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Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews

Guardians of the Galaxy (3-D) | Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Michael Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Benicio Del Toro, Glenn Close, John C. Reilly | Review

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4 Chicks SmallJacqueline Monahan

Jacqueline  Monahan

Las Vegas Round The Clock
Jacqueline Monahan is an educator for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also an entertainment reporter for
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Guardians of the Galaxy  (3-D) | Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Michael Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Benicio Del Toro, Glenn Close, John C. Reilly | Review

The visuals alone are galactic eye candy, but the snarky dialogue is a treat for the ears in this humorous, fast-paced Marvel tale that coalesces five disparate characters into the titular force, a team that protects far more than just our world, the tiny planet known as Terra.

Star-Lord Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) a Walkman-carrying, charismatic explorer of dubious character retrieves a silver orb containing matter capable of mass destruction from an (almost) dead planet, and soon finds out that (almost) everyone in the galaxy wants to get their hands on it.

Taking the orb back to Xandar (home of Nova Corps, an intergalactic police task force) Quill seeks to sell the silver ball; he’s only in it for the money until…

Ronan (Lee Pace) an evil under lord working for the even more evil Thanos (Josh Brolin, voice) sends one of Thanos’ adopted daughters Gamora (a literally very green Zoe Saldana) to retrieve the orb, much to the dismay of her multi-hued sister Nebula (Karen Gillan) in a classic case of sibling rivalry – a kind of “dad likes YOU best” in space.

Also in hot pursuit are the genetically-engineered raccoon, Rocket (Bradley Cooper, voice) and his wooden sidekick Groot (Vin Diesel, voice and motion-capture) a tall, tree-like humanoid that can grow, break and re-grow endlessly.

After casing a very public commotion, Quill and his three would-be captors are thrown into the Kyln, a jail together and team up, after much acrimony with a very tattooed muscleman named Drax (Michael Bautista) who wants revenge on Ronan for killing his family.

Wait a minute.  Wasn’t Gamora sent on assignment by Ronan?  Is she good or bad?  Why does Drax want to slit her throat?  How is she a guardian?  All this unfolds in 3-D splendor which neither helps nor hurts the film’s madcap progress.

Gamora is green, but that does nothing to deter the rascally Quill from trying to kiss her.  It was bound to happen, but you’ll forgive that when you see that this girl is quite capable of taking the guy out if she felt like it (as in knocked out).  Rocket the raccoon has some of the best lines, while Groot has only one. “I am Groot!” is all the tree-being can say, but it means something different each time.  Drax is an interstellar Queequeg on a quest; he takes everything literally.

The quirky quintet stage a breakout, but find that Ronan, Nebula, and Yondu (Michael Rooker) the blue scavenger who raised Quill after he was kidnapped from Earth as a child, are all after the orb.  Everyone wants in on the action, and everyone wants the orb, Yondu because it’s pretty, Ronan, because it’s powerful, Nebula, to prove that she’s superior to Gamora.  To make it more interesting, everyone’s got weapons and means of space travel.  Ronan’s ship is the Dark Aster; Quill’s is the Milano, but that is one powerful cookie, er …vehicle.

Arriving on Knowhere, built inside the giant severed head of a god, the group meets the Collector (Benicio Del Toro) who opens the orb to find the incredibly powerful infinity stone.  Things get explosive.  You can’t touch that thing! And Ronan’s forces arrive, including Korath (Djimon Hounsou).  

From that point on it’s a nearly non-stop battle for orb ownership that rivals the repartee between the fab five guardians who clash with each other almost as much as their enemy combatants.

Back on Xandar, Nova Prime (Glenn Close, looking like an extraterrestrial Cruella De Vil) and Corpsman Dey (John C, Reilly) try to maintain order and government on a planet that could soon be destroyed if Ronan prevails.

Co-writer/director James Gunn (Melvin Goes to Dinner) along with first-time screenwriter Nicole Perlman, create an irreverent, wisecracking universe filled with mutants, machines, and mayhem.

Massively entertaining if a bit hyperactive, there’s plenty to look at, plenty to laugh at, and of course, the requisite appearance of Stan Lee, this time holding a tall blonde in his arms – and she’s not even green.

All of this adds up to great farcical fun, with explosions to punctuate the wisecracks and that great slo-mo walk that all five do when they finally realize their destiny as the titular titans.

The Guardians have arrived, and they’re not leaving anytime soon.


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