Between “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “The Avengers”, both very similar films,  “Guardians of the Galaxy” is now my personal favorite of the Marvel films so far, which have mostly been top notch.

“The Avengers” is star laden, epic action combining multiple movies for one impressive showing. I think “Guardians” is more refreshing and better for several reasons; the first being that this is an entirely new set of characters completely different from the dozens of super hero movies made. Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Spider Man 3.5, X-men 9; yes we get it, you like putting Hugh Jackman on screen and Robert Downey Jr. is now one of the highest paid actors alive. So it’s nice to see some fresh faces, ones like these that are as rag-tag and bandit like as they come.

Chris Pratt, a “Parks and Rec” favorite icon, is the star of the show in performance and dialogue, but his supporting cast of Zoe Salanda, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel (Probably one of his better roles?) are together an incredible lineup. I especially enjoyed Bradley Cooper as Rocket, who will go down as my all time favorite CGI character next to Gollum.

“Guardians” is absolutely hilarious from start to finish, thanks  to the cast and incredibly well scripted scenes. There is plentiful and well crafted action,  involving lots of lasers, star ships, and rockets, which is also a nice departure from super strength reliance. A friend of mine called it a “modern day Star Wars”, and it certainly has the potential to be as much of a cultural classic to Marvel fans.

In terms of Marvel writing, directing, cinematography, soundtrack (amazing classic 80’s rock), cast, etc., “Guardians of the Galaxy” is basically perfection. Where it won’t win my praise as a masterpiece in film beyond the Marvel Universe is that it is still a standard Marvel plot. Reluctant heroes find the strength and get over their differences to come together to defeat unstoppable evil. You know the drill. They pretend to kill off a character here and there, and make it look like victory for the bad guys is at hand. But this is to be expected in comic book to movie stories. So you must judge them in viewing on how painfully obvious this structure is, or if the creators manage to mask this effectively with all of the other components. What makes “Guardians of the Galaxy” so fantastic is that it does this seamlessly.

9/10