More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 31.58%
Average: 12.28%
Pretty Bad: 10.53%
Total Crap: 5.26%

6 reviews, 21 user ratings

Latest Reviews

To the Ends of the Earth by Jay Seaver

Wood Job! by Jay Seaver

News of the World by Rob Gonsalves

Promising Young Woman by Rob Gonsalves

Wonder Woman 1984 by Rob Gonsalves

Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone by Rob Gonsalves

Mank by Rob Gonsalves

Wander Darkly by Rob Gonsalves

Stand In, The by Rob Gonsalves

MLK/FBI by alejandroariera

subscribe to this feed

Guardians of the Galaxy
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Lybarger

"You can’t go wrong with a talking raccoon."
5 stars

Like a lot of other offerings playing at multiplexes this summer, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is in 3D and features a surplus of computer generated images. There are lots of elaborately made up characters and big explosions, but director James Gunn (‘Slither’) seems to have discovered that all of these things can be even more fun if the exotic fantasy creatures are convincingly human.

It’s fitting that “Guardians of the Galaxy” comes from the Marvel Universe because the script by Gunn and Nicole Perlman never loses track of what made Marvel’s household name characters like Wolverine, The Fantastic Four and Spider-Man so memorable.

Despite their imaginative appearances and superpowers, Marvel mastermind Stan Lee and his countless disciples always imbued their creations with real world neuroses.

At their best, Marvel adventures in any medium are more thrilling because the heroes battle their own insecurities as well as supervillains. For example, whenever Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man successfully confronts his own father issues and self-doubt, it makes the eventual defeat of the bad guys seem even more monumental.

In addition to remembering the most essential part of the Marvel formula, Gunn and Perlman also add a wicked humor to the mix that makes “Guardians of the Galaxy” far more nourishing than simple eye candy.

Another intriguing aspect of “Guardians of the Galaxy” is that the title comes from a derisive joke at the protagonists’ expense. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt, “The Lego Movie”) is a gun toting desperado who imagines himself to be an intergalactic Billy the Kid.

Billy the Kidding might be more like it.

The earth-born Quill warns anyone who crosses his path that his nom de guerre is “Star Lord.” Actually, the only one in the galaxy who refers to him that way is Quill himself. Perhaps he would be taken seriously if he didn’t spend half his time dancing to the ancient Walkman his mother gave him before her death.

After obtaining a powerful talisman known as “The Orb,” Quill finds he can’t unload it because a genocidal maniac named Ronan (Lee Pace) wants the sphere, and no prospective buyer is willing to cross the gleefully homicidal maniac.

Worse, a genetically-modified Raccoon named Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and a walking tree dubbed Groot (Vin Diesel) want Quill for the sizable bounty on his head. One of Ronan’s most lethal associates Gamora (Zoe Saldana, playing yet another sexy but dangerous warrior) also wants the Orb. Actually, she’s trying to double cross her sadistic boss.

The quartet manage to get busted by the authorities, where they meet a muscular, tattooed Drax (David Bautista), who wants to avenge his wife and daughter by killing Ronan. The five know they can break out of the prison and that the detention center can’t keep The Orb out of Ronan’s hands for long. They reluctantly team up to stop Ronan from causing even more harm.

That’s pretty much it for the plot, and Gunn and Perlman are a little sketchy on what The Orb can actually do other than evil. They compensate for this gap by developing dozens of memorable and even endearing characters.

It’s hard to think of another action film that begins with a boy wrestling with the death of his mother from cancer, but by doing so Gunn makes Quill sympathetic even when his sizable ego gets in the way.

Similarly, the barely verbal Groot (his vocabulary is only slightly larger than Pikachu’s) is lovable because his heart is as soft as his bark is sturdy. His eyes are astonishingly expressive, and his ability to grow back quickly after being assaulted or mutilated make him invaluable for the mission. Because he’s both useful and likeable, think of Groot as the anti-Jar-Jar Binks.

Similarly, Rocket’s swagger covers up for the fact that he didn’t ask to become a guinea pig for sick experiments and feels lonely because he’s the only being of his kind. With scars all over his back, Rocket understandably feels bitter about not having more control of his destiny.

Having made a series of engaging characters, the inevitable mayhem and technical wizardry seem more inspiring because the spectacle comes with characters whose fates genuinely concern us. Because the Guardians are misfits, there’s something gratifying about watching them foil their slicker antagonists’ plans.

Yes, you can spot Stan Lee making yet another cameo in "Guardians of the Galaxy." More importantly, his spirit can be found in just about every frame.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 08/01/14 14:18:24
[printer] printer-friendly format  
Marvel Characters: For more in the Marvel Characters series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2014 Fantasia International Film Festival For more in the 2014 Fantasia International Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

10/30/16 morris campbell fun sweet exciting a intergalactic gem 5 stars
3/29/16 Aj wales Groot killing loads of baddies in one go then smiling. worth it alone. 4 stars
5/12/15 Christian Paulson An intergalactic delight! 5 stars
1/10/15 the rock pure garbage film 1 stars
12/28/14 Jenny Fantastic 5 stars
10/01/14 Dillon Gonzales Much better than I anticipated. 4 stars
9/05/14 mr.mike Corny but non stop sci-fi action. Saldana is a plus. 4 stars
8/20/14 christine sarkauskas Was an amazing movie! Loved it. 5 stars
8/07/14 Koitus I liked it. Unrealistic unprotected space-walk scene, though. 4 stars
8/06/14 Toni Peluso Fun Fun Fun Fun Fun AND Funny!!! 5 stars
8/06/14 Jay Extremely entertaining. A must see! 5 stars
8/05/14 Mishyana Was surprised by Peter's ranking, then noticed he liked Lee's Hulk. No longer surprised. 5 stars
8/04/14 KingNeutron Very pretty women, but I hope the next one is better- might be the next Firefly 3 stars
8/04/14 The rock terrible 1 stars
8/03/14 Charles Tatum Big fun. 4 stars
8/03/14 Oliver The modern Star Wars. What a refreshing joy to watch. 5 stars
8/02/14 Ruth Goaz Pauline Hickey aged 17 in 1985...WOW ! ! !. 5 stars
8/02/14 Darkstar Insanely awesome and funny! My new favorite Marvel movie. 5 stars
8/02/14 The king beyond awful 1 stars
8/01/14 Bob Dog Finally - - comedy returns to comic book movies! 5 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  01-Aug-2014 (PG-13)
  DVD: 09-Dec-2014


  DVD: 09-Dec-2014

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast