Marvel’s latest film, Guardians of the Galaxy packs in a ton of action and stunning special effects, but what really propels this sci-fi adventure into the cosmos are the compelling characters.

The main players each have a defined motivation for putting themselves in harms way. Director James Gunn extracts enough humanity from these aliens to make you care about their personal struggles and sad histories. If you would have told me one of the most moving scenes from a movie this year would involve a talking raccoon getting consoled by a shirtless musclebound alien, I wouldn’t have believed you, but this film had me cheering for these memorable cinematic scoundrels.

It reminds me a lot of the original Star Wars, but with more humor.  The first half hour may make your head spin with exposition as the narrative throws out lots of names of alien races and introduces us to a wide assortment of different colored creatures, but it soon settles down into a good old fashioned good vs evil adventure told on an epic scale.

Guardians of the Galaxy displays a wide-eyed optimism that’s become more and more rare in an age full of superhero movies that are dark and gritty.  But believe me, when you leave the theater after this one, you’re going to be feeling excited and happy.

I’m  John  at  the  Movies. 

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