Marvel Comics’ new fantasy sci-fi feelgood summer smash hits the screen from relative obscurity to go toe-to-toe with The Avengers as the best superhero team the world has ever seen.
The Guardians include Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), an eccentric wisecracking maverick with more than a little Han Solo about him, and Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a walking female weapon with slinky looks, green skin and a host of deadly martial arts skills.
The team’s comedy double act are bounty-hunting genetically enhanced racoon Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and his muscle Groot (Vin Diesel), who is in fact a walking sentient tree.
Finally there’s Drax (Dave Batista), a violent rogue looking to avenge the death of his family.
Director James Gunn should be applauded for taking a risk on this lesser-known and slightly outlandish comic book tale. He delivers over and above expectations, confidently using a huge budget and quality actors like Glen Close and Benicio Del Toro in cameo roles.
The action is crunching and satisfying, but not overly gruesome. The special effects are jaw-dropping (especially in IMAX 3D) and the script crackles with well-observed humour. The Kevin Bacon references are especially hilarious if you’re of an age to remember his Footloose days. There is excellent chemistry between the characters who all seem to be having a great time delivering the sci-fi action film of the year.
The plot revolves around an ‘Infinity Stone’ – a source of unstoppable power – which is craved by evil alien warlord Ronan (Lee Pace), who plans to wipe the central planet of the cosmos. He’s in league with Marvel baddie Thanos (Josh Brolin), who popped up in the after credit scene of The Avengers, which also paves the way for a possible superhero team-up of epic proportions.
Guardians is an insanely entertaining two hours which every comic book fan on the planet needs to see. It’s really rare that a film lives up to the hype, but this one sets new standards for superhero adventures – and is destined for immediate cult-classic status.
Don’t deny yourself this incredible cinematic super treat!