Guardians of the Galaxy, 2014.
Directed by James Gunn.
Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro and Peter Serafinowicz with the voice talents of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.
In the far reaches of space, an American pilot named Peter Quill finds himself the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb coveted by the villainous Ronan.
Marvel’s Phase Two has without a doubt been successful; however it is quite easy for people to overlook the risks that have been taken throughout and up to their latest offering with Guardians of the Galaxy. From Ben Kingsley’s turn as the Mandarin/Trevor Slattery in Iron Man 3 to their destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D in Captain America: The Winter Solider and the far reaching effects that has on their cinematic universe they’ve shown they are not averse to risk taking. However this latest undertaking was always going to be a real tough sell. The fact that they pull it off with aplomb is a testament to all involved.
The film has humour in abundance, keeping the going light when we’re with the Guardians themselves even when they are mortally threatened. It allows the audience to quickly connect with all the main characters, especially the excellent pairing of Groot and Rocket who have some of the funniest and most heart-warming moments of the feature. Chris Pratt fits perfectly as the roguish but loveable Peter Quill, a man taken as a child from Earth who prizes his Walkman and mixtape as highly as his Starship. Zoe Saldana’s Gamora drives the plot forward a lot with her motivations to get away from her adopted father the Mad Titan Thanos (who sounds and looks awesome being portrayed by Josh Brolin) and Dave Bautista surprised me mixing the humour and the seriousness of Drax the Destroyer seamlessly.
James Gunn and Nicole Perlman do a great job with the script, revealing small amounts of these characters pasts without delving in hugely, yet still leaving us feeling like we want to know more about the individuals and where they came from, leaving a lot open for the sequel. Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser probably doesn’t get the screen time he deserves, however his appearances always change the humorous tone quickly to one where we see the true seriousness of their situations. We barely get to see Benicio Del Toro as the Collector which is a real shame as it is one of the things I was most looking forward to especially after his post credit appearance in Thor: The Dark World.
The effects in Guardians of the Galaxy are nothing short of superb. The worlds are immersive, with Xandar and Knowhere being amazingly constructed and feeling as real as anything. The aliens and other creatures milling around throughout scenes all feel tangible and make you really want to know more about the different species that are in existence throughout this new section of the Marvel Universe. The action sequences are diverse, showing off gadgets, fighting styles and the Guardians at their absolute best.
Guardians of the Galaxy has all the elements that should make it a massive summer blockbuster, great characters, great action, humour and is wickedly fun. After the disappointment of some of this summer’s blockbusters this fills a void where something was sorely needed.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★ ★ ★ ★