mon 22/07/2024

Guardians of the Galaxy | reviews, news & interviews

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

Chris Pratt delights in James Gunn's thrilling and funny space adventure

Marvel takes a risk with the origins story of an eclectic crew of potty-mouthed thieves and criminals based on a little known comic book series, and it pays off thanks to Nicole Perlman’s and James Gunn’s confident script which follows the superhero formula yet sprinkles it with a charming off-kilter quality.

The threat of mass genocide looms heavily over the galaxy, with evil beings chasing a mysterious orb which holds the power to destroy civilization with one fell swoop. However, an unwitting hero named Peter Quill (or Starlord as he prefers) is set for glory and a whole heap of trouble when he comes upon the prized possession and ends up in a mad chase across the universe in an attempt to save the orb from getting into the wrong hands. Tracked down by a mouthy raccoon and his sidekick of a talking tree, and hunted by a green alien, each of them having a reason for coveting the orb, chaos ensues with the lot of them ending up in prison and having to team up to escape.

This bunch of madcap rebels consists of Chris Pratt repurposing his clueless and endearing Parks and Recreation persona with a hint of Bert Macklin as leading man Peter Quill, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, a green skinned martial arts expert, wrestler Dave Bautista as the angry Drax who takes everything quite literally and gauges comic timing well with his exceedingly dumb persona, Bradley Cooper as a CGI raccoon named Rocket and Vin Diesel as a talking tree called Groot with the same dynamic as Han Solo and Chewbacca or more like Jay and Silent Bob in this instance. They are all afflicted with past atrocities which have shaped them into outsiders and outlaws and give good enough reason for them to band together to save the galaxy.

chris pratt guardians of the galaxyEvery character is stuck in the past to some extent, and this space adventure knowingly relies on a heady whiff of nostalgia with its music lifted from the 1970s. A combination of power ballads and rock and roll, including the The Runaways' Cherry Bomb, injects energy and optimism into the most perilous of places thanks to an “awesome” mix-tape gifted to the young Quill by his dying mother. Gunn employs a mischievous mixture of dialogue that adults will guffaw at and a multitude of pop culture references which are pleasingly directed at all ages.

With so much to fit in, Lee Pace’s muddy bearded villain Ronan becomes a stock villain mwahahaing his way through the darker scenes which don’t really come with any agency. But thanks to the strong introduction of main characters, with their zesty one-liners, it doesn’t matter all that much. With the intergalactic setting, it’s easy to compare this to the Star Wars franchise, especially now a sequel has been announced, but it has more in common with Disney’s Lilo & Stitch due to its funny, sassy characters learning from one another and eventually creating their own unique family unit.

Guardians of the Galaxy retains its edge till the end, swaggering around its outer space setting with a confident and bitingly bright charm. Leading man Chris Pratt holds your attention with his amiable, haphazard manner, whilst surprisingly Vin Diesel’s monosyllabic talking tree becomes a shining beacon of hope and harmonious presence who you find yourself rooting for… Gunn clearly knows his way round the genre and delivers a crowd pleasing summer blockbuster full of humour. Plus a raccoon brandishing a machine gun is all kinds of fun.

Overleaf: watch the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy


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