What could have been a colossal misstep for Marvel Studios has instead become one of their most accomplished movies and one of the best sci-fi/fantasy films ever made. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY has everything you could want from a summer blockbuster and is by far one of the most satisfying movies I have seen in some time. 

As a young boy Peter Quill aka Starlord (Chris Pratt) was abducted by an alien ship on the day he lost his mother to cancer. Years later, he is a cocky fortune-hunter and his latest bounty of a mysterious orb turns out to be more trouble than its worth. 

For reasons not to be understood right away, big bad of the universe Thanos (Josh Brolin) wants it and has tasked Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) as well as his own daughters Nebula (DOCTOR WHO’s Karen Gillan) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to get it. 

To make matters worse for Peter, not only does he have a bounty on his head but the Nova Guard want him for numerous crimes. Winding up captured and sent to prison, he makes a shaky alliance with a few other unlucky losers, the revenge-seeking Drax the Destroyer (David Bautista), a genetically altered raccoon named Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a living tree named Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Gamora herself who has betrayed Thanos and gone rogue. 

Escaping from prison, they retrieve the orb only to have things go from bad to worse. 

Writer/Director James Gunn deftly handles action, comedy and pathos throughout and at times even combines all three seamlessly. In less assured hands this could be disastrous, but under his control it’s what makes GUARDIANS shine. 

The world-building is impressive too and Gunn manages to create a wondrous milieu that is populated by color and light. It’s brilliant in its audaciousness and it's as if the color palette was inspired by a box of Fruit Loops. 

I know I’m gushing here, but I can’t help it. I’ve been waiting for a movie like this for so long (THE FIFTH ELEMENT is the only recent one that comes to mind that made me feel this way). 

Bravo Marvel! You have knocked it out of the park yet again with another MUST SEE MOVIE.

AUGUST 2, 2014