About a year ago, I read that Marvel Studios was producing a movie titled “Guardians of the Galaxy” which would be based on characters from the comic book series. Admittedly I’d never heard of these Marvel characters before. The movie trailer offered a glimpse of the story yet ultimately left me feeling perplexed. Was it supposed to be a screwball action comedy? After all, the lead character, Peter Quill aka Star Lord, was being played by Chris Pratt, an actor best known for his portrayal of Andy Dwyer on the relatively obscure comedy television series “Parks and Recreation”. Also, what exactly was the deal with the 1970s based music soundtrack? In the time it took me to consume a cool tasty beverage, I concluded a science fiction movie with its roots and music from the 1970s had to be worth a look. Besides, it worked for “Star Wars”, right?
How’s the Story?
In a word, fun. Armed with a smart fast-paced screenplay and a phenomenal cast, the story takes flight early on engaging the audience with a brief albeit necessary piece of exposition about the main character’s past. What’s also established is the integral importance of music, specifically, 1970s music courtesy of a mix tape, that not only provide much of the movie’s soundtrack but also sets the tone for “Guardians of the Galaxy”. Given that the vast majority of audiences seeing the movie will not have prior knowledge of the lead characters, this film really functions as an origin story and an amazingly entertaining one at that. Director James Gunn was smart to give each Guardian enough screen time to shine. I loved getting to know the five of them individually as well as their formation as a team. The experience was reminiscent of the enthralling “Raiders of the Lost Ark” or the groundbreaking “Star Wars”(the original circa 1977).
How are the Special Effects?
Seamless. The “Guardians of the Galaxy” story universe has elements of futuristic high tech coupled with anachronistic design. Yet the gadgetry never takes center stage. Instead it merely exists to propel the story forward. Han solo’s bucket of bolts Millennium Falcon would feel right at home.
The movie is rated PG-13, can I take my younger kids to see it?
It depends. Being that “Guardians of the Galaxy” is an action movie, there’s an expectation of violence. Yet much like “The Avengers”, the gore level is minimal and the intensity is similar to typical Saturday morning animated superhero television series. If your younger kids (8 and up) have been regular viewers of such fare, this movie will not be a problem. Remember though, parental guidance is recommended.
Any opportunity for Bathroom Breaks during the movie?
As mentioned previously, the movie is fast-paced and action packed. Perhaps one could step out during the prison scenes or when the Guardians are visiting the Collector.
Overall Grade: A-
Recommended for ages 10 and up.
Pros: Engaging story, great cast, fun soundtrack.
Cons: The main bad guy seems like an afterthought.
Watch the official trailer for “Guardians of the Galaxy”