And the acting is simply superb. Zoë Saldana plays Gamora with a brittle intensity that is very compelling. Dave Bautista is hilarious as the literal Drax, without ever losing sight of the character’s tragedy—you believe in his anger both times he attacks Ronan. Glenn Close is stellar in her brief role as Nova Prime (it feels like a science fictional version of her magnificent Captain Monica Rawling on The Shield), and John C. Reilly and Peter Serafinowicz are both tremendous fun as two other Novas. (I was disappointed that Sharif Atkins, a favorite actor of mine from his time in the casts of ER and White Collar, didn’t have more to do.) While I was initially annoyed by the casting of Michael Rooker as Redneck Yondu—a characterization that is 180 degrees from the comics character—Rooker brought me around with his wonderful performance.