Marvel’s latest summer blockbuster was billed as the film to finally supplant Avengers Assemble as the jewel in the studio’s crown.
And while Joss Whedon’s first Avengers film set the bar incredibly high for all sci-fi and superhero movies that followed, Guardians of the Galaxy cooly limbos under it and sets a standard all of its own.
From the heart breaking opening scene to it’s ever so slightly cornball ending, Guardians of the Galaxy moves at a rapid pace and wastes no time on unnecessary filler – it is quite literally an out of this world roller coaster, pitched almost perfectly.
Chris Pratt, who rose to fame as the dimwitted Andy on the excellent Parks and Recreation, is perfectly cast as Peter ‘Star-Lord’ Quill – bringing a wonderful combination of wit, charm and smarm to the films pivotal character.
Around Pratt; Bradley Cooper (with a nod to the CGI team) puts in a superb effort as Rocket, serving up a number of genuine laugh out loud moments, and while Zoe Saldana’s Gamora slightly lacks the ‘edge’ you might expect of the “deadliest woman in the whole galaxy”, the cool nature with which the Star Trek actress plays the role makes for a neat foil to the outlandish Quill.
Lee Pace is also on top form in this fantastical space adventure, as the suitably maniacal villain Ronan the Accuser, and though I have to admit being a little disappointed by Karen Gillan’s Nebula, it is a testament to director James Gunn that he was able to pull together such a strong crew to bring the Guardians to life.
Undoubtedly part of the films success lies in the unknown. As Bouncybhall pointed out during our post showing pint, the Guardians of the Galaxy are not one of Marvel’s more main stream works – and where Iron Man, Captain America et al all had solo adventures (with the exception of Black Widow); the Guardians went straight in to it.
It gave Gunn an entirely clean slate from which to produce such a vibrant world and stage some delightfully over the top set pieces.
Underpinned by what will undoubtedly become one of cinemas most iconic soundtracks, Guardians of the Galaxy is a wonderfully crafted piece which makes the Marvel film universe in to the fully formed, galaxy spanning wonderland that the comic books sustain. And as such it is unfair to compare Guardians of the Galaxy to Avengers Assemble – because they stand together. Two strands of the same story. Together ensuring Marvel Studio’s is now the ultimate power in the sci-fi universe.
Guardian’s of the Galaxy is everything you want from a summer blockbuster, everything you want from Marvel. It is OTT, it is dynamic and it is not ashamed of it.
The sequel cannot come fast enough.