Guardians Of The Galaxy Review

Guardians Of The Galaxy

Even before watching one of the summer’s biggest releases, James Gunn’s name was already familiar to me, although I didn’t know why.

Much brain-wracking later, and I remembered that he was the man behind 2006’s cult classic Slither.

Horror comedy is a tricky genre to get right, but Gunn hit the mark. The film achieved a perfect blend of special effects, action sequences, an extraterrestrial invasion tale and, most importantly, a bunch of engaging characters.

Good training for Guardians Of The Galaxy then.

Something tells me that his latest release will propel Gunn’s name into household status, or as household as a director’s name can be.

The film brings to the screen a motley crew of outsiders, who band together to save the universe from general devastation at the hands of the, presumably Irish-named, Ronan.

The story is pretty by-the-numbers, involving a two-hour battle over some supreme power source. The Macguffin in this case is a mystical orb which has planet-destroying abilities.

But the real draw here is the array of characters and chemistry.

Our titular heroes comprise outlaw Peter Quill, assassin Gamora, tree-monster Groot, warrior Drax and a belligerent, trigger-happy racoon by the name of Rocket.

As a group of Marvel-adapted characters who reluctantly join forces in the face of threatening, inter-planetary odds, comparisons between the Guardians and the Avengers were to be expected.

But, unlike Joss Whedon, whose primary task was to wrangle a bunch of already-established and popular icons, Gunn had to introduce multiple characters at once, whilst simultaneously cementing them as a team.

In this, he succeeds for the most part, with only Dave Bautista’s Drax feeling a little underdeveloped.

Chris Pratt is charismatic as Quill- sorry, Star Lord- and Zoe Saldana, as Gamora, asserts her status as Hollywood’s go-to girl for kickass heroines.

Vin Diesel is surprisingly good as Groot. Though, most actors would be offended at being asked to play a tree, Diesel turns the role into something memorable.

But it’s Bradley Cooper, channelling Denis Leary, who produces the film’s standout character as Rocket.

With all this hero-establishment, it is pretty inevitable that the villains are given short shrift. See the 2009 Star Trek reboot as an example.

Lee Pace as Ronan doesn’t get much to do other than faff about with CGI effects and deliver bombastic statements in gloomy surroundings. Ditto Karen Gillan as Nebula, who is heavy on the FX makeup, but low on character. The only time the pair really come alive is when faced with the good guys during the film’s multi-layered climax.

There are also plenty of other superb actors who don’t really get much screen time, such as Glenn Close, Djimon Hounsou, John C Reilly and Benicio Del Toro. But in fairness, they are all given at least one good line each.

All in all, a fun and fast comic book adaptation which will possibly make you laugh more than any other film this Summer. The already-greenlit sequel feels most deserved.

And any film that features the mighty Michael Rooker as a blue-skinned, goateed space-desperado is a-ok with me.

Conor Brennan

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  1. […] reflection upon the current cinematic offer,  from summer blockbusters such as Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy starring Bradley Cooper and Benicio del Toro, to films of the moment David Fincher’s Gone […]

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July 2014