Guardians of the Galaxy

Rated: PG-13

Back in the late 90’s when the Bruce Willis movie The Fifth Element came out I got my share of flak for being one of the only people on the planet (or at least the only person I’ve ever met) who actually liked it. As a matter of fact The Fifth Element is one of my all-time favorite movies. I know it’s a cheesy sci-fi flick, but there’s just something about it that compels me to watch it any chance I get. Whether it’s on HBO, on DVD or just on TV again, at this point I’ve seen it more times than I can count. That’s why, from the first time I saw the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy I knew I had to see it. There’s just something about it that reminds me of The Fifth Element. I’m not sure what, exactly it is, but I knew right away that I’d love this movie too.

Guardians of the Galaxy is based on the Marvel comic book of the same name and is about Peter Quill, an American who is kidnapped by aliens just after the death of his mother. The alien’s intentions were to eat the boy, but instead one of them raises Peter as his own. Grown up and in the treasure hunting business, Peter finds himself in more trouble than he bargained for when he steals a powerful and mysterious orb that is sought after by the evil Ronan the Accuser. Forced into befriending the very bounty hunters that were after him, Peter makes it their mission to defeat Ronan and save the galaxy from certain destruction.

In a summer that didn’t produce much of anything to get excited for, Guardians of the Galaxy made it genuinely fun to go to the movies again. It did surprise me a bit, however, to find that the reviews for this were almost unanimously good. Usually with this type of off-the-wall story line (such as with The Fifth Element) the reviews are mixed and polarized, they either love it or hate it. That doesn’t seem to be the case here though, which, of course, is a good thing.

Chris Pratt has proven, once again, that he’s the new star to watch out for in his role as Peter Quill. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a children’s movie, a sitcom, a drama, an action flick or a comedy, Pratt makes it all look easy and effortless. Of course, that’s what great actors do, and I have a feeling Pratt is going to be around for a good long while.

As for Vin Diesel, he’s proven, once again, (as with his role as the Iron Giant in The Iron Giant) that it’s not the number of lines you have that really counts. He plays Groot, a humanish tree thing who can only say “I am Groot.” As a sort of homage to the character, and in response to the recently popular “ice bucket challenge” for ALS, Diesel has started his own campaign: Plant a Tree for Groot. While not yet as popular as the “ice bucket challenge”, this one is starting to gain steam as many of Diesel’s social media followers have“Planted a Tree for Groot.” I urge you all to jump on this band wagon. I know I already have.

Altogether, Guardians of the Galaxy is exactly what summer movies should be, with something for (almost) all ages (although the little ones should probably sit this one out). In an era when so many movies have been so terrible that it hurts me to know that I’ve paid to see them (no matter how small that amount may be), it’s truly refreshing to see something so enjoyable from beginning to end. And of course, as is the case with so many comic book movies, the ending was left open to sequels. I just hope they’ll be as great as the original, although they have a lot to live up to. Only time will tell. Sequels or not, I encourage you all to see this movie. Afterwards you’ll be glad you did!

Guardians of the Galaxy is rated PG-13, was directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradly Cooper, Dave Bautista and Lee Pace. It's available now on BluRay, DVD and digital download.