It seems as if Hollywood is incapable of saying no to a superhero script when it comes flying across their desks. Of course they have always been around, but over the last decade Marvel and DC have stormed through theatres like Harry Potter flew through on his broom. After the monstrosity that was Avengers Assemble, Marvel looked in danger of burning out. With their latest Guardians of the Galaxy they have certainly proved to us that they are back on top.
Guardians of the Galaxy has a very distinct personality and clearly stands out amongst the other Marvel features. Set galaxies away from planet Earth, 26 years after being abducted, Peter Quill, the Star-lord (Chris Pratt) finds himself in a pretty sticky spot after uncovering a powerful orb wanted by the evil Ronan, The Accuser (Lee Pace). Starring a fluffy raccoon riddled with sarcasm, a green skinned goddess full of rage and a very literal alien, literally - it's safe to say that this sets itself streaks ahead of the recent Captain America: The Winter Solider. This is spontaneous, sexy and slick. That being said, this may not be for everyone. It is obvious they have tried to aim this at every possible audience member, dribbling toddlers and OAP's alike, albeit some aspects felt forced as if they were trying too hard to be different. Arguable, this is exactly the kind of tongue-in-cheek dialogue and charm that such a film needed to get itself noticed in amongst reams of summer releases. After all, this is directed by James Gunn, who gave us the hilariously ridiculous Super (2010) and the comedy horror Slither (2006); so it's apparent before you even walk into the cinema that some element of geeky comedy will be involved. Gunn balances all aspects here as well as giving us some side splitting one-liners.
Christopher Pratt has always kind of been under the radar until his brilliantly voiced Lego self as Emmet in The Lego Movie earlier this year. Here, Pratt truly shows us what he is made of (and I don't just mean abs ladies!) It may seem like he his hiding behind the comedy but this man is great to watch regardless of his outrageous attempt to throw off the enemy by busting some moves. His Star-Lord charm never fails to win over audiences that's for sure. It seems for Zoe Saldana's feisty Gamora, he shall have to try just that bit harder. Bradley Cooper brings dry wit and out-right wickedness to his furry little friend Rocket, and Dave Bautista brings muscle and literally takes everything literally, perfectly well. This truly is a stellar cast and with the welcomed addition of Doctor Who star Karen Gillian taking on a much different and more demanding role it only gets better. Not to mention she did a Natalie Portman and saved her hair off in preparation for her jumped up alien robot, Nebula. Now that's dedication.
This is a high-energy, non-stop sprawling space fuelled adventure with a soundtrack to match. The 3D CGI is flawless, bringing so many weird and wonderful alien creatures alive. One for the kids and certainly one that works on an utterly different level for the adults. A stunning surprise on all accounts that will have you smiling the entire way through. Not to mention the cutest dancing twig you will ever see, which would make even Vin Diesel go awww! Or perhaps just "I am Groot"!
Directed by James Gunn
121 mins, 12A (2014)