Guardians Of The GalaxyWalt Disney / Marvel
2014
PG-13

“Really? Well, on my planet, we have a legend about people like you. It’s called Footloose. And in it, a great hero, named Kevin Bacon, teaches an entire city full of people with sticks up their butts that, dancing, well, is the greatest thing there is.”

Peter Quill, a man of the ’80s, finds himself caught in the middle of a conflict spanning the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe attempting to earn his title of Star-Lord with a team of ex-cons that includes a genetically engineered raccoon, a sentient alien tree of royal descent, a human who died and came back a killing machine, and a powerful assassin who vows revenge against her master.

I have to humbly admit that I was not expecting to enjoy Guardians Of The Galaxy as much as I did. I didn’t watch this in the theater during its initial run, mainly due to my unfamiliarity with the source material. Normally, that wouldn’t deter me from watching a movie adaptation: I was right there at the theaters the opening night for Iron Man and The Avengers, after all. But, where I at least had a general grasp of the other better-known characters, I literally knew next to nothing about the source material on this one. I maybe had heard of Rocket Racoon due to my reading of Wizard Magazine back in the day, but other than that, everything else that I knew you could have fit on a cocktail napkin.

So, because of the relative obscurity of it, and having one of the fellow Exalted Geeks tell me I could go ahead and wait for the rental after having caught it on the big screen himself, I did just that: waited until it came out on DVD, and then rented it to give it a watch. Then forgot about watching it, returned it, then promptly forgot to care enough to re-rent it to watch, and then got around to actually doing it for realsies some time later, when I was bored enough to remember to watch it, and needing some background noise going whilst I was packing my things in my old crypt for the move to the Haunted Victorian. What? I can multi-task.

After having finally watched it, I have to admit that, once again, Marvel Studios has made me enjoy something I could initially care less for far more than was possible. This movie had everything going against it as far as I was concerned…and yet, by the first ten minutes I was hooked fast, the film having lured me in with its gorgeous cinematography, then nailing me with its well-crafted story and great character development, as well as some of the snappiest banter and breath-taking action sequences I’ve seen. Once again, James Gunn has taken what could potentially have been a disaster for the Marvel Movie Universe and made it one of the best ones out of the entire stable of Disney/Marvel movies.

I don’t say this often, but I will here: I am very sorry I didn’t catch this on the big screen when I had the chance. If you haven’t seen this one yet, make it a point to do so. Even if you haven’t seen the other Marvel movies, if you’re a fan of space operas like Star Wars and Buck Rogers, and appreciate well-written and snappy dialogue this side of Joss Whedon, you need to check out Guardians Of The Galaxy. If nothing more than to believe that a pro wrestler can have tight comic timing as a Straight Man. That came off sounding far more sexualized than intended. Point is, watch Guardians Of The Galaxy. Highly recommended.

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