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guardians-galaxy-nebula-karen-gillanI’ll begin where Guardians does with a young Peter Quill sitting outside his mother’s hospital room expecting the worse.  She is dying of cancer with that look of radiation/chemotherapy that all too many are aware of.  Peter seeks solace through his Awesome Mix Tape #1 made by his mother’s hand playing through his Sony Walkman.  It’s the same mother’s hand that Peter is reluctant to hold only moments later after receiving one final gift from his mom.  Peter is scared.  Afraid of losing his loving mother, thinking that by not holding her hand he can stave off death just a bit longer, but the flatline on the EKG sends Peter reeling outside the confines of the hospital and into the hands of Yondu (well-played by Michael Rooker) and his Ravagers who take Peter from his Terran home of Earth and place him on his new path.

guardiansofthegalaxy_screencap_chrispratt_large_verge_medium_landscapeWhen we next see Peter Quill, played affectionately by Chris Pratt, it is 26 years later and Quill dances to Redbone’s 1974 classic “Come and Get Your Love.”  He is on the planet Morag searching for an orb and the payoff it may bring.  This orb has Ronan’s name attached to it though so it brings more heartache than riches.  Enter Gamora, the sultry Zoe Saldana, who seeks to sell the orb for herself to escape the clutches of Ronan and her adoptive father Thanos.  Unbeknownst to both Peter and Gamora, Yondu has put a bounty on Quill’s head for taking the orb, and it’s supposed payoff, for himself.  Yondu had the stealing and selling of the orb already planned when Peter took it upon himself to steal the pirate Yondu’s booty.  Now Rocket and Groot seek to collect the bounty put on Quill’s head.  Craziness ensues and, thanks to the Nova Corps, our crew ends up in the Kyln prison where Drax the Destroyer, with a solid portrayal by Dave Bautista, enters the picture eager for Gamora’s head, or better yet the head of her boss, Ronan, who is directly responsible for the death of Drax’s wife and daughter.

maxresdefaultThis is what Guardians does so well.  Quill, himself, attests to the fact that this bunch that have been thrown together by fate are the Losers — people who have lost stuff, family, homes, normal lives — people like us.  People like me who have held their own mother’s hand as she died.  Watched in fear as the lady who dropped you off for your third viewing of The Empire Strikes Back and who watched Krull and Alien with you eventually lost a fight.  By the movie’s end Peter has new friends surrounding him in the form of Rocket, Groot, Drax, and Gamora and they have stuck together through the worst of it all and have had each other’s back — like family.  Quill takes this moment to finally open the gift his dying mother gave him long ago — Awesome Mix Tape #2 — and as he pops it in for a heartfelt listen he reads the attached letter.  Quill’s mother refers to Peter as her little Star Lord telling him that he will always be loved and she will always be with him.  Link back to an earlier time in the film when Rocket declared, “Everybody’s got dead people!”  That crazy raccoon was right again.  All the characters had lost and again so have we.  See, it’s Guardians that is our mix tape.  Great voice performances by Bradley Cooper as Rocket and Vin Diesel as Groot aside — Guardians whispers in our ears that we are all still loved and not forgotten.

timthumb.phpThe point is Guardians of the Galaxy brings us back to a time when the world was still full of hope.  A time when dreams could become reality and the losers of the galaxy could stand up to a tyrant with god-like powers and say, “Enough!” and actually win.  All this while grooving to the classic tunes that act as the heartbeat to Guardians along with some equally classic humor.  Bravo to James Gunn and his supporting cast of “Losers!”  May your success bring out the heart and good, clean fun in what may sometimes seem to be a shallow sea.

The Guy in the Hat