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The Boston Globe


Movie Review

Goofballs in space in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” opens with a nominal origin-story segment in which we meet lead hero Peter Quill, the future Star-Lord, as a young boy going through some very trying circumstances. He stands at the bedside of his cancer-stricken mom, then takes off from the hospital, grief-stricken, and inexplicably encounters a spaceship that whisks him away from Earth. Intriguing enough, but so much for the ads heavy on wacky humor and ’70s pop (“Hooked on a Feeling,” no less!) and promises that these unfamiliar, spacefaring superheroes would deliver something different. The kid does have “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” loaded into his Walkman, but otherwise, there’s a creeping sense that Marvel has played us for marketing suckers.

And then we fast forward a couple of decades for our first glimpse of Quill (newly buff Chris Pratt, “Parks and Recreation”) all grown up — sort of. On a treasure-hunting run to a desolate planet, he’s still got that old mix tape with him. Never parts with it, actually. He grooves, he struts, he grabs an alien lizard as a makeshift microphone, and he generally makes clear that yes, we’ve entered the goofy quadrant after all.

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