James Gunn, Sci-Fi, 121 mins, Sep 13
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper
Hailed by some as this generation’s Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy has been attracting attention since its very first trailer hit earlier this year. Expanding its universe, Marvel has stepped out from its comfort zone of instantly recognizable comic book characters and is exploring some of its more obscure franchises, which will still be tied into the overarching narrative loosely weaved between every Marvel movie to date.
Needless to say, it is a huge gamble; not only are these characters all but unknown, they are taking the fight to space, which normally marks a studio clutching at straws. But the film not only captures the huge scale of a galaxy littered with different species, it is also able to give each of the guardians a backstory compelling enough to make us care about each and every one of them; a task that took The Avengers years to accomplish.
Following the interstellar abduction of a young Peter Quill, the first third of the movie is spent getting to know each of the five heroes and the perils they face. An early incarceration instantly showcases the chemistry these five share and the complicated relationships between them are balanced perfectly. The danger they face is fittingly grand and although Ronan the Accuser is not the most original of bad guys, he does pose a very real threat. T
he quirky comedy that James Gunn fans enjoyed in Slither and Super is present here in spades, but the brutal violence is toned down to family-friendly action, which is still very exciting. Chris Pratt shines as the leading man, Zoe Saldana is perfect for the fiery Gamora, and Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper each put in great voice acting work (although Cooper has a few more lines to learn). The real surprise however is Dave Bautista, who is both brutal and believable as Drax and the best pro wrestler in a movie since Hulk Hogan in Mr. Nanny.
Don’t forget you can find a list of local cinemas (and what’s playing) online at: