Some of the initial Twitter reaction to Guardians of the Galaxy compared it to Star Wars, and that’s a pretty accurate comparison. Both movies do exactly the same thing — they take an old-as-dirt story and dress it up in space-opera attire, Star Wars taking directly from Arthurian legend and Guardians of the Galaxy being a much more generic five-man band story. This particular combination of old and new and bold and safe is what makes Star Wars possibly the best movie ever made for a general audience, and Guardians of the Galaxy follows in those footsteps well.
The anchoring protagonist is “Star-Lord” Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), a space cowboy destined for greatness who was taken from his home at a young age because of his mother’s death and his father’s “death.” Over the first hour or so, he rounds up a group to help him recover a mysterious orb he stole during an introductory sequence — Gamora (Zoe Saldana), another hero with evil father issues; Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), another space cowboy/pirate who’s only out for himself; Groot (Vin Diesel), a significantly more adorable iteration of Chewbacca; and Drax (Dave Bautista), who parallels with… 3PO? I don’t know.
Over the course of a two-hour romp, the quintet takes on Darth Maul (Lee Pace), who wants to destroy all life on heavily-populated Xandar, for some reason. He reports to Thanos (Josh Brolin), who isn’t very important to this film.
So, yeah, the Star Wars parallels run a little deeper than the basic structure.
But that’s not a bad thing. This movie will leave audiences feeling the exact same way they did walking out of theaters 35 years ago. Guardians of the Galaxy is a blast. It’s fresh, it’s exciting, it’s family-friendly, it’s got all the ’70s and ’80s music you can handle, it’s coming to theaters at a time of desperate need — there hasn’t been an even halfway-decent movie widely released since early June, and next on the docket is Michael Bay messing up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
For all its flaws — being too long, having too many characters and waxing poetic about friendship too often are normally damning pitfalls — Guardians of the Galaxy is about as close to perfect as movies get. Pretty much anyone will enjoy it immensely.
Joshua Knopp is a formerly professional film critic, licensed massage therapist, journalism and film student at the University of North Texas and news editor for the NT Daily. The global water deficit has finally reached America, watch a solution be reached immediately. For questions, rebuttals and further guidance about cinema, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. At this point, I’d like to remind you that you shouldn’t actually go to movies and form your own opinions. That’s what I’m here for.