This is where the plot gets complicated. Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), a Kree fanatic, has promised to give the orb to Thanos (Josh Brolin) and in exchange Thanos will destroy the planet Xandar, home of the Nova Corps. Gamora (Zoe Saldana) is Thanos' adopted daughter who wants to get the orb -- but to keep it away from Thanos; her sister Nebula (Karen Gillan) suspects betrayal , and will engage in some of that herself. Since Peter didn't deliver the orb like his boss Yondu (Michael Rooker) wanted, Yondu puts a bounty out on Quill. This leads to his running into two unique bounty hunters: Rocket (Bradley Cooper), a cybernetic raccoon who's gun-crazy, inventive with electronics, and acerbic; and Groot (Vin Diesel), a large humanoid tree who only says "I am Groot." And soon enough Quill, Gamora, Rocket and Groot meet up with Drax the Destroyer (former wrestler Dave Bautista), whose family was killed by Ronan and who only wants to kill him in return. Oh. and the Nova Corps wants to arrest Peter. And the orb turns out to contain an extraordinary power.
As I stated earlier, the movie is predictable -- the stars go from bickering and fighting to bonding and friendship; the bad guys get more and more evil -- but the borderline silliness makes the film enjoyable. Chris Pratt is pretty funny as the action hero who knows he's not trustworthy, Bradley Cooper practically steals the movie with Rocket's one-liners and bad behavior, and Vin Diesel manages to put a lot of emotion into his character's only three words. Dave Bautista gets a lot of mileage of both Drax's action and his taking everything literally. Zoe Saldana is given less comic material, but she kicks a lot of ass as the martial arts expert. There's also plenty of action -- from a high-tech jailbreak to shoot-outs to an epic battle to save a planet -- and the special effects are terrific, from making Rocket and Groot almost believable to the alien worlds and weaponry. Guardians of the Galaxy may be goofy, but it's also very funny and often pretty exciting.
Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch