I have to admit. The first time I heard about Guardians of the Galaxy I was pretty sceptical, even more so when I saw the trailer for the first time with the tree thing and the talking racoon, it definitely wasn’t selling it to me.
But…I have to say now, apart from the slightly chessy first few minutes it was actually very, very enjoyable!
The film centres around lead character Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), who would like to be known as Star Lord but never quite pulls it off, and a rather dysfunctional band of friends who he collects on his way, namely the gun toting, talking racoon, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper).
His side kick/protector, a talking tree-thing (you’ll see what I mean if you watch the film) called Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). This will be easy to remember as all he is capable of saying is ‘I am Groot’ the meaning of which depends on the inflection, but don’t worry as it’s all handily translated by the talking racoon.
Drax the Destroyer (played by professional wrestler Dave Bautista) provides the muscle and finally Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana), who gives this merry band the glamorous edge all good super hero gangs need with her green skin, high kicks and disdainful looks.
Explosive escape plan
After a quick spell in prison, and an explosive escape plan, all concocted by the rather unlikely brains of the operation, Rocket, they find themselves in possession of a stone that is capable of destroying the galaxy in the wrong hands, and those wrong hands are very conveniently provided by the villain of the piece, Ronan (played by Lee Pace), who’s already fairly unpopular with Gamora and Drax due to their previous encounters.
Needless to say, plenty of high speed space chases, explosive scenes and edge of your seat escape plans then ensue.
Heroes and villains
Guardians of the Galaxy is another Marvel film with plenty of heroes to love and villains to hate. It has the big budget action and special effects that you would expect from a film with reported budget of $170m, but there’s more to it than the standard sci-fi blockbuster, it’s actually pretty funny.
The characters bounce well off of each other, setting up witty one liners regularly and providing plenty of laugh out loud moments, think Iron Man, but much funnier. Rocket’s acerbic wit, balances well against the deadpan Drax who takes everything said to him literally, at one point grunting, “nothing goes over my head, I would catch it.”
With Peter’s charm providing an excellent set up for the withering looks and comebacks of Gamora, it’s certainly light hearted enough.
There’s also the rather retro music soundtrack from the 70’s and 80’s all provided by Peter’s even more retro Walkman which, incidentally, is given to him by his mother who we only see on her death bed, shortly before child Peter gets kidnapped by aliens.
Combine all this with the rather visually outlandish characters, the whole film has a slight sense of being a parody of itself, there’s a talking racoon with a machine gun for goodness sake!
Of course, Stan Lee also makes his now obligatory brief appearance, only to be mocked by, you guessed it, Rocket the talking racoon, further adding to the sense of parody.
The whole thing comes together really well, it’s a fantastic, light hearted, summer flick that fizzes along and should keep pretty much any audience happy. Definitely one to put on your ‘to watch’ list!
Kettle Rating: 4/5 stars
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