Guardians of the Galaxy

Director: James Gunn
Year Released: 2014
Rating: 2.0

Stop me if all this sounds familiar: the entire universe is under threat of destruction when the evil Ronan (Lee Pace) gains possession of something called an infinity stone and it's up to a ragtag group of superheroes consisting of Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel (as a snippy raccoon and an immortal tree, respectively) to save ... well, everything. Despite the nice effects work and cute touches to the formula (like Pratt's penchant for Marvin Gaye and David Bowie and The Runaways as well as Rocket Raccoon's humorously nasty disposition), it's still a series of chasing/fighting set-pieces tied loosely together by the most rudimentary plot and your standard comic book tropes (characters that 'die' and are reborn, canned dialogue, contrivances galore). At least Pratt, with all his frat-boy charm, looks like he's have a good time: enjoy the paycheck and residuals.