Another quality entry from Marvel Studios, Guardians Of the Galaxy is a raucous good time that manages a sprinkling or two of heart and thematic weight.
Most of which come from unlikely sources at unlikely moments, namely Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper), probably the best developed and most interesting characters in the film, never mind that one barely speaks and that the other is animated, in a style almost befitting Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), no less.
Most of the credit goes to writer/director James Gunn and co-writer Nicole Perlman, whose screenplay proves adept at mixing action and characterization.
That the action is often exhilarating is certainly noteworthy, as well. Gunn is smart enough to avoid several drawn out melees, instead resolving them rapidly or differently than we might expect.
Slick effects help, as well. Consider all of Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt, note-perfect) weapons and tools. And especially the Nova Corps’ blockade of Ronan the Accuser’s (Lee Pace, also very good) spaceship.
Guardians Of the Galaxy, then, is quite good and well worth watching.
But it is not perfect.
First, the film suffers from semi-frequent continuity breaks, especially early. For example, actors are not infrequently in one position before a cut and a different one afterwards, a fact that draws attention only because of reoccurrence. None of the breaks are severe enough to hurt the film individually, but added together they do so.
More troublingly, each time Gunn and Perlman stop to deliver exposition, their dialogue is too direct and the movie’s momentum slows as we wait to be taught necessary lessons. The most offensive such occurrence is when The Collector (Benicio Del Toro) explains Infinity Stones, but it is not the only one.
Lastly, doubtlessly because Guardians Of the Galaxy needs to develop five new heros, the villains are under-characterized and borderline dull.