What a quixotic, whimsical and offbeat adventure! This is a great space opera rather strongly reminiscent of Farscape. A bunch of misfits are thrown together and ultimately become stronger together, facing off against a great evil. Chris Pratt’s character Peter Quill, or as he really hopes to be called, ‘Star-Lord’, is our anchor in that he’s from Earth and makes many quips regarding our culture and society. The juxtaposition of troll dolls, great 1970s & 80s music and the “heroic epic” of Footloose against the world of aliens and spaceships is truly hilarious. Zoe Saldana is as fabulous in green as she was in blue in Avatar, proving she’s the ultimate woman of, er, color. Rocket, a genetically modified racoon, is a wise-cracking trash-talking little bomb of ebullience, tempered with a massive chip on his shoulder and a grudge against the universe (call him Ranger Rick at your peril). But my favorite character by far was Groot, a (mostly) gentle giant of the plant variety. It’s quite a trick to create a tree-based character that is in no way an Ent, and Groot’s child-like actions and expressions are as far from Treebeard as you can get. The good guys are great, but I’ve also got to give kudos to the bad guys, as what’s a story without a good villain? Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) is scary good as Nebula and Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies) was chilling as fanatical nut job Ronan. With a very well-written script, scintillating and gorgeous visual effects, some incredibly original and creative technology (Ronan’s ship, the Dark Aster! – Yondu’s sentient arrow!), wry humor and genuine pathos, this whole movie radiated a sense of joy and optimism that I found very moving as well as richly entertaining. Easily my favorite Marvel movie to date, I’m delighted there will be more of these and plan to buy the DVD à l’instant. – BETHANY
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Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), a.k.a. Star-lord.
Groot – Not an Ent.
An unlikely quintet: Peter Quill, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Groot (Vin Diesel).
Rocket really loves guns.
Karen Gillan as Nebula
Yondu and his sentient arrow, which he controls by whistling.
The Nova Corps defends Xandar.
Gamora and Peter totally ignore the spectacular scenery in front of them. Well, to be fair it’s only a green screen.
Green and Blue – is there any color that doesn’t look good on this woman? (image found at genius.com)
Ronan’s ship, The Dark Aster.
Photos courtesy of Marvel Studios, Marvel Enterprises, Moving Picture Company (MPC) and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures