James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy is great – that is the long and the short of it. This is Marvel working at it’s very best and what is even sweeter is that it isn’t one of its most popular and well known heroes. For all intents and purposes, Guardians is a film for teenagers and adults, rather than the younger demographic that Disney/Marvel look to synch, whilst the film is marketed as a family friendly holiday film, there is less for a younger audience to grasp onto – the language is cruder, the jokes are more adult and even the action is more controlled and choreographed rather than going for out and out madcap action – but these are also the reasons why Guardians is so damn good and successful at what it is trying to do – make these characters relatable and for the most part, feel real.
Featuring an incredibly well put together cast including Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro and capped off with one of Hollywood’s newest, hottest (and one of the most talented) leading men, Chris Pratt, who really shouldn’t work well as a lead but recently, he has proven himself and with Guardians he takes it to an insane whole new level – securing a space on Hollywood’s go-to roster for talent.
Whilst this isn’t the first time Pratt has led a cast, he played the loveable but naive Emmett in the animation, The Lego Movie and has spent the past six (soon to be seven) seasons as part of an incredible ensemble as Andy on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, this is the first time Chris (in a non animated form) is going it alone on the big screen with all eyes on him and really it pays off – playing Peter Quill, he captures the ‘dude’ element with his humour and his general demeanour, which is soon followed by ‘leader’ Peter and finally they morph together into ‘smooth superhero’, which allows him to save the day and get the girl – talk about the luck!
For those who are unaware of the story of Guardians Of The Galaxy, Gunn’s film is a telling of how the gang meet and end up saving the day, when really they didn’t mean to – actually this is about a group of people who don’t really like one another, are out for their own personal gains for the most part and then inadvertantly stumble into a conspiracy, which forces them to save the planet. Pratt’s Peter steals a much coveted orb in the hope to sell it on and make some quick money, but when he finds himself being chased down by Gamora (Saldana), he realises there is more to this orb than meets the eye. Together they find out that the orb contains the infinity stone, a power, which is so powerful it can destroy everything in its wake. Ronan (Lee Pace), a maniac wants nothing more but to get his hands on the infinity stone.
Whilst Peter and Gamora fight it out, a pair of bounty hunters, Groot (Diesel), a tree like humanoid and Rocket (Cooper), a genetically-engineered raccoon join in and try and capture Peter because if they turn him in they will be paid – of course they also fail. As time goes on, Gamora and Peter start to realise what Ronan’s plan is and along with Groot, Rocket and Drax (Bautista), an inmate they encounter whilst they are under arrest, they decide that they will defeat Ronan once and for all and ensure that the stone never makes it into his hands.
Gunn (best known for directing Slither) has remarkably created a universe where his characters move freely between different worlds; his attention to detail really allows the audience a entrance into the world and his camera explores everywhere, truly showing off the colours and the sparkle. Furthermore all the characters are so well put together, even down to the vocabulary challenged Groot (‘I Am Groot’), and have a history that is continuously hinted at, which leaves the audience wanting to find out more. Whilst Pratt is a real standout talent wise, Doctor Who‘s Karen Gillan makes a surprising turn as the haunting Nebula, Gamora’s sister and ally of Ronan – in particular, the scene when she pieces her broken self back together, which has a feeling that this franchise has the potential to turn into something so much bigger and better than what has already come to be expected from the high quality of the Marvel films.
As this review started, Guardians Of The Galaxy is great – it’s a lot of fun, whilst showing off some great storytelling and beautiful direction – highlighting this as a franchise that could stand the test of time and become an all important moment in the Marvel canon.