(2014) Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper
Guardians of The Galaxy may have come across to some as a 'gap film', a product made to fill the time until Avengers 2 arrives. It may also be looked at as less-than-serious addition to the Marvel franchise because it features a talking raccoon. Both of these opinions are incorrect as Guardians of The Galaxy is THE greatest Marvel film ever made, sit back and I shall explain.
The film opens with Starlord (Chris Pratt) being abducted from earth shortly after his Mother's death, then jumping to many years in the future where he has become a treasure-hunting outlaw. He tracks down a mysterious orb which is said to have great value where he is unfortunately ambushed by alien mercenaries that work for the villain of the story, Ronan The Accuser. Using his wit, silver tongue and a bit of luck Starlord manages to escape and flies to a trading planet in order to collect his cash reward. It is on this planet where he encounters 3 more 'Guardians'; the green skinned assassin Gamora played extremely well by Zoe Saldana and the hilarious odd-ball duo of Rocket and Groot voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. A scuffle over the orb and Starlord's capture ensues and all 4 end up shipped off to a maximum security space prison. Once incarcerated our heroes meet the fifth member of their team, the revenge seeking Drax The Destroyer played and voiced excellently by ex-wrestler (Dave Bautista).
The 5 Guardians agree to work together in order to pull off a jail break and set about collecting the tools they need, its here we get to see our first glimpse at just how varied each of them is and who they all utilize their skills differently. After an explosive first act the crew learns of Ronan's plot to end the universe and realise they must keep the orb as far away from the villain as possible.
The film had excellent pacing throughout and really kept me entertained, never was there a dull moment in the company of these characters and 2 hours seemed to fly by. What I adored most about GOTG is how varied but yet still extremely useful each character was, there were absolutely no weak links like in The Avengers such Hawkeye or the utterly dull Black Widow. Drax and Groot could both be looked at as power house characters, but the ways in which they utilized their strength was fresh and interesting. Drax's hilarious trait of taking everything everyone said literally worked really well for his warrior type character. Groot constantly surprised me with the sheer amount of living tree themed powers and tools he had at his disposal, there was one particular scene towards the end that nearly brought a tear to my eye it was so well done. Rocket Raccoon provided the most comic relief for most people during the screening, his quick to flare temper and sadistic sense of humour coupled with Bradley Cooper's incredible voice acting made his big screen debut nothing short of iconic. There was a brief scene in the prison that hinted at a dark and tragic pa t related to Rocket which hinted at more depth to his macho persona. Zoe Saldana played Gamora to a tee and was easily the best role i've seen her play in any movie, the efficient assassin with a hidden soft side dying to get out was both gripping and heart breaking to watch. Last but not least we have Chris Pratt as Starlord, easily my favourite Guardian, he just kept me laughing with his constant quick wit and need to be recognised and respected as a 'legendary outlaw'. He stole the show whether he was playing the fool or giving a serious speech about guarding the galaxy, I believed in him and wanted his character to succeed with every word he said.
The supporting cast was also pretty solid, John C Rielly played Corpsman Dey an officer on the planet the 4 guardians were arrested on. Karen Gillan played the evil Nebula, the no mercy half sister of Gamora. Visuals in the film were bang up to date, lots of detail and things to look at in the background which really command a second watch. can't end the review without mentioning the incredible 80's soundtrack which was based around an old cassette that Star Lord's mother gave him as a child. David Bowie, The Runaways and Micheal Jackson all accompany the exhilarating action perfectly.
This is not a film to be missed by anyone this summer and I really feel James Gunn has a big future directing Marvel films and I cannot wait to see what he has in store.
Guardians of The Galaxy blew me away, its characters were charming, interesting and above all inspirational. This was a film that celebrated individuality, took it, embraced it and made it into a super power. For that I truly commend it. Guardians of The Galaxy IS the greatest marvel movie ever made and I can see it becoming the Star Wars of this generation. James Gunn take a bow.