Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review

By refusing to follow the usual formula, filmmaker James Gunn has made Marvel's best-yet movie, a summer action-adventure that provides more cinematic fun than the rest of the year's blockbusters rolled into one. It's shamelessly entertaining, keeping the focus on sparky characters even as the action spirals into exhilarating set-pieces around them. And the best thing is that the film isn't actually about the big plot: it's about a group of people who should hate each other but instead come together as a team.

In a pre-logo sequence set in 1988 America, a young boy is kidnapped by aliens. Some 25 years later, Peter (Chris Pratt) has become an ace thief who roams the galaxy in search of cash. Curious and charming, he can get himself out of most scrapes, but when he collects a mysterious orb for a client he ends up as the target of two bounty hunters, the raccoon-like Rocket and tree-like Groot (voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel). And the villainously destructive Ronan (Lee Pace) sends his best fighter Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to get the orb for his own nefarious plan. Rounded up and thrown into prison, Peter, Gamora, Rocket and Groot stage a daring escape with the help of literal-minded muscleman Drax (Dave Bautista), then must work together to deal with this troublesome orb. So they contact Peter's mentor/nemesis Yondu (Michael Rooker) before taking on Ronan and his second-best fighter, Gamora's half-cyborg sister Nebula (Karen Gillan).

Gunn gives the film a look and tone unlike anything in the Marvel universe, with colourful ships, sassy humour and freewheeling action that propels the story and deepens the character at the same time. It also makes the most of the well-worn 1980s mixtape Peter uses as his own personal soundtrack. It's the kind of riotously thrill ride that makes us hold on for dear life, loving every twist and turn. And since it's so tightly focused on the characters, the action plot involving the orb merely adds texture around the edges. As do terrific actors like Glenn Close and John C. Reilly in small but pivotal roles.

At the centre, Pratt holds everything together with effortless charm. He's a bit of a scoundrel like Han Solo, sparking real chemistry with the enjoyably spiky Saldana. And while Bautista is hugely likeable as the meat-head Drax, the film is stolen by Cooper's fast-talking Rocket and Diesel's gorgeously animated Groot. This is also a rare blockbuster that isn't overwhelmed by its digital effects, maintaining a human scale even in the biggest action sequences and making sure that the animated characters are grounded by their personalities. Gunn also mercilessly pokes fun at over-serious blockbusters and the usual over-choreographed battles, while leaving just enough questions unanswered. So at the end, the audience is already gasping for the next adventure.

Watch 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Trailer

Comments

Guardians of the Galaxy Rating

" Extraordinary "

Rating: 12, 2014

Advertisement

More Chris Pratt

"Guardians Of The Galaxy" Hits $300 Million Mark, Surrenders Box Office Throne

Time for the weekly box office recap – and this time, we seem to have a new champion. Guardians of the Galaxy finally crossed the...

Chris Pratt To Host Saturday Night Live Season Premiere

There is just no stopping Chris Pratt. Funny, attractive, and the kind of guy everyone wants as a best friend, he's gone from supporting cast...

Can You Guess Which Movie Topped the Box-Office?

Marvel's monumental sci-fi hit Guardians of the Galaxy has topped the North American box-office, six weeks after it opened in theaters. In one of the...

As One Marvel Flick Falls, Another Must Rise - 'Guardians' Topples 'Winter Soldier' For 2014 Box Office Crown

After much love from critics and fans alike, Guardians of the Galaxy has reached a new box office milestone. Marvel's space opera is now the...

Advertisement

Despite 'Guardians', That Was The Worst Summer Box-Office Since 2006

Despite the heavyweight pulling power of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, the relative might of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and straight-up blockbuster...

'Guardians of the Galaxy' Is Biggest Movie of 2014. Can 'Interstellar' Beat It?

Marvel's giant summer blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy is officially the biggest movie of the year so far after it took $16.3 million over the...

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Proves Unstoppable At Box Office As It Edges Towards The $300 Million Mark

It’s official, Guardians of the Galaxy is the movie of the summer and it could end up becoming the movie of the year, if it...

Chris Pratt Pays Visit To Children's Hospital As Peter Quill

The world keeps on falling in love with Chris Pratt over and over again. After a number of high profile appearances on radio and TV...

Advertisement