Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
|Featuring:||Chris Pratt … Peter Quill
Zoe Saldana … Gamora
Vin Diesel … Groot (voice)
Bradley Cooper … Rocket (voice)
Glenn Close … Nova Prime
John C. Reilly … Corpsman Dey
Josh Brolin … Thanos (uncredited)
Benicio Del Toro … The Collector
Karen Gillan … Nebula
Lee Pace … Ronan
Dave Bautista … Drax
Mikaela Hoover … Nova Prime's Assistant
Nathan Fillion … Monstrous Inmate
Laura Haddock … Meredith Quill
Djimon Hounsou … Korath
Alexis Denisof … The Other
Stan Lee … Xandarian Ladies' Man
|Director:||James Gunn—“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017), producer: “Scooby-Doo” (2002)|
Moving Picture Company (MPC)
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Pictures|
Sequel: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017)
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), a legendary outlaw who also goes by the name “Star Lord,” is a member of a mercenary group called The Ravagers. Sent to a distant planet to retrieve a mysterious orb of power, he succeeds and soon travels to the planet Xandar to “cash-in.” However, the broker balks when he hears that the radical Kree named Ronin is after the very same thing.
Ronin (Lee Pace), a powerful but homicidal Kree warrior, has sworn vengeance on the entire Xandarian race of 12 billion and, peace treaty not withstanding, he is determined to wipe them all out. Ronin had agreed to secure the orb for Thanos, in exchange for the mad titan’s promise to wipe out life on Xandar. Thanos’ two daughters, Nebula and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) were sent to aid Ronin in his task, but upon hearing it was stolen he assigns Gamora, an infamous assassin in her own right, to find Quill.
Yondu (Michael Rooker) as the leader of the Ravagers is furious when he learns Quill is trying to sell the orb out from under him, thus cutting the Ravagers out, and so he puts a bounty on Peter Quill. The bounty is what draws Quill to the attention of a genetically altered and cybernetically enhanced raccoon named Rocket.
A skirmish over the orb on Xandar lands Quill, Gamora, Rocket and his sidekick—a walking, talking Ent-like creature named Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel)—in prison where they meet Drax The Destroyer (Dave Bautista) who has his own reasons for wanting to kill Ronin. Alliances are formed to first escape the prison and then sell the orb to someone who will keep it away from Ronin’s hands while the lives of a planet, and eventually the whole galaxy (assuming Thanos gets the orb), hangs in the balance if they fail.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is a fun, no-holds barred sci-fi action film that is no doubt setting the stage for a future galaxy threatening confrontation between Thanos, the Avengers and everyone else but is not without some areas of concern that first need to be mentioned.
Violence: Heavy. People are killed by lasers, explosions, debris, hammer and knives but usually from a distance and bloodless, except for one scene where blood is seen pooling almost ritualistically from an off-screen kill. Killings and severe injuries that take place nearer or close up include impaling, stabbings, ripping out of head/brain implants, shots to the head, crushing of heads, freezing, drowning, electric shock and total disintegration. Scenes of torture include being locked up like an animal, being hosed down in prison and fingers up the nose (and then further into the head). The violence alone makes it unsuitable for younger children.
Language: Moderate. Crude words heard include… sh** (3), bitc* (1), two separate euphemisms for male genitalia (pr**k 1x, d**k 3x), “a-holes” (instead of full word was used twice), whore (1), bastard (2), asses (2), hell (3), damn (2), screw (1), freakin’ (5), crap (1) and the Lord’s name was taken in vain twice, plus once us of “Good God.” Thankfully, the “F” bomb was not used. Off-color rhetoric includs talk of uptight people as having “sticks up their butts” and of Quill having numerous female companions, but none were serious. Some of the lyrics from the older 70s/80s songs Quill listens to are descriptive, along the lines of “making love” and having affairs, but are mostly background music. Language should likewise be a red flag to parents with children.
Sex/Nudity: Mild. Quill is hosed down in prison while shirtless and wearing only boxers. Gamora and Nebula are both in tight-fitting clothes, and Quill follows Gamora’s leather-clad backside as she walks up some stairs. Some of the conversation contains diffused innuendo, not pronounced, and are only implied, as were Quills’ “relationships.” The most inappropriate scene involves Quill landing on Gamora during a fall, and though his body is placed both atop and between her legs, it is a non sexually charged moment.
One of the oldest lessons in the Bible can be seen in the way both Isaac and Jacob created problems by showing favoritism. Thanos, in the presence of both daughters Nebula and Gamora refers to the latter as his favorite. It is no wonder that Nebula hates her so. The Word of God expounds on the natural reaction to this and condemns its use as well.
“Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age… and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.” Genesis 37:3-7
“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.” —James 2:1
Ronin admits early on, “They call me terrorist, radical, zealot because I obey the ancient laws of my people, the Kree, and punish those who do not.” He sees himself as a deliverer of justice, as many do today, but his corrupt nature, as evidenced by his love of death, clouds his vision, as it will for all evil men, just as Solomon said,
Drax has the singular focus of seeking revenge on Ronin for having killed his wife and daughter. His loss was great, but we understand the God of the Old and New Testament has always spoken with the same voice.
“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:18
“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, ” says the Lord.” —Romans 12:19
Gamora, a ‘cold hearted’, trained assassin since childhood when she herself was abducted, at a pivotal moment declares, “… I have lived most of my life surrounded by my enemies. I would be grateful to die among my friends.” She, just as the others, give proof of the kind of self-sacrifice that is rare but is to be treasured when found.
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” —Proverbs 18:24
Along those same lines there are two great moments in the film, instances of a willingness to give up your life for others that are both profound and moving in their own way and should remind us of Jesus’ own words when he said, as a foreshadowing of his coming death…
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is a lightning paced, visually stunning, action packed and exciting film truly meriting 3D or the IMAX 3D experience and whose entry finally takes the Marvel film universe “cosmic.” Peter Quill, as played terrifically by Chris Pratt as the self deprecating and only “slightly flawed” hero, leads a well cast group of characters that are each given great moments in which to shine. This is one of the most enjoyable films I have seen all year and is marred only by the sporadic language and violence referenced earlier. “Guardians…” manages to bring back the fun and long lost feel of the epic space opera, and I enthusiastically recommend it for age appropriate audiences.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.