First, let’s get it out of the way… Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) is not a horror film. Sure, there are some ugly-looking characters and some edge-of-your-seat moments, but it’s not horror. And I thank the ScareTissue staff for letting me post this anyway.
Also, I’m not going to give a whole lot away for the simple fact that you need to see this movie. Yep, you NEED to see it!
I’ll also go on record and say there are only a handful of movies out there that I enjoyed as much as this one. Examples: Aliens, Avatar, and Predator. I’m sticking with the horror/fantasy/sci-fi genre, but that’s about it… Yep, you read that right.
I’ve heard a lot of comparisons to The Avengers (2012). Sure, The Avengers had Chris Hemworth’s muscles, Robert Downey Jr.’s charm, Chris Evan’s muscles (hey muscles can make up for a lot), and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, but it didn’t have GOTG‘s heart. And don’t get me wrong, I loved The Avengers. I’m an action movie kind of gal at heart – big explosions, lots of punches, and, of course, the good guys have to win. The Avengers gave me all of that, and I got to see a fight between The Hulk and Thor to boot.
But, and this is a HUGE but for me (Not “butt”; get your mind out of the gutter!), GOTG had all of that, and it had the heart. And I think a big part of that is due to the wonderful Chris Pratt. I admit, I am a fan of the TV series Parks and Recreation, and it’s because of Pratt’s sweet, dorky Andy (and Nick Offerman’s Ron Swanson) that the show works so well for me. I would seriously watch the Andy and Ron Show (NBC, take note… just saying!). I’m talking, it would be must-see TV for us.
Back to Pratt and GOTG… When I heard Pratt was the lead, I was skeptical. Admittedly, I’m not that familiar with the Guardians’ story, but I assumed it was going to be like other Marvel movies. Oh, how wonderfully wrong I was. Not only did Pratt do an amazing job, but he pulled off the impossible in my book – or at least something I’ve rarely seen anyone do in a superhero movie. He laughed at himself while saving the world, and he did it spectacularly. Now, I realize this is sounding like a love letter to Chris Pratt, but rest assured, The Husband agrees with me. Besides, he digs Zoe Saldana, so he got his eye candy too – though she was green (not blue as in Avatar).
Anyway, the story goes that Peter Quill, a.k.a Star-Lord (Pratt), isn’t the most honest guy. He’s a scavenger. Despite being in such a line of work, after the opening scene, we are treated to a very fun dance number by none other than Star-Lord himself, relying on his trusty Walkman for the tunes. See, Star-Lord has been hired to find an orb. I guess we can call it that. It’s really a lovely little, silver ball. And I assume he’s dancing because he’s found the orb’s secret hiding place. Or maybe he just likes to dance. Who cares? It’s fun!
Unfortunately, someone rather unsavory wants the orb as well – Ronan (played perfectly by Lee Pace). As we will learn, Star-Lord just wants the money, and Ronan wants the power the orb secretly provides. In any event, Ronan sends his minion, Korath (Djimon Hounsou), after the orb too. Star-Lord and Korath share words and scuffle a bit, but Star-Lord escapes… with the orb. Yeah!
Clearly, we know where the movie is going, right? Thief has item everyone wants, and thief just wants to make some money. Item has secret meaning and should never land in evil hands. Thief turns into hero that must protect the item… the world… the galaxy.
Along the way, with his mastery of persuasion, Star-Lord teams up with a strange cast of characters: Gamora (the beautiful, yet green assassin who was sent by Ronan to get the orb; Saldana), Rocket (idea man… err… raccoon extraordinaire who just wants to turn Star-Lord in for the bounty; voiced by Bradley Cooper), Groot (Rocket’s sidekick and clearly the muscle of the pair; voiced by Vin Diesel), and Drax (even more muscle that is hell-bent on defeating Ronan; played really well by former professional wrestler and MMA fighter Dave Bautista).
None of these misfits look like heroes. None of them act like heroes. Yet they are the true definition of a hero. When the chips are down, they step up and do what needs to be done. No one expects them too. No one sees it coming. But they push on anyway.
Now, come on… you see Captain America and you expect him to save the world, right? I mean, Duh! It’s Captain America.
But Star-Lord and his band of merry men (err, woman, raccoon, tree)? Didn’t see that one coming.
To show you just how much heart this movie has: The Husband got choked up… TWICE. This is the man that watched Titanic, all the Rocky movies, and The Lion King (Okay, most movies make me tear up in some way!), all with a dry eye, but in this movie he was noticeably moved. Once at the beginning and once at the end. I refuse to tell you about these touching scenes, as you really need to experience if for yourself.
Outside the touching moments, there is a phenomenal scene where our crew breaks out of a very intense prison (interesting sleeping arrangements, let me tell ya), and the ending was perfect… well, except that the movie ended!
Clocking in at 2 hours, I can tell you this. Not once was our very active ten and 6 year old bored. Not once did I look at my phone and wonder how much time I had left. We laughed, I got choked up, we cheered, and The Husband and I grooved to the soundtrack.
The effects are amazing. The characters mate perfectly with their actors and voices. The action is perfect. The story is gripping. And the soundtrack is GREAT!
Oh, yes. The soundtrack! AMAZING! The music is a big part of this movie, and director James Gunn did a wonderful job of incorporating the music from the 70’s and very early 80’s into this romp.
Rarely do I actively tell people they should go see a movie – as in make it a point to text my family /friends, post on social media, etc. But, with this movie, that’s exactly what I’m doing. And because I want you to experience it for yourself, I didn’t do a traditional recap/review here.
Instead, I give you my love note to the Guardians and implore you to take two or three hours out of your busy schedule and make time to see what is easily the best movie I’ve seen in years.
We saw it on Friday, and our boys have been playing Guardians for the past week. My dining room table has been requisitioned and turned into the Milano (Star-Lord’s ship, named after Peter Quill’s childhood crush Alyssa Milano).
You won’t regret it… Well, if you do, then obviously your taste in movies is lacking. (Yes, I am kidding… kinda… sorta!)
Just go see it!!! And if I haven’t sold you, maybe Nick Offerman will.
America.#GuardiansOfTheGalaxy is a resplendent feast o'humor & beauty. @prattprattpratt is our Han Solo, if Han Solo were better looking.
— Nick Offerman (@Nick_Offerman) July 30, 2014
PS – I would pay handsomely for a baby Groot!
5 1/2 baby Groots out of five! Yep!