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.
We’re quickly racing towards the end of Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with Avengers 2: Age of Ultron coming up in 2015, the last film as part of this continuity prior to Avengers 2 of course is Guardians of the Galaxy, a film that is so departed from the rest of the series that to the uninitiated it might not even appear related…that is until the appearance of a certain mad titan.
From James Gunn comes a deviation from all the Marvel Studios films in Guardians of the Galaxy, Gunn has a few films to his name however Guardians will now be the first big film he’s remembered for. With a writing credit on the film as well Gunn and his crew have masterfully constructed an undeniable enjoyable film with an excellent cast of memorable characters.
On paper this film shouldn’t really work, full of lesser known characters against an outer space backdrop, far removed from the series it’s a part of, and despite a wonderful cast, doesn’t even boast its biggest names either on screen, or in a recognisable visual fashion and yet, its brilliant.
Weaving together a story of a galaxy in peril Gunn doesn’t waste time dumping lots of exposition on the audience, you’re just expected to pay attention and keep up. Where this works so wonderfully however is the attention on the characters, millions of lives are at stake, worlds are threatened but in all of this Guardians finds the time to give its characters substance, style and attitude.
Gunn blends large scale events with intimacy, humour, sadness, everything that gives this film such heart. Alongside great dialogue however are fun and entertaining action sequences in this adventure film that looks visually great. The MCU films all carry with them a level of production polish that’s come to be expected and Guardians is no exception, the cosmic backdrop looks gorgeous and the close up character CGI is engaging.
With great story, script, character designs, and a villain that admittedly didn’t feel quite as well developed but remained a solid foe to our unlikely band of heroes, the next thing so well executed is its cast. Chris Pratt delivers a familiar but so suitable awkwardly heroic, cocky and soulful performance as Starlord, supported by Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and Michael Rooker who are all good in their own respects along with Bradley Cooper who just nails it as Rocket. Going beyond the main cast here things remain impressive with Glenn Close, John C. Reilly and Benicio Del Toro.
Guardians of the Galaxy is an insanely fun time at the movies, and it pushes the MCU into the cosmic realm, from here on out there’s really no limit to where these films can go and their future is looking brighter than ever before.
In a world where other comic book based properties are dragging their heels, Marvel Studios are pushing things further and further, even getting sentient space travelling racoons up on screen. For comic book fans there are a bunch of references and easter eggs you’re going to enjoy picking up on, but this is a fun space film for everyone, I loved it and look forward to seeing it again as well as its already officially announced sequel scheduled for release in 2017.
I’m giving Guardians of the Galaxy 9 out of 10 stars, it’s in cinemas from August 7th 2014, do not miss it.