Those who are experiencing “Marvel fatigue” from the steady stream of films over the past two decades that are based on Marvel comic book characters can rest assured that Guardians of the Galaxy is a breath of much needed fresh air. Probably unfamiliar to most people who are not comic book fans, the film is based on the later Guardians of the Galaxy team, which Marvel Comics began publishing again in 2008.
The story is a bit complicated so I won’t go into too much detail, but at it’s center is Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) who, as a child in Missouri, was kidnapped by some space pirates. As an adult, he steals a mysterious orb which puts a large bounty on his head by Ronan (Lee Pace) and in the process of trying to sell it, draws in a cast of characters that include the genetically enhanced raccoon bounty hunter Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), tree-like humanoid Groot (Vin Diesel), and green assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana). Before escaping from prison, they also meet up with Drax (Dave Bautista) who rounds out the ensemble cast before taking on the arch villain Ronan in an epic battle to keep him from getting hold of the orb which contains the destructively powerful Infinity Stone.
Though it is a somewhat complicated story, you don’t need to know anything about the comic book series in order to enjoy the movie thanks to an excellent script. Quill’s backstory is laid out at the very beginning of the movie, and we learn more little bits and pieces along the way. As the story unfolds, the relationships between the five take shape and they unite to form a cohesive group of very lovable heroes who band together in the face of almost certain death to try and defeat a very powerful villain. Binding the story together is a healthy dose of laughter and humour that makes GOTG a refreshingly different superhero film that stands apart in a sea of predictable, formulaic superhero fare, despite the fact that some of the themes are not entirely original. The sci-fi visual effects are excellent, but don’t really require anything that we haven’t seen before. However, makeup effects are incredible as is the costuming by veteran costume designer Alexander Byrne. Combine these elements with the art direction of Thomas Brown (Thor: The Dark World), and GOTG has a unique style all its own.
Casting in the film is spot-on, and Chris Pratt has firmly secured his position as a leading man thanks to his newly buffed physique, un-pretentious likeability, and sense of humour. After him, the most notable character is the CGI raccoon Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper who is just…hilarious. The rest of the cast is outstanding, and there isn’t a weak one in the bunch.
Thanks to its interesting cast of characters, sci-fi action interspersed with humour, and heart-warming message of friendship, GOTG is one of the most enjoyable superhero films made to date. Throw in a nostalgic soundtrack and you have sure-fire winner in my book that should please audiences, Marvel fans or not. Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the few films in a long time that as soon as the credits rolled, I wanted to see it again.
[youtube id=”y9nceSHGWd4″ width=”620″ height=”360″]
::: Renowned For Sound Technical Director and Film Reviewer ::: Robert is an IT geek, movie fan and part-time movie reviewer/editor. Robert also looks after the ‘behind the scenes’ technical elements of Renowned For Sound.