The casting here is spot-on. There’s no other way to describe it. Chris Pratt as Star-Lord works almost too well. He’s brought to the screen the most likeable rogue since Han Solo himself. He’s funny and he’s clever, but his backstory is heartfelt and his tragic past echoes through his performance. His interactions with Zoe Saldana’s Gamora are flirtatious at times, but they never cross into a forced romance. In fact, all of the character interactions here are a joy to watch.
Marvel may have set the stage for Rocket to steal the show, but it’s Groot that dominates the screen. It only takes him three words to become a star.
The story is mostly what you’d expect. Each of these miscreants overcome checkered pasts to save the universe from the big bad. It’s a tried and true formula, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done well. Guardians of the Galaxy does it well. The character’s are given depth through key backstory moments that don’t feel forced at all. The bad guy feels appropriately powered to warrant the creation of such an unexpected team. The story is nicely contained, while still working to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans of the comics will love this movie. New readers will love this movie. Fans of science fiction will love this movie. This is the movie of the summer, plain and simple.
A side note: I was seated next to a kid who was probably eight years old. Through the entire film, he was oohing and ahhing, cheering for Star-Lord and his band of scoundrels. Every cool moment made him laugh with joy. He gave the film a standing ovation. I hope this movie was for him what Star Wars was for me. This movie is the perfect gateway into the world of science fiction.
I also had the chance to read the first volume of Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s Lazarus. This consists of the first four issues of the series and a special prologue for the trade. Focused more on introducing the world and characters, the first volume was a little bit underwhelming from a story perspective. However, it does set up the second volume quite nicely.
Lazarus is the story of a dystopian future where the world is separated into territories controlled by the richest families. They don’t care for most of the people in their lands, treating them as serfs or sheep more than anything. They are obsessed with gaining and protecting their own power. The main character here is Forever Carlyle, the Lazarus for the Carlyle family. A Lazarus is basically an augmented soldier who protects the family from rival families. The story hints at her past, but that will be explored in later volumes. For now, suffice to say she is a badass soldier who is completely loyal to the head of the Carlyle family and nobody else.
Despite the lack of a bigger story, the world that’s been created is sufficiently intriguing to keep readers going on to the second volume. The creators have given readers a promise of things to come, and those things have the potential for incredible storytelling.
Anyway, if you want to share your Guardians experience with me or tell me your opinions on Lazarus, feel free to message me or tweet me @left4turtle