Guardians of the Galaxy: A thrilling adventure

I WENT into Guardians of the Galaxy with pretty high expectations. Firstly, it’s a Marvel film (so it has to be good right?) and secondly, the reviews have been incredibly strong (92% on Rotten Tomatoes). It is safe to say that my expectations were met and safely passed in this thrilling adventure.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a not what we have come to expect from Marvel superhero films and that isn’t a bad thing. The stand out aspect of this film for me was simply how fun it was, that’s not to say it didn’t have ample scenes of alien encounters and space battles. Yet the film just radiated enjoyment and laughs that I’ve not felt in other Marvel films.

The film kicks off by introducing us to Peter Quill or ‘Star Lord’ as he likes to be called. From the get go, the tone of the film is set with Chris Pratt’s rather charming performance, showing us the humour and heroics of the film from scene one. The film appears to draw on aspects of pop culture from all over, particularly Star Wars, which came through with influence from loveable characters such as Han Solo and Chewbacca among many others.

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The Guardians – (left to right) Gamora, Peter “Star Lord” Quill, Rocket, Drax, Groot.

The rest of the cast also work well to create an excellent ensemble. Zoe Saldana’s rendition of Gamora proves to be well written, rounded, independent character that has become a rarely seen case in Hollywood superhero movies. She brings the female role presence to a new level, something Marvel have been working towards in their films. Dave Bautista as Drax was a pleasant surprise and an excellent choice of casting. His deadpan humour gives us another aspect to the usual ‘tough guy’ persona. Lastly, we have the animated pair, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) who very nearly stole the show with how quickly the audience comes to love them. Combining the fantastic CGI and the nature of Cooper and Diesel’s voicing, the end result is a brilliantly delivered piece of acting.

With regards to the plot, (which I won’t go into too far, as not to spoil it) we are not seeing anything immensely groundbreaking; the main story being the hunt for a powerful artefact by the good guys and the bad guys alike, culminating in a number of epic battles. I also found that – at times – the film felt a little hectic. However, what makes this film stand out, is that you get to know each member of the Guardians’ character and backstory. While the film also takes the time to show us the individual interactions and relationship with the rest of the team. And this makes the film seem much more deeper, perhaps, than recent Marvel adventures. In what could be a called a bold move, Marvel Studios have created an innovative film that tries to break the mould of the previous films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Again, the visuals are for a better word; stunning. The film actually looks like a comic book movie with a vivid colour palate portrayed in the film, making the action and fight scenes even more dramatic. The main disappointment of the film for me, though, was the villain Ronan. I was unable to connect on any level with what he was trying to do, albeit he did portray many ‘villain traits’. We see he performs a number of cold blooded killings, and no mercy actions, yet I failed to see any real personality behind Lee Pace’s character. Despite this, it doesn’t detract from the overall feel of the film – good hearted tongue-in-cheek fun for all the family.

This film is a definite must see this summer, a blockbuster that will have you crying tears of laughter, joy and from a few bittersweet moments. It is safe to say that the decision by Marvel to employ James Gunn to direct, and Nicole Perlman to write, was one of their best so far, and I hope we see a lot more from both of them in the future.  This was a film that set out to be a funny superhero film and achieved just that.

As always, don’t forget to stay till the end of the credits – Marvel have the usual clip for all those experienced Marvel fans; although I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this one! Bring on Guardians of the Galaxy 2… shame it’s not until 2017.

You can see Guardians of the Galaxy at the Commodore – see the full listings here.