We may have found our new favourite Marvel action hero movie, because Guardians Of The Galaxy literally has it all. It’s got comedy, action, amazing special effects and CGI, great characters, a strong storyline, awesome baddies and enough serious intent to bring it all together into the excellent sci-fi hit that it is. Star Lord, Gamora, Drax The Destroyer, Groot and Rocket may not be household names in the same way that Spider-Man or Iron Man have been for the last half century or so, but if the latest Marvel behemoth is anything to go by, it’s just a matter of time.
The storyline has been written by director James Gunn and Nicole Perlman and it’s a thrill ride right the way through, but in all fairness they had the work of the original comic books by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning to back them up. It starts out with a pretty sad beginning as a young Peter Quill loses his mother to cancer in a hospital in Missouri, USA in 1988, before being abducted by an alien ship.
While it’s a bit of a tear jercker, what this does is builds in some of the best elements of the movie, including Quill’s affinity with eighties pop, thanks to a mix tape his mum had made for him, and his slightly latent good guy streak. It also tees things up well for a cut to twenty six years in the future, as Quill saunters onto a planet to to steel a metalic orb, dancing along to the walkman he had when he was abducted.
From there on in it’s a mad cap ride as he suddenly finds everyone in the galaxy wants to get their hands on the orb, including the big, bad intergallactic terrorist, Ronan, who’s planning to give it to the space supervillain Thanos in exchange for the complete oblivion of the planet Xandar. Luckily for Quill he manages to unwittingly take up with Gamora, Groot, Drax and Rocket to form the eponymous Guardians Of The Galaxy.
There’s little, if anything to fault in the film, but there’s a hell of a lot that works well to makes it such a great movie. The cast deliver epic performances with Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) taking on the central role with a great combination of his comedy experience and his new-found action-hero credentials. Zoe Saldana continues to be the golden girl of science fiction, building on her previous role as Uhura in Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkenss with an adze kicking performance as Gamora.
MMA and WWE wrestler Dave Batista is the biggest surprise of the film, delivering comedy lines as Drax like he’s been doing stand-up for years. He’s added to by Vin Diesel, who pours his heart and soul into Groot’s one line vocabulary, which he delivers in a variety of different ways that add up to a whole lot of funny. And then there’s Bradley Cooper (American Hustle), who takes the role of Rocket, the raccoon-like gun-totting bounty hunter, to the next level.
There’s also a few supporting roles that are worth mentioning, including John C. Reilly (Wreck It Ralph) and Peter Serafinowicz (Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace) who both bring subtle comedy to the film as key Nova Corp officers. Then there’s Genn Close who plays Irani Rael, the head of Nova Corp, with a lot of serious peril overtones and Benicio del Toro, looking as mad as ever as Taneleer Tivan, The Collector.
Hilarious dance moves, Groot’s “I am Groot” lines, references to Flashdance, Rocket’s terrible sense of humour and Drax’s inability to get metaphors makes for a lot of comedy genius, which the film has in abundance. However, it never loses its weighty gravitas for a second as the magnitude of events are delivered by a very impressive outing from the villainous portion of the film.
The most impressive of these has got to be Lee Pace (The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug) as the film’s main antagonis, Ronan. He’s virtually unrecognisable in the role, but he delivers it all with the kind of frightening intensity that makes for a very good villain. Support comes Karen Gillan of Doctor Who fame who’s brilliant as Ronan’s sadistic general Nebula and Djimon Hounsou (How To Train Your Dragon 2) as Ronan’s equally menacing Kree attack dog Korath.
The special effects, scene creation, make-up and costumes that have gone into the film are about as close to reality as it can get considering the extra terrestrial nature of the story. Nothing looks out of place, whether it’s Rocket’s fur, Quill’s spaceship and helmet, Gamora’s alien make-up job or the bone realignment skills that Nebula can whip out, and it’s all being developed with a level of attention to detail that helps to make the film so absorbing.
It’s a fun packed movie that will have comic book and sci-fi fans hooked instantly, but for anyone that has already seen it, perhaps the most important thing that we can say is that a sequel has already been confirmed for 2017. If you still haven’t managed to catch it yet, we’d recommend shelling out for the 3D version, as it has a lot of epic scenes that have been specifically designed as 3D eye candy, and while they look pretty good in 2D they really come alive with three dimensions to work with.
Guardians Of The Galaxy review: 5/5