Guardians of the Galaxy | You don’t have to be a comic book geek to enjoy this latest big-screen Marvel adventure

Guardians of the Galaxy

For me Guardians of the Galaxy is the funniest big-screen Marvel adventure to date, kind of like The Breakfast Club meets The Goonies set in a galaxy far, far away (it has loads of Star Wars riffs btw) with an awesome mix-tape for the soundtrack. And the best thing about it – you don’t have to be a comic book geek to enjoy it or know anything about the characters before seeing it. But it’s also great fun to experience it with a geek – especially one who knows everything there is to know about the Marvel Universe. So, being more at home with the 1960s cartoon series The Fantastic Four and 1970s TV shows like The Amazing Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk, I thought I might let my mate Omer Sheriff loose on giving his verdict on the latest addition to Marvel’s cinematic family.

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Guardians of the Galaxy comic was always just some third tier title in the Marvel Universe and I remember thinking ‘Man, are they getting desperate?’ What was the point of this film when there were other, more popular heroes that could have been explored – I’m thinking the long-promised Doctor Strange – and after seeing the first trailers, I couldn’t help but recall the abomination that was DC/Warner Bros’ disastrous Green Lantern. Y’know that space-bound, cosmic CGI-overload that was painfully dull.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised with Guardians of the Galaxy. A quick and simple set-up of our lead character, Peter Quill aka Star-Lord also gives an idea of the film’s quirky and humorous tone. I have never seen Chris Pratt in anything before this, so it was kind of refreshing to not have any pre-conceived ideas of his abilities. Within the first few minutes, he gives an instantly likeable and funny performance as Quill the ‘legendary outlaw’.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Shortly after, Quill is joined by a cast of weird ‘n’ wacky characters including a bad-ass, green-skinned, alien assassin named Gamora (played with suitable, high-kicking style by Avatar‘s Zoe Saldana), a muscle-bound, revenge-seeking warrior, Drax the Destroyer (ex-wrestling hero Dave Bautista) and then there are the two ‘computer-generated-motion-capturey-cartoon-like-destined-to-be-favourites-with-the-kids-and-action-figure-collectors’ characters – Rocket Raccoon and Groot – voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel Diesel’s vocal performance here is straight outta The Iron Giant and no matter how many times you hear it, for some reason ‘I am Groot!’ never gets old. For me personally, I think Groot is my favourite character. He’s like one of those Ents from Lord of the Rings. Only 100 times cooler.

Guardians of the Galaxy

There are also some decent supporting roles by Djimon Honsou, Benicio del Toro, Glenn Close and John C Reilly but most notably for me, was the presence of Michael Rooker as Quill’s mentor, Yondu. Gotta love his whistling arrow. The plot is pretty standard – find the powerful cosmic thingie before the bad guys do and save the universe – but cleverly knit-together with the band of heroes spending a lot of their time insulting each other and/or trying to beat one another to a pulp. Good Fun! Hey, I’m sorry. I’m not very good at summarizing narratives but you’ll get the idea very quickly. For the real Marvel-fans, the whole Cinematic Universe building DOES continue. All I will mention here is ‘Infinity Gems’ and ‘Thanos’…

Guardians of the Galaxy

The look of the film is straight out of the comics and given that the story takes place pretty much entirely in galaxies far, far away, I thought it was appropriate for the bright colours, fantastic planets and super-sleek space-vehicle designs. The use of 3D too, was welcomed here – not too overused and especially effective during the opening sequence.

Until recently, I had completely given up on the onslaught of superhero/comic book based films as they seemed to be very ‘conveyor belt’ and bland. I just didn’t and could not get too jazzed about the ridiculously overrated Dark Knight or the disappointing Avengers. However, along with Bryan Singer’s recent rescue ‘n’ revival of the X-Men with the Days of Future Past, Guardians of the Galaxy restored my faith and allowed me to just sit back and have a fun time at the movies again. As the end credits begin to roll, we are told, Guardians of the Galaxy will return. And I for one cannot wait. If you haven’t already done so, check out director James Gunn’s hilariously brilliant directorial debut Slither – also starring Michael Rooker and fan-favourite Nathan Fillion, a horror-comedy with a real ‘old-school 1980’s’ vibe.

All together now ‘We are Groot!’

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Twitter: @MarvelUK


About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on July 31, 2014, in Must See, Must-See, Sci-Fi and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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