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'Guardians of the Galaxy' review: Comedian rhapsody

Guardians of the galaxy

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"Guardians of the Galaxy" comes to conventional, 3D, and IMAX theaters starting this Friday.

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord.
Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord.
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, used with permission.
One of many theatrical posters for "Guardians of the Galaxy."
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, used with permission.

As a young boy, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) loses his mother to illness and is abducted by The Ravagers in 1988. Quill is raised by a blue bandit named Yondu (Michael Rooker) and grows into a man filled with greed looking for the next big score. Quill stumbles onto a precious orb currently sought by Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) who has every intention of delivering the orb to Thanos (Josh Brolin).

Quill steals the orb out from under Yondu's nose, which prompts Yondu to put a bounty out on Quill's head. This attracts the attention of a firearms expert, who just so happens to be a raccoon, named Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and his humanoid tree companion Groot (Vin Diesel). Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a daughter of Thanos who works for Ronan, agrees to obtain the orb while a super strong warrior named Drax (Dave Bautista) looks for vengeance for his family that was taken from him by Ronan.

The orb contains a mysterious power that makes its possessor practically unstoppable. Five self-centered individuals who are used to looking out for themselves have to learn to work together as the fate of the galaxy rests in their hands.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" is unlike any other Marvel film before it. Its writer/director James Gunn was mostly known for a couple of bizarre yet amazing R-rated independent comedies until now. While there are several elements that allow the film to work, the importance of the film's soundtrack is the heart and soul of not only Peter Quill's inspiration but also what solidifies the film as one of the most unique superhero cinematic experiences thus far.

The humor in the film is also hilarious. Gunn is known for including quirky; off the cuff comedy in his works and "Guardians of the Galaxy" takes that bull by the horns and rides it for two straight hours. Sometimes it's a long running gag like Quill's devotion to educating the world on his alter ego of Star-Lord, but the film has a sarcastic, ironic, and smart-aleck atmosphere littered with schmucks who take pride in being A-holes. If witty and satirical comedy is your thing then "Guardians of the Galaxy" delivers in a monumental way.

The visuals of this eccentric space adventures are absolutely gorgeous. It's like a love affair between "Blade Runner" and "The Avengers" that literally just takes pride in kicking the crap out of you with undeniable awesome. Even with how vibrant and spectacular the special effects are you almost forget to realize that the characters are the one part of the film more colorful than the film itself.

The film seems to be trying to connect so many different side stories as an overabundance of individuals are searching for the orb. This hasn't even covered Benicio Del Toro's The Collector character or how he factors into all of this. The story is hectic and scattered just like the lives of Peter Quill and everyone else who's ever stepped onto the Milano; Quill’s ship. It's incredible that every character has an opportunity to shine whether the payoff is a fantastic action sequence, amusing strings of dialogue, or a combination of the two.

You might not recognize Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket. He apparently channeled Joe Pesci's Tommy DeVito character from "Goodfellas," but he sounds more like Rich Fulcher from "The Mighty Boosh." Dave Bautista deserves some accolades for his portrayal of Drax. Bautista is a WWE pro wrestler/superstar and is mostly known for playing big, meathead type of characters with no depth. Drax has a fairly large vocabulary, is extremely conflicted, and driven by grief. Bautista is surprisingly great in the role as he delivers the best performance of his career.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" begins as this intergalactic story told from the perspective of five individuals who only care about themselves and will never be able to co-exist with anyone else, but the film evolves into a heroic tale that really speaks to you filled with noble sacrifices and selfless acts.

James Gunn's latest film is a visually stunning achievement. The excessive yet welcome amount of humor keeps the film lighthearted despite billions of lives being at stake. The diverse cast of characters allows for a level of satisfying entertainment that surpasses even the likes of "The Avengers." Unconventionally comical and overflowing with sci-fi action, "Guardians of the Galaxy" is an extraordinary group of A-holes everyone can cheer for.