Sunday, August 24, 2014

An Enjoyable Trip through the Galaxy

Even though I grew up with the campiest Batman ever, I actually prefer it when my superheroes play it straight.

That’s the reason I wasn’t too excited for Guardians of the Galaxy. Based on the previews, it looked like they played it for laughs. Maybe that’s the way you market a movie where one of your leads is a talking raccoon.

Michael Rooker steals scenes as Yondu
And there are plenty of laughs in Guardians of the Galaxy. But don’t get fooled by the trailer. The movie actually treats its characters as seriously as a Spiderman or Batman flick with an actual plot and actual character development.

In fact, if I were to compare Guardians of the Galaxy to another movie, I’d compare it to early Star Wars. You’ve got a renegade, self-important and reluctant hero who bounds around the galaxy with a group of misfits that look like they came straight from the Star Wars cantina scene. Then there’s a huge, impenetrable, enemy battleship to be breeched. Sound familiar? Maybe George Lucas ought to get his attorneys on the phone.

Nevertheless I enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy. The special effects are fresh and interesting, especially the way Groot’s powers are interpreted. There is also a magical arrow shot that would’ve made William Tell envious.

The cast was terrific, including Chris Pratt playing the lead, Star-Lord, with just the right amount of swagger mixed with self-doubt. Michael Rooker of The Walking Dead steals his scenes as Yondu. And, of course, you can never go wrong with a Stan Lee cameo.