...But hands off, it's mine!
Just kidding. Guardians of the Galaxy is for everyone. It made over $11 million last night alone, which suggests a possible $100 million opening weekend (a record for August). Good. Everyone give this movie all of your money, because it deserves it. I don't remember the last time I saw a blockbuster so lovable, one that through extremely efficient establishment of back story (and pathos), made me feel so strongly for the characters on screen—even the ones who were a talking raccoon and a regenerating tree/man combo voiced by Vin Diesel. I'm sorry, make that, especially the ones who were a talking raccoon and a regenerating tree/man combo voiced by Vin Diesel. I had Gremlins levels of creature envy—I felt like a 6-year-old desperately wanting to inhabit that world so that I could interact with/own its monsters. "Watching Guardians Of The Galaxy Is Like Getting Back Part Of Your Soul" is the headline of Charlie Jane Anders' Guardians review on io9. Yes. That is correct.
The movie overflows with charm, due in no small part to the charisma of leads Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana. Writer/director James Gunn's sense of humor is uncommonly sharp and off the wall for a $170 million space adventure with blockbuster potential. The movie routinely and affectionately skewers the intellectual shortcomings of some of its alien characters:
Rocket (the raccoon): These people are completely literal. Metaphors are gonna go right over their heads.
Drax (played by professional wrestler Dave Batista): Nothing goes over my head. My reflexes are too good.
At one point Pratt's Peter Quill implores Saldana's Gamora to dance and she demurs. "On my home planet there's a legend about people like you," he tells her. "It's called Footloose." He then explains the premise, that it's a movie about people in a town "with sticks up their butts" who learn the joy of dancing, blah blah blah. After his spiel, she asks, "Who put the sticks up their butts?"
The skyscapes—explosions of colors in clouds—are routinely gorgeous. The soundtrack, including the climactic use of the Five Stairsteps' "Ooh Child," is terrific. Benicio del Toro has a cameo, in which he is dressed basically as a space Liberace from the future.
Gush gush gush is all I can do when I talk about this movie. I suspect many people will do the same. This is coming from someone who routinely dislikes the other movies in this Marvel franchise. I wish more Marvel movies were as fast and loose and witty as this one. I wish more summer blockbusters were, too.