July 31, 2014 8:16 am
Updated: July 31, 2014 12:29 pm

What the critics are saying: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

ABOVE: Watch the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy.

TORONTO — The latest comic book to be adapted for the big screen is Guardians of the Galaxy, which opens Friday.

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill leads a group of Marvel’s lesser-known characters, including Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana) and Drax (Dave Bautista) as well as CGI-generated characters Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel).

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Is Guardians of the Galaxy destined to be a blockbuster and the beginning of a new movie franchise — or will it fizzle like so many other movies have this season? Here’s a look at some of the reviews.

Brent Rose of Gizmodo made it very clear how he felt about the movie.

“Let’s not mince words here. Guardians of the Galaxy is awesome, hilarious, super fun, and you should go see it,” he wrote.

Rose said the audience doesn’t need to be familiar with the source material to enjoy the movie.

“It’s tonally perfect, riding the line between silliness and excellent action sequences as well as any summer fun movie in recent memory,” he opined. “It’s exactly what a comic book movie should be. The bad guys are extra bad, the heroes are appropriately flawed. It’s also much, much funnier than any of the other superhero movies of the modern era.”

Guardians is not perfect, of course.

“Are there plot holes? Sure. Does it require suspension of disbelief? Only constantly,” Rose added. “But Guardians of the Galaxy is one of those rare movies that’s so fun you don’t have time to care.

“This is the summer blockbuster we’ve been waiting for. Just go see it.”

Julie Crawford of the Vancouver Courier agreed.

Guardians is the most fun I’ve had at the movies in a while,” she wrote.

READ MORE: What the critics are saying about other recent movies

“Despite the enhanced comedy factor, Guardians has the stuff of all good sci-fi and superhero stories: sibling rivalry, paternity questions, memorable worlds, and loyalties tested. Oh, and a little bit of flirting between heroes doesn’t hurt.”

Crawford declared: “Guardians of the Galaxy is great fun.”

Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers, who previously predicted Guardians would be a stinker, admitted it “might be the most fun I’ve had so far this summer at any movie.”

Travers believes Pratt, who is best known for his role on TV’s Parks and Recreation, has found his breakout role. Guardians, he said, is where the actor”becomes a real movie star.”

Travers said the movie is pure fun.

“This group of losers has so much fun shaking their sillies out that you will, too,” he said.

Across the pond at The Independent, Geoffrey Macnab said some of the script by director James Gunn and co-writer Nicole Perlman is “surprisingly witty” but the pair “don’t seem at all sure what age of audience they are aiming at.”

He added: “Guardians Of The Galaxy feels a little superficial and half-hearted by comparison with some of the other Marvel blockbusters. It’s a film that could have benefited from taking itself just a bit more seriously.”

In The Oregonian, Marc Mohan took a different stand, calling Guardians “a perfectly irreverent counterpoint to movies that take their superheroes a bit too seriously.”

Mohan said Gunn “manages to expertly shift from self-aware silliness to visual pizzazz to touching character moments without missing a beat.”

He added: “It’s a scrappy, smart-alecky space opera with a heart, and probably the most fun to be had in a movie theatre this summer.”

Mark Adams’ description of Guardians in the Mirror was similar. He called it “an off-beat ­adventure that blends spectacular special effects with humour and comes up with a wonderfully entertaining space opera.”

Although he called Guardians “a tad complicated at times,” Adams ruled it is “sheer freewheeling excitement.”

Postmedia News reviewer Chris Knight wasn’t completely blown away.

“It’s not perfect, and it runs a little long, and it features far too many bad guys, and it sometimes feels like it wants to be all things to all people,” he wrote. “Oh, and it’s trying too hard to emulate its elders — the only film with more Star Wars references is probably The Empire Strikes Back.”

At the National Catholic Register, Steven D. Greydanus said Guardians is a “romp” that both satirizes and embodies the genre.

Greydanus welcomed Guardians as a break from “these days of dark, grim tentpoles from Maleficent to Hercules, Edge of Tomorrow to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”

He said audiences will love “the film’s silly, cheerful weirdness and colourful otherworldliness.”

Adding his voice to the chorus of kudos for Guardians is Mike Scott at The Times-Piscayune in New Orleans.

He said Gunn “delivers exactly what you would want from a summer blockbuster.”

Scott wrote: “It is fast, it is fun and it is all but assured of making a mint at the box office — and spawning sequels aplenty.

“There have been better movies to land in theatres this summer, but none quite as outright fun.”

WATCH: Will ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ be a hit, or a flop?

© Shaw Media, 2014

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