GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – Review by Susan Granger

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guardians of the galaxy Marvel expands its cinematic clout to encompass another colorful franchise, encompassing a rag-tag team of intergalactic adventurers. Headed by Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star Lord (Chris Pratt), the quintet includes the green-skinned warrior Gamora (Zoe Saldana), vengeance-seeking Drax the Destroyer (WWW champ Dave Bautista) and two endearing CG characters: clever, cybernetically-enhanced, gun-slinging Rocket Raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper, and Groot, a humanoid, self-regenerating tree whose one line of dialogue (“I am Groot”) is uttered repeatedly – but with different intonations – by Vin Diesel. Read on…

It begins in 1988, when grief-stricken, nine year-old Peter, whose cancer-ravaged mother has just died, is abducted from Earth and zapped into the cosmos. Now thirtysomething, he still carries his Walkman and earphones, bopping to a mixtape of funky ‘70s songs, like “Hooked on a Feeling,” “Cherry Bomb,” “Come and Get Your Love,” and “I’m Not in Love.” Piloting his own spacecraft, Peter is an intrepid mercenary, scavenging once-populated-but-now-deserted planets, on the payroll of a blue-skinned Ravager, Yondu (Michael Rooker). Dispatched after a mysterious silver Orb, Peter discovers it’s also coveted by ruthless Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), a villainous warlord who wants to trade it in exchange for the power to destroy Xandar, home to the Nova Corps, the space militia that’s been at war with Ronan’s race, the evil Kree, headed by all-powerful Thanos (Josh Brolin), who appeared during a brief post-credit scene in “The Avengers” (2012).

Humorously adapted from the Marvel comic book series by Nicole Perlman and director James Gunn (“Slither”), it’s an origin story, filled with irreverent one-liners and running gags, propelled by wise-cracking Chris Platt in his first leading role after years of playing supporting parts in “Her,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Moneyball” and TV’s “Parks and Recreation.” Completing the ensemble are Benicio Del Toro as The Collector, Djimon Hounsou as Ronan’s lieutenant, Glenn Close as Nova’s Defense Minister and John C. Reilly as her Corpsman.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is an energetic 8. In 3D, it’s goofy, space-faring fun.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.