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'Guardians of the Galaxy' wants to be a goofier 'Star Wars'

The heroes in "Guardians of the Galaxy" see themselves as a bunch of misfits, and they have always been Marvel's B-squad to its A-list all-stars of "The Avengers." But that didn't mean that the first "Guardians" film had to feel so much like a cheeky B-movie.

When outer-space outlaw Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) – going by the moniker of "Star-Lord" – steals a powerful orb, he attracts the attention of bounty-hunters and many layers of bad guys. His rag-tag posse of rebels includes green-skinned fighter Gamora (Zoe Saldana), massive and muscled Drax (Dave Bautista), a grumpy, gun-loving raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and a tall, tough but tender tree-like creature (voiced by Vin Diesel). Pratt - still fighting hard to become a movie star - seems to be making a solid career out of playing the "scrappy underdog" role.

With a supporting cast including Glenn Close, John C. Reilly and Benicio Del Toro, the acting could have been something special. Instead, the underwhelming threats come from a pair of mysterious, robed aliens whose powers and ambitions are never explained.

"Guardians" succeeds best when taken like a Saturday morning kids' cartoon: a fast-moving adventure with not a lot of substance, but you'll keep coming back to see what happens next.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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