I am amazed at how well Guardians of the Galaxy came together. I remember first hearing about GotG from ComicCon recaps last year when Marvel announced that GotG would be the last movie in their “Phase 2” before the Avengers sequel. It seemed weird to me that rather than making a Hulk solo movie (since Hulk was the breakout star of Avengers), they were making something I had never heard of. According to all accounts Marvel was taking a flyer on a obscure franchise on the fringes of their comic universe. My confusion was all the more magnified when I found out that GotG featured as 2 of its main characters, a talking raccoon and a semi-talking tree. I was able to completely buy-in when the Avengers had to stop the Chitauri army that descended from an intergalactic portal, but this anthropomorphic GotG premise seemed like a stretch even for a comic/superhero movie. Even stranger was that Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel would both be involved but only as voices to CGI characters. They seemed like way too big of stars to be doing voice work, especially a “Sexiest Man Alive” like Bradley Cooper.

This Chitauri invasion from Avengers seemed plausible. But a talking racoon? C’mon!

And that bafflement was where things stood until this trailer dropped in late Feb 2014.

That’s when my perceptions completely changed. Rather than try to take itself way too seriously, the team behind GotG was embracing the ridiculousness of the premise. It was a funny and very refreshing trailer. They were “in on the joke.” It seemed like very wise strategy and smart way to make the movie. Not every movie can be The Dark Knight. That movie was very heavy and very serious (to “Amazing” results), but that movie is the exception not the rule. DC tried to take the gravitas of the Nolan/Bale Batman franchise into 2013’s Superman and it was largely a failure. That movie tried to be heavier and more serious than it could pull off. I left that movie satisfied to never need to see Superman again.

Guardians of the Galaxy went the other way, to huge success. GotG was funny, light-hearted, and ultimately just a really fun movie to watch. Chris Pratt was prefect! He is so likable and it brought a “lovable loser” element to his character. And props to him for getting so buff! He is definitely not the same husky guy from Parks and Rec.

Guess who got super buff?

Guess who got super buff?

And even though his amazing hair and good looks were hidden behind a CGI raccoon, Bradley Cooper was very good in his voice work. Ultimately this movie was fun and funny. I enjoyed it way more than I could have imagined considering how skeptical I was at the original announcement. I ended up seeing it twice in 4 days! It was so entertaining and enjoyable that I flirted with giving it a rating of “Amazing”, but ultimately settled on “Great.” Go see it and have a good time enjoying a movie that isn’t ashamed to be fun.

groot-smile-gotg

If you don’t enjoy this movie, then you’re less human than this tree-guy-thing

Update: This movie has become my favorite of 2014, and might be moving into my personal top 10. I’m officially upgrading Guardians to “Amazing”.

 

Final Verdict: “Amazing”– See if early and often!

DVD: Pre-Order! The rewatchability of this movie is very high due to its fun, humor, and music.

RT Audience Score: 96

CinemaScore: A

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IMDB Rating: [imdblive:rating]