Guardians of the Galaxy

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guardians of galaxy PHOTOMaybe I was expecting a lot from this movie. The filmmaker did a little indie picture I loved called Super (Ellen Page, Rainn Wilson). It dealt with a super hero. Sort of.

Everyone loved the sci-fi comedy Galaxy Quest and I thought this would be just as funny. Heck, it even has the word “Galaxy” in the title. Yet all my friends loved Buckaroo Banzai, which I hated. So I’m probably not the target audience for this goofy space adventure.

This was adapted from the Marvel comic book series. Every character in this delivers their line with a wink. There are some humorous lines that work, but it needed a lot more. It also borrowed humor from many other places. For example, there’s a scene where John C. Reilly reads a message he got from a criminal that’s pleading for help. He ends it saying, “I know you think I’m a 100% d**k, but I’m serious about this.”

When Glenn Close asks if she believes him, Reilly replies, “I don’t think anybody is 100% d**k.” Cute, but wasn’t that like the Ghostbusters line Bill Murray uses? And when Chris Platt keeps playing tunes from his “awesome mix tapes”….hasn’t that type of humor been done to death? Think about Boogie Nights when a drug deal and shooting is about to go down, and Alfred Molina has to play his 80s mix tapes while conducting business with the nervous guys on the couch. But really, you can think of lots of films that have used mix tapes (to mixed results).

When explosions and shooting are going on all around Chris Pratt’s character, he fights back while the Pina Colada song blasts in his Walkman headphones. Movies have even used that exact song for similar scenes.

Peter Quill/Star Lord (Chris Pratt) does a great job as the slacker character. How can you not laugh when he’s flipping off the folks taking mug shots? And sure, we love his mix tapes as well. We get to hear 10cc, The Raspberries, Runaways, and they’re smart enough not to use David Bowie’s Space Oddity, but instead Moonage Daydream.

Zoe Saldana, who was great in Avatar but not in much else, seems miscast here.

Bradley Cooper, in an unrecognizable voice, was a lot of fun as Rocket Raccoon (isn’t that a Beatles song?).

I have no clue why they cast Vin Diesel to do the voice of a tree, when his only line in the entire movie is “I’m Groot.” I guess it gives the movie more publicity when he can appear on talk shows and joke about how hard it was to learn all his lines.

The character of Drax was played by a professional wrestler named Dave Bautista…and he had a great screen presence, with his bald head and bulging shoulders.

There’s no sense explaining the story, because there really isn’t one. A rag-tag group of renegade misfits bands together, since all the other bad guys with blue skin and weird foreheads are out to kill them and steal the “orb.” Not sure what the orb does, but I think it has something to do with controlling the universe.

This film is so overstuffed with crap and very self-aware. That zaps a lot of the fun out of it for me, but I have to admit – the CGI and special effects are fun to look at. You won’t feel bad that you spent the extra couple bucks for 3D.

Since the set design and costumes are interesting and enough of the lines work, I have to recommend it. Teenagers will love the naughtiness of this PG-13 film, and most adults are going to like it. They’ll hear songs they loved in the ‘70s, and references from the ‘80s – and they’ll feel like they’re in the know and having a blast.

I wish I could’ve enjoyed it as much as everyone else is going to. It only gets 2 ½ stars out of 5 from me.

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