Summary : The is no stopping Marvel's box office dominance and summer blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy will please adults and kids alike.
There seems to be no stopping Marvel’s domination of the global box office lately as they deliver blockbuster after blockbuster. Now on phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the studio that brought us Iron Man, Thor and the Avengers presents Guardians of the Galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy focuses on scavenger Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) who discovers a mysterious orb that soon lands him in hot water with the evil Ronan (Lee Pace) and his band of Kree warriors. Quill barely manages to escape to the planet of Xandar where he tries to sell the mysterious orb, only to discover that it is too hot to handle. With bounty hunters Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) on his heels and assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) keen to exact as much damage on him as possible, the explosive showdown that ensues is the first of many in this latest Marvel hit.
I have to admit, I wasn’t too sure about Guardians of the Galaxy. These films are so heavily marketed at the moment and it is almost impossible to avoid spoilers and to not form expectations before you even hit the cinema. With that in mind, I studiously avoided trailers and clips but was sort of expecting a child-friendly, slightly animatronic alternative to the other Marvel films. True, all comic book films should be child-friendly to a great extent but let’s face it, most of the humour is directed at adults.
Fortunately, it turns out that the happiest child in the audience was me. The plot is fast-paced and action-packed, with lots of big screen explosions and impressive special effects. Marvel continues to set itself apart from DC with the high level of humour in the films. It just goes to show that you can still be downright hilarious while faced with the destruction of the entire galaxy. There is no doubt about it, this film is best viewed in 3D and the special effects and CGI were spectacular. I especially liked the design of the planet Xandar, the set for Knowhere and the intergalactic prison Kyln, which is a set of cylindrical spheres.
Perhaps the most impressive feat accomplished in the film was the animation of Rocket and Groot. We were assured that no raccoons were harmed in the production of the film, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t have any humanoid trees handy, so that makes the facial expressions and actions of these animated characters all the more notable.
Like Thor: The Dark World, the costume design and makeup are brilliant and both Lee Pace as Ronan and Karen Gillan as Nebula were completely unrecognisable. I also liked Quill’s Star-Lord costume and the intergalactic warrior appearance of Djimon Hounsou as Korath.
I would have said that Chris Pratt was an unlikely superhero, but he completely won me over with his portrayal of Peter Quill. He definitely brought a comedic side to his role but is up there with the likes of Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Zoe Saldana was fantastic as Gamora and I loved Dave Bautista as the walking thesaurus Drax the Destroyer. My favourite character of all would have to be Vin Diesel as Groot. It’s really funny because Diesel has often been accused of wooden performances (although I’m personally a fan) and this was probably one of his least wooden performances of all time.
You’ll notice that the film has a slightly unusual soundtrack. Who knew that a crazy 1970s and 1980s mix tape of a soundtrack could work so well but it did here. In anticipation of the soundtrack’s success, the soundtrack is already available for pre-order on Amazon.com.
Ultimately, Guardians of the Galaxy will continue Marvel’s box office dominance, and it is a definite audience pleaser. The film reminded me of some of my all-time space comedies like Spaceballs which we watched over and over again growing up and I think this will become a real kid’s favourite.
I give Guardians of the Galaxy a resounding five out of five stars and recommend that you book ahead to see it when it opens in cinemas on Friday, August 1.
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