Saturday, April 13, 2024

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Is Yet Another Success to Marvel At


Marvel really knows what it’s doing making films. Who could have ever guessed that they would just keep getting it right, movie after movie, adapting their beloved comics?

On Friday “Guardians of the Galaxy” will extend their hitting streak. Owing a lot to the original “Star Wars” movies, “GG” is a hoot, very witty, full of smart stuff so that while 12 year olds are captivated by the 3D special effects– they’re very good– parents will get a kick out of the film.

The big surprise is that Chris Pratt, of “Parks and Recreation” fame, fits right into the wise cracking mold of Harrison Ford. Pratt leads a pretty impressive cast, too, that has extended cameos from heavyweights like Glenn Close, among others. Keep your eye on the screen and you’ll see both Marvel creator Stan Lee and movie star Josh Brolin skip across the screen.

But then there’s Pratt’s central gang. Zoe Saldana as the tough talking heroine, Vin Diesel as a magic tree, David Bautista as a strong man, and Bradley Cooper– yes, Bradley Cooper– as the voice of Rocket Raccoon, the live animated leader of this pack who owes more to Morey Amsterdam than he does to Yoda. I will offer that this might be Cooper’s best role ever.

And look at that gang– they owe more to “The Wizard of Oz” than to “Star Wars.” Such is the genius of James Gunn and Nicole Perlman’s script that the main characters bond quickly as a family as they skip across the yellow brick road, er, galaxy.

It doesn’t hurt that pop music from the 1970s is its own subplot here. From the Runaways to “Ooh Child”– you’ve got to see Chris Pratt’s dance off–to a Motown finale (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Jackson 5), this is the kind of goofy take on comics and sci- fi that launches a cult. And sequels.

One more thing: somehow this movie connects itself up to “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” I won’t give it away. But Kevin and Kyra should be fairly amused.

Expect huge box office this weekend.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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