https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LIQ2-PZBC8

A thief, an assassin, a violent maniac and a couple of freakish thugs may not seem like ideal candidates to guard a galaxy. However, this band of misfits get the job done in Guardians of the Galaxy with plenty of laughs and ass kicking all set to a soundtrack full of nostalgic throwbacks.

The movie begins as an intergalactic tale of getting rich quick and getting revenge even quicker — a tale as old as time, or space in this case. This group of underdogs transform from selfish individuals to a group united by friendship and goodness which ultimately defeats evil in the end. The stellar performances by the Guardians of the Galaxy cast help make this movie shine especially bright.

Everything is truly awesome for Chris Pratt lately. He’s been described as a human version of a golden retriever but Guardians of the Galaxy introduced us to another side of him — a side that has killer abs and moves you don’t want to mess with. Luckily, that funny side we all know and love never fully disappears. No one else could’ve pulled off an attempt at a dance off with Ronan or explaining the serious importance of Kevin Bacon in Flashdance.

Physical preparation for this role wasn’t easy, but Pratt remains humble when it comes to all of his hard work. It should be illegal how swiftly Pratt has corned the market on hilarious, witty and male adorkableness; perhaps that’s why he is so believable as an outlaw. Hopefully, this is just the beginning for Pratt as a leading man.

Guardians of the Galaxy was filled with plenty of other colorful characters, literally. If anyone could be the Beyonce of space ladies, it’d be Zoe Saldaña. Unlike Avatar, she swaps out her blue skin and CGI for green make up in order to really get into Gamora’s skin. Everyone should be glowing green with envy over her bad ass performance, and maybe for getting that close to Pratt. On the other hand, Dave Bautista gave a convincing performance as Drax the Destroyer, or Drax the Dictionary, if we’re discussing his vocabulary. He’s basically a bigger bluer Inigo Montoya, if you will. (“You killed my father prepare to die” verse “You killed my wife and daughter” — same difference.)

The non-humans in Marvel’s latest hit deserve major props too. Bradley Cooper’s voice was almost unrecognizable as Rocket Raccoon. Joe Pesci’s character in Goodfellas was cited as the inspiration for Rocket which is pretty fitting. Cooper wasn’t the only one  who  contributed to Rocket. Director James Gunn’s brother, Sean Gunn, helped bring Rocket to life. If Hodor from Game of Thrones was a giant walking tree with three more words added to his vocabulary, behold Groot. (Bravo, Vin Diesel, for makin three repetitive words sound lively.)  Together, they are the interspecies bromance you never knew you wanted, but totally need. Excuse me if I ever get emotional around raccoons and trees from now on.

Even the supporting cast and various celebrity cameos were great and totally deserved a little more screen time. Michael Rooker was great as Yondu, who’s basically Merle Dixon in outer space. Benicio del Toro described The Collector as “Liberace in space,” and that alone should just be its own movie. Karen Gillan, in all her evil bald blue glory, deserved a longer fight scene with Saldana. Glad to see that the orb, and man kind, is entrusted in Nova Prime’s lady boss hands thanks to Glen Close’s fabulous performance.

In an attempt to give a pep talk, Peter states that him and his fellow companions are a group of losers given a chance to do something good. Everyone involved with Guardians of the Galaxy did just that in the most fun way possible.

 

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Celina Bonifacio (@celinabonifacio) is a staff writer for The High Screen.