Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

imageBeaming onto a screen near you is a vaudeville starship troupe milking about five jokes for all they’re worth in James Gunn’s aimless but often joyful space opera comic book adaptation, Guardians of the Galaxy (B). A smuggler out of the Han Solo playbook, Chris Pratt continues his awesome year with crowd-pleasing snark on a mission to keep a mysterious orb out of the clutches of baddies. His companions including an endearing tree-man and a wise-cracking raccoon (voiced by Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper) who each get some great laughs in mischief-making derring-do. The intergalactic plot? Kinda lost in space. The film deserves kudos in the Marvel canon as a lively lark even if it uses up its clever action conceits in the first hour. The planetary effects are as triumphant as the tone ribald. Motown tracks and monster ballads also add some lift. It’s much more style than substance but filled with the tart nihilism of a cherry bomb that detonates when you least expect it. Side note: On the schawarma scale of consequence, the very brief epilogue will ruffle some feathers.