good idea. Also, John C.
I’ll admit, the previews for this made me a bit nervous. For one thing, the whole idea seemed like an odd choice for the next Marvel movie, since Guardians of the Galaxy was never a hugely popular title. I vaguely remembered the angry talking raccoon and the green woman, but that was about it, so I wasn’t sure this was such a good idea. Also, John C. Reilly isn’t exactly a favorite of mine (though I did review him once, long ago, in 9) and it seemed like he had a much bigger part than he actually did, and I wasn’t familiar with Chris Pratt (Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord here, and soon to be in the new Jurassic Park sequel, Jurassic World) and was worried that he wouldn’t be able to pull off the sort of dashing, devil may care, Han Solo sort of rogue that they seemed to be going for.
Anyway, the green woman is Gamora, who is good at killing people. She’s played by Zoe Saldana of the new Star Trek franchise, though it’s a little hard to recognize her under all that green. Good practice for being blue in those next three Avatar flicks, I guess. The raccoon is Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper of Limitless, and he’s the pilot / bounty hunter. Rocket’s muscle is a sort of large walking tree named Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel (Riddick), because hey, he’s a raccoon. Someone’s got to do the heavy lifting. And then there’s Drax (Dave Bautista, also of Riddick) who’s mad and looking for revenge for the deaths of his wife and daughter. He’s also very literal, literally, as in his race has no concept of a figure of speech.
Quill is something called a Ravager, mercenary types who are often hired to find things, hunt down criminals, etc. Yondu (Michael Rooker, Jumper) is the leader of his group, which apparently grabbed the young Peter from Earth a while back along with an ancient artifact known as a “cassette tape player”. But Quill has decided to strike out on his own, getting ahead of his compatriots to grab a certain mysterious orb that they’re after on behalf of a client.
This, naturally, is a serious mistake, since everyone wants the orb, even though no one seems to know what it is. All the aforementioned main characters end up meeting in prison after they all get mixed up in a huge fight over the orb and/or Quill himself, since his ex-friends have put a bounty on his head. Discovering they all have a common enemy, namely Ronan (Lee Pace of the new Hobbit trilogy), they form a sort of uneasy alliance, and behold! A superhero group is born. Sort of.
Other people who want the orb include Nebula, Gamora’s “sister” (Karen Gillan, Amy Pond of the new Doctor Who), Korath (Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond), and The Collector, played by Benicio Del Toro of The Wolfman and who was also The Collector as glimpsed in the last Thor movie. That’s not even counting whoever hired the Ravagers to go after the thing, though I suppose that might have been The Collector hedging his bets. The point is, lots of people want the thing, and they all collide repeatedly during the course of the movie.
For once, the movie seemed shorter than its actual run time and didn’t drag on endlessly like a certain other movie I could mention, so for that alone it would get three out of five. I’ll actually bump that up to four and a half out of five, though, because it was just fun to watch, even though Gamora just might be right when she laments being surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy. They’re all very likable idiots, though, especially Groot, despite his sadly limited vocabulary. The only dark spot is that sadly, this time, the teaser trailer at the end really wasn’t worth staying through the credits.