Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Marvel Studios

 

Rating: PG-13

 

Reason for the Rating: Intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language.

 

Plot Summary: When earthman, Peter Quill, steals a mysterious orb from an intergalactic warlord, he and four friends must save the galaxy from destruction.

 

PopFam Recommends: Witty and entertaining for ages 12 and up.

 

When I first saw the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, I must admit that I wasn’t all that excited about the prospect of seeing a movie whose stars include a raccoon and a tree. Seemed a little cheesy and far-reaching to me. Of course I’m willing to watch movies about a man who has spider-like qualities, an iron man, and a god who wields a giant hammer. But a talking raccoon?

 

Well, let me just say that the raccoon grows on you. Anyway, here’s the story...

 

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) didn’t always live in outer space. He was born on earth and lived with his mother until she died when he was a child. Immediately after her death, Peter was taken from earth by a huge spaceship where he was raised by Ravagers—“people” who scavenge and appropriate goods for profit.

 

While on a scavenging mission, Peter steals a mysterious and powerful orb, which lands him in prison. There here he forms an alliance with Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper, voicing the aforementioned talking scavenger), Groot (Vin Diesel, voicing a monosyllabic, um, plant), Gamora (Zoe Saldana, a green-skinned assassin with a heart of gold), and Drax (Dave Bautistam just an all-around intergalactic baddie ... with a heart of gold).

 

Some “action” movies save most of the action for the end, where there’s one big chase scene with explosions and such. This is not one of those movies. Action in this movie starts within the first five minutes when Peter first steals the orb (in a sequence that’d make Indiana Jones proud) and continues throughout. This could be overwhelming in a movie that runs 121 minutes, but the movie is well paced, with an excellent balance of plot, conversation and action. The dialogue is witty and full of references to all things from the 1970’s and 80’s, including Footloose, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and lots of groovy music.

 

Guardians starts as a movie about people who are loners, who’ve been hurt and keep everyone else at bay. Yet through this adventure they find friendship with each other, as well as noble characteristics they didn’t know they possessed. Compassion. Selflessness. Sacrifice. It’s moving and comedic at the same time, to hear muscle-bound Drax get weepy telling the others “You are my friend.” The tender moment is quickly shut down with sarcasm by the Raccon, but it’s clear that the connection of friendship has touched each Guardian.

 

Parents should be aware that this Marvel movie isn’t as kid friendly as some others. It’s gritty in tone with enough language to be noticeable (and some that might make you cringe, depending on the age of your child). There are also plenty of sexy women in tight clothing. In some ways the tone, setting, and action are reminiscent of Star Trek films and less of recent Marvel films.

 

If you’re looking for awesome special features on the Blu-ray edition of this movie, you won’t find much beyond the standard gag reel, “making of” featurette, and deleted scenes. That means there’ll probably be higher-priced “awesome special edition!” repackages in the near future, but I guess that’s the movie biz, folks.

 

Overall, though, I was pleasantly surprised by Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s smart, witty, touching, and enough action to keep everyone entertained. Now if I can just get my head around Howard the Duck...

 

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• What makes the Guardians different from other superheroes? Explain.

 

• These men and women became friends to reach a particular goal. Do you think they will continue as friends now that this goal has been met? Why or why not?

 

• The Bible says God "who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." How did you see this displayed in Guardians of the Galaxy?

 

JW

 

Tags: Guardians of the Galaxy,Rocket Raccoon,Groot,Peter Quill,Chris Pratt,Zoe Saldana,Bradley Cooper,Drax,Gamora,Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel,James Gunn,Stan Lee

 

Note: All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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