Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

Directed by ….. James Gunn

Written by …. James Gunn and Nicole Perlman
Based on Marvel comic book by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

Chris Pratt …. Peter Quill
Zoe Saldana …Gamora
Dave Bautista …. Drax
Vin Diesel …. Groot
Bradley Cooper …Rocket
Lee Pace …. Ronan
Michael Rooker … Yondu Udonta
Karen Gillan …. Nebula
Djimon Hounsou …. Korath
John C. Reilly … Corpsman Dey
Glenn Close …. Nova Prime
Benicio Del Toro …. The Collector
Laura Haddock …. Meredith Quill
Christopher Fairbank …. The Broker

With the virtually universal success that occurs every time a Marvel comic is made into a blockbuster film, no one should surprised when Hollywood reaches-out to some of their lesser known works. Odds are pretty good, if you don’t spend your Saturday nights hanging-out at a comic book store, you never heard of the “Guardians of the Galaxy “- well that’s about to change.
The film begins on a night in 1988 in a hospital waiting room, where a 10 year-old Peter Quill sits wearing headphones plugged in to his Walkman playing a cassette, it’s hand-written and titled “Awesome Mix tape no. 1.” Peter is called into the room where his mother lays dying she gives him her last present,( to open after she’s gone) ,as she expresses her love, she tells him to listen to his grandfather, but also how much he reminds his father (who he never met) was an angel, and how one day Peter and him will be reunited. His mother’s eyes close, and overwhelmed with sadness, Peter runs outside where he is quickly abducted by a alien spaceship.

A title card tells us it is now twenty-six years later and we adult Peter Quill, grown-up yet still listening to his to Awesome Mix Tape no. 1, only now he is on the desolate planet Morag, searching for “The Orb.” As soon as he locates, and contains the orb, he finds Korath (Djimon Hounsou) and his solders are determined to steal it but Peter just makes it to his ship, (the Milano) and flees. Rather that hand it over to Yondu (Michael Rooker) as planned, he figures if it’s worth dying over, he will sell it himself.

We then meet Ronan, on his massive Kree warship, the Dark Aster. Korath finds Ronan is not the understanding sort, and needs the orb to trade it to the powerful Thanos so as to win his help in destroying the planet Xandar. Why does he want to destroy a planet? let’s just say Ronan makes the leader of the terrorist group ISIS seem like a kindergarten teacher. With Korath’s failure Ronan turns to Thanos’s daughter Nebula (Karen Gillan) but instead gives the job to Gamora (Zoe Saldana) the other daughter of Thanos, both who are on-loan to him. Thanos, in addition to not winning any father of the year award, clearly has his own evil intent for the power contained in the Orb.

Peter travels to Xandar to sell the orb, but finds the original buyer fears Korath too much to make the deal. Upon leaving the shop, Gamora attacks Peter to her the Orb as instructed. It is at this point we meet two of the least likely comic book heroes to ever appear on screen, Rocket Raccoon (Yes he is a raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot ( who is a tree, yes a walking tree) they are determined to collect the large bounty on Quill. The struggle concludes with Quill, Gamora, Rocket, and Groot being arrested and transferred to space prison called the Kyln.

Thanos has been on a killing spree; so his daughter’s arrival to Kyln results in a line of prisoners who would love to kill her. the biggest and toughest of them is named Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) who defends his right to be the one to kill Gamora, because Ronan killed his wife and daughter, Gamora explains to him, (and the audience) that she share’s his hatred of Ronan and she was plotting against him. After Peter sides with Gamora’s, Drax agrees to go along on the condition that he will be able to kill Ronan when the time comes.

At this point, Director James Gunn has five of the “Guardians” together, OK, other than Rocket and Groot, they hate each other, but they are working together for a mutual interest, the massive value of the Orb. The first thing they need to do is break-out of prison, which it turns out is a specialty of Rocket. His impossibly complicated plan is goes to hell when Groot skips over several steps, yet they still manage to excape. True to his character, Peter goes back for his Walkman with the Awesome mix tape #1,making it back to his ship with seconds to spare.

They head of to “Knowhere” (a space mining station) to meet with the “Collector” and sell the Orb. With some time to kill, the team begins to bond. Quill makes a pass at Gamora, after he plays for her his Mix tape that he revels was made by his mother- she like the music, but she’s not interested in his advances.

The Collector (Benicio Del Toro) is surrounded by creatures from across the galaxy, (many connected to Marvel), The Collector explains the Orb contains one of the Infinity Stones, and has the power to destroy planets. suddenly one of the collectors slave women, kills herself by grabbing and holding the stone, the resulting explosion takes out much of the building, and our heroes agree the only safe place for the stone is Nova Headquarters. Just then we find out that Drax had grown tired of waiting to kill Ronan and notified him to come and try to take the Orb. While Drax is strong, he is no match for Ronan, who leaves him for dead. The others flee. Nebula, the truly evil of the sisters, chases Gamora’s ship, blows it up and departs with the Orb, leaving Gamora floating in space, facing a guaranteed death, until Quill risks his own life to save her. That plan required turning himself over to Yondu.
With the Infinity Stone in his possession Meanwhile, Ronan contacts Thanos to explain that he’s not handing over the stone because he will destroy Xandar alone. I guess you can’t trust a homicidal terrorist to keep his promise).

Yondu, feeling cheated out of the Orb that Peter had promised to him, figures I might as well kill him. Peter claims to have a plan to get the Orb (Infinity stone) back and turn it over to Yondu, so greed wins out and he lets Quill live, freeing him to deliver his prize. When the Guardians are reunited, Peter announces “He has a Plan”, well at least 12% of a plan. They agree to sign on, assuming they will die in the process, but they each have already lost so much, or in Peter’s poorly chosen words, “We are all losers” so we have nothing to lose.

Peter convinces Nova Head Quarters that Ronan is on his way to use the Infifity Stone to wipe out their planet, and they evacuate the capital city, and send fighters to challenge Ronan in the Kree warship, the Dark Aster.

Ronan’s ship is too well protected to destroy, so they need to get inside the ship, thus giving Gamora the opportunity to shut down Ronan’s security. Rocket figures the only way in is to idea is to blow a hole in underside of Ronan’s ship permitting Quill , Drax, Groot, to get Gamora to the power center. (If it sounds far-fetched, remember the hole Darth Vader left in his “Death Star.”) The plan works, they board the ship, but Nebula rejects her step sister Gamora’s call to join her and battles against her. As Nebula falls from the ship, her sister reaches out to save her, but she instead falls, then crashes her way into one of the capital’s fighters.
The Guardians approach the bridge, Peter fires Rocket’s custom-made super cannon at Ronan, but armed with the Infinity stone, he is too powerful. In a last ditch effort, Rocket crashes Quill’s ship directly into the Dark Aster but still Ronan survives, but now the ship is crashing into Xandar. While ronan will servive the crash, our heros will not, or at least not until Groot grows a long branch that begins to create a cocoon protecting his friends. Rocket begs him to stop knowing that Groot is sacrificing himself for the others. For the first 100 minutes of the film, Groot, would grunt, but repeated but one line “I Am Groot,” in what was likely the most moving moment delivered by a talking tree since the Wizard of Oz, completing turning himself into a protective shell he utters “We are Groot.”

The ship does crash. Groot’s plan works but he is just a collection of twigs. Ronan walks away from the crash and sets to carry out his plan to destroy Xandar. The director Gunn, remembering this fllm is a comedy as well as a super-hero adventure; has Quill begin to dance to dance the challenges Ronan to a dance competition. Ronan is baffled, completely taken back by such a useless action in the face of certain death, what he does not know is that he is providing the needed distraction as Rocket shoot at, and hammer where Ronan had placed the Infinity Stone, freeing it and permitting Peter to grasp it tightly. As warned, the stone is too powerful to hold, and he is beginning to suffer the same fate as the slave. Gamora realizes that while no one person can hold it, if to power is shared they might survive. and tells Peter to clasp her hand. Rocket and Drax join in, combined they survive and then kill Ronan,
The ever greedy Yondu swoops in to collect the Stone, again locked up in the orb, Peter gives him an Orb and Yondu takes off, as he flies away we overhear him say how he’s glad he didn’t bring Peter to his father as we was supposed to twenty years ago, when his spaceship abducted him.
is upset that Peter reveals to Gamora that he gave a fake Orb to Yondu and that he will give the the Infinity Stone to Nova HQ. Rocket has planted one of the twigs that was once Groot into a small dirt filled pot, and brings him back to life. The leader of Nova (Glen Close) is so pleased with the Guardians that the rebuild Peter’s ship as a gift. Speaking of gifts, Peter finally has the emotional strength to open his mothers last gift to him, it turns out to be a cassette tape, with the hand-written label “Awesome Mix tape no. 2.,” and our “Guardians of the Galaxy ” are off on their next adventure.
With the strong reviews and financial success of the film, there is no doubt there will be more adventures to come.

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