ACTION; 2hr 1min
STARRING: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista; voices by Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel
Movin’ on up: Pratt
Space ranger Peter Quill (Pratt) and his motley posse are unclassifiable even for Mondo Marvel. Abducted from Earth by aliens as a child the night that his mother dies (talk about luck!), Peter resurfaces 26 years later on an abandoned planet, where he burns everybody’s toast by filching a coveted and freakishly powerful orb.
Not being especially blessed, his next port of call is prison, where the self-styled “Star-Lord” links up with the loopiest imaginable associates: green-skinned warrior Gamora (Saldana), perpetually shirtless and recrimination-bent Drax the Destroyer (Bautista), genetically fiddled-with raccoon Rocket (chattily voiced by Cooper, whom the CG creature strangely resembles), and doleful-eyed humanoid tree Groot (voiced by Diesel, yay! — who knew the words “I am Groot” could carry such eloquent weight?) The target uniting them is a depraved warlord (Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser). That, and striking it rich by selling the orb. Some truths never change.
The kinetic razzmatazz of futuristic effects is totally the business: anything seems doable in director James Gunn’s far-flung star system. But what really sets Peter and Co. apart from mill-run, sobersides supes is his Yo Dude ’tude. He’s not so much a class act as an act in a class of his own.