By Bill Dudley

The latest Marvel comics big screen release is coming this Friday. Guardians Of The Galaxy is not predicted to be a super hit like a Superman or a Batman film, but it is every minute as compelling and far more interesting, especially if you don’t know the premise.

I hit the film cold at a screening last month, and loved it.  Chris Pratt is the “I don’t want to be a hero” main character and pilot of his own ship, Peter Quill. He is a space cowboy who will steal an item or two once in awhile. You guessed it, he “borrows” an orb from the evil villain ‘Ronan’ (Lee Pace), and the chase is on.

Quill is forced to bond with a rather motley bunch of allies including a female assassin, Gamora, sent to kill him, played by Zoe Saldana in hideous green scarred make-up disguising her beauty. Former wrestler Dave Bautista is Dax the Destroyer, a huge scarred man with good intentions.

Vin Diesel is Groot, an enormously tall and  scary magical tree, reminiscent of Lord Of The Rings characters, who repeats one answer thru out the film no matter what the question, “I Am Groot.”  Vin Diesel may be the highest paid actor in recent memory, word for word, as he only had to learn 3 of them. Bradley Cooper plays Rocket, but his many female fans will be disappointed, as we don’t actually see Bradley, as Rocket is a talking (albeit wisecracking) raccoon.

The Guardians Of The Galaxy really don’t want to be, but the evil around the characters forces them to be heroes. There is lots of action, but humor abounds also.

Besides the caustic  hybrid raccoon, my favorite part is when Chris Pratt, who lost a lot of weight to snag this role, shows his sensitive side. His mother dies early in his life and leaves him her most cherished possession, her cassette deck that features sounds of the 70’s like Blue Swede’s “Hooked On A Feeling,” Redbone’s “Come And Get Your Love” and many more bygone pop classics.  The bonding of the misfits really makes you root for them.

Opening wide this Friday,I predict ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ will be one of the summer’s biggest hits. Disney must think so too, as Guardians 2 is already in production, and set to be released next summer.

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