Guardians of the Galaxy is an origin story without being paint-by-the-numbers. It shows how the Guardians join forces and how this unlikely group decides to risk their lives to save the galaxy. James Gunn and Nicole Perlman manage to slip in enough about all the characters’ back stories so the audience knows who these people are and where they came from, but the information never feels forced. Gunn and Perlman have chosen not to retell any of the comic books but to draw elements from them to tell their own story, one which still reflects a love of the original.
Guardians of the Galaxy is not a movie that takes itself terribly seriously; the main characters argue, snark, and fight their way through an incredible array of enemies. The galaxy—or at least part of it—is at threat because of an overpowered rock and no one at any point shows any sign of thinking that the audience won’t be able to follow this. The ensemble work is incredible; it’s rare that a movie can pack this many characters in it without feeling crowded or short-changing some of them. Everyone involved shines here.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie that fully embraces all the weird in the Marvel universe. It doesn’t just put a raccoon and a tree on screen as major characters, it rejoices in their oddity. Groot sprouts leaves, grows, replaces limbs, and reshapes himself multiple times on screen. It’s hard to convey the energy and craziness of the movie, which rockets between heartwarming, silly, and violent without stopping to take a breath.
Is it worth seeing? Yes. Absolutely. If you have any shred of love for comic books and the craziness they allow, then it is a must-see.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie made by people who are comfortable with the universe they are playing in and who plan on plenty of sequels—and for that, we can all be glad.