Guardians of the Galaxy

As I may have told you fine readers before, I have a relatively new appreciation for comic book movies. I’ve never liked Christian Bale as Batman, and I’ve all but given up on Spiderman (there are just too many movies), but the latest Marvel movies are really something special.

Vol. 1

I enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy almost as much as I enjoyed Joss Whedon’s Avengers. (I’m not so good at remembering all the planet and character names, so bear with me here.) Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) was abducted by aliens at about age 10, and since being adopted by a bunch of blue men he’s been making his way across the galaxies hunting for treasure and selling it to the highest bidders. His latest find, a baseball-sized orb containing (unbeknownst to him) an infinity stone, is a pretty hot commodity, as evidenced by all the people/creatures coming after him. One such person/creature is Gamora (Zoe Saldana), daughter of the evil Thanos, but she’s actually seeking the item in hopes of eliminating her father and his evil plan once and for all. So Peter, Gamora, Groot (a humanoid tree “voiced” by Vin Diesel), Rocket (a super-raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Drax (Dave Bautista) team up to bring the orb somewhere safe. The usual comic book movie chaos ensues, including lots of traveling through space and blowing things up.

The movie has a lot more comic relief, mostly from you’ve-been-working-out-haven’t-you Chris Pratt, than other superhero stories, but I think that’s a great thing. The other great thing is the way all these Marvel movies tie together — the “Collector” who the team first brings the infinity stone to was featured at the end of the latest Thor — and how they all have that sneaky little clip at the way way end of the credits.

I would also like to point out that I saw this movie while sitting right behind New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife and son. Bill and family seemed to the enjoy the film as much as I did, in case anyone was wondering.

Vol. 2

I didn’t sit behind any local politicians this time, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was pretty darn enjoyable. It focuses less on the problems of the galaxy and more on the problems of one Peter Quill, and it definitely opens up the franchise to more villains and new spin-off movies.

Gamora is insistent on helping her somewhat evil sister Nebula, which is how they end up in a mini-war with The Sovereign, these elitist gold people with high-tech space battle equipment. In the midst of this war the Guardians are saved by a mysterious newcomer, who turns out to be Peter Quill’s godly father, played by Kurt Russell. The gang splits up, with most accompanying Peter and his father to his home planet and just Rocket and Nebula defending the ship, and defend they must when Peter’s original captors from when he was 10 years old team up with the gold Sovereign people to defeat the Guardians once and for all.

However, things never go as planned, and bad guys are sometimes actually good guys and good guys are some times actually bad guys, so there are quite a few plot twists and character revelations after Peter learns the truth about his father. No spoilers here!

I must say, the thing that stood out to me the most in this movie? Chris Pratt’s unbelievably FLAWLESS skin. Even filmed with super-duper-HD cameras and blown up on a huge movie screen, that man’s skin is perfection.  Chris, what is your secret?

 

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