MARVEL has done the impossible with Guardians of the Galaxy, adapted a little known comic book property into a space-set adventure that’s fresh, exhilarating and packed to the hilts with pop culture references.
Directed by James Gunn, the film is set in the far reaches of space, where Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) now lives, having been abducted by alien scavengers not long after the death of his mother.
Now a scavenger himself, Quill, also known as Star-Lord, has his sights set on a mysterious and powerful orb. But so does Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), a radical of alien race the Kree, who is acting on behalf of Thanos (Josh Brolin).
With a bounty now on his head, Quill’s only hope of protecting the orb comes in the form of four mercenaries – Gamorah (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel).
Headed up by Pratt, who owns his lead role, Guardians of the Galaxy is all about the characters and creates a sense of fun for the audience.
And rightly so, as every member of the ensemble – CGI characters Rocket and Groot, in particular – delivers.
The camaraderie between them, too, is magnificent, and the dialogue scripted by co-screenwriters Gunn and Nicole Perlman makes them instantly likeable, awarding each of them with their own persona without an overload of backstory.
There are also spectacular action sequences that unfold on a “round-the-clock basis”, a subplot which somewhat falls by the wayside.
As Gunn and his cast throw so much of enthusiasm, wit and classic 80s pop tracks at the screen it distracts you from digging too deep, especially as the first 20 minutes don’t elicit much excitement – there’s a deluge of information and back story to get out there.
But once Guardians of the Galaxy settles into a rhythm, it dazzles with its no holds barred approach every step of the way.