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Michael Rooker

'Guardians of the Galaxy's' heroes aren't what you'd expect

'Guardians of the Galaxy's' heroes aren't what you'd expect

Hard as it is to believe, within the memory of those still living, Marvel was not always the movie establishment's billion-dollar behemoth but a scrappy, iconoclastic comic book gadfly. So one of the most pleasant surprises of the altogether pleasant and surprising "Guardians of the Galaxy" is that it takes us back to Marvel's roots and the subversive satisfactions those early days provided.

Yes, "Guardians" cost a reported $170 million, but no one was obsessing about screwing up the franchise here, certainly not co-writer and director James Gunn, whose no-status Troma Entertainment past doesn't allow anyone to take anything too seriously.

Blessed with a...