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'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a Marvel


“Guardians of the Galaxy” is a wonderful experience. Marvel Studios took a big risk in putting a film like this together. Although it is connected to the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is lightyears apart in terms of setting, intent and even general disposition.

The movie is harder, grittier, far more irreverent than the likes of “Iron Man” or “Thor,” but it does well what so many science-fiction movies do wrong — it feels relatable when it reaches for the stars. It touches the human element in all of us, even those who might not be science-fiction fans.

I had so much fun with this movie. It was simply a blast to watch. There are movies out there that are more awe-inspiring or more thought-provoking (not many come to mind, but they are out there), but I would be hard pressed to find a movie that was more fun than “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

The cast, led by soon-to-be-Hollywood-Legend Chris Pratt are perfectly suited for their roles. Much like “The Avengers,” each of the main characters gets their time in the spotlight and each delivers an entertaining experience in their own, unique way.

I went into “Guardians of the Galaxy” hoping to love the film, which I very much did, but I was surprised at just how hysterical it was. I laughed harder at the antics of Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon and Groot than I have at some of the comedy movies that have been released this summer. That fact, by itself, is a testament to the success of “Guardians.”

The visual effects are breathtaking, but what’s more important is how well everything fits together. This film shows you a whole new world and demands that you believe it, and I did. It’s difficult to make a space fighter look unique and feel real since there are so many of them out there. “Guardians” excels in its design, much the way “Star Wars” did. The confidence and heartfelt emotion that went into its construction is apparent and makes the all-important connection with the audience.

I flat out loved “Guardians of the Galaxy” and will be returning to a theater near me as soon as possible. I can say, with confidence, this is the movie of the summer, and will stand toe-to-toe with the big guns around the holiday season.

I’m pretty stingy with scores of 6/6. This is only the second one this year. Go watch “Guardians” and be glad.

6 of 6 stars.

James Gerstner, james.gerstner@gmail.com