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Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

 

We’ve had the handsome, eccentric Iron Man; we’ve had the God of Thunder Thor; we’ve had America’s most patriotic, dramatic-chinned Captain America; not forgetting a few variations of the monstrous Hulk; and then we had all of those superheroes combined to create The Avengers. But now Marvel has topped all of those movies put together with Guardians of the Galaxy.

With James Gunn having written and directed television’s 2008 PG Porn, most people were a little sceptical when he was announced as director and screenwriter for the new Marvel film. After all, following Joss Whedon’s Avengers seemed to be an almost impossible task. But risk-taker, Gunn, has proved it wasn’t impossible for him.

The plot follows Peter Quinn, played by Parks and Recreation’s Chris Pratt, who finds himself targeted by Ronan the Accuser, terrifically and menacingly portrayed by Pushing Daises’  Lee Pace, who is on the hunt for an absurdly powerful orb in Quinn’s possession. Gamora, Rocket, Groot and Drax are thrown together to work alongside Quinn to ultimately defend the galaxy from Ronan’s powerful and threatening army.

Each character is really something special in this action-packed, yet wonderfully hilarious movie, which makes it no wonder why Guardians of the Galaxy has made back its $170 million budget so quickly. Formidable warrior, Gamora, was taken in by Josh Brolin’s mysterious and mad Thanos after being orphaned on an alien world. After realising her wrong doings under Thanos’ command, she seeks to create a new, better reputation for herself, hence joining the Guardians. Zoe Saldana really makes this powerful and strong role hers, and yet again Marvel has portrayed another wonderful female badass. Vin Diesel brings a real sense of innocence to Groot, and it takes true talent to bring such a range of believable range of emotion and character to his one, repeated line “I am Groot”. Bradley Cooper voices Rocket as the most sarcastic, sassy, satirical racoon you’ll probably ever have the pleasure of listening to, and the CGI has you believing Rocket really is a racoon leaping around shooting guns, rewiring bombs, dressed up in little human clothes. And Dave Bautista really looks the part of Drax the Destroyer, his muscular arms on show throughout, and his stern facial expression making him the most believable intergalactic convict on screen, with the deep character arc that he’s desperately seeking revenge for the death of his family.

Tyler Bates’ score gives an overall sense of heroism and a true epicness of adventure and success. However, it’s not all roses and rainbows, with several up and downs and a few truly heart-wrenching moments, all reflected beautifully in the score. Musical hits spanning across the 70s and 80s are also prominent throughout the film, leaving you bobbing your head and bopping in your seat.

This blockbuster doesn’t really follow typical Hollywood and Marvel conventions of playing it safe. It really does push the boat out, takes several handfuls of risks, and boy do they pay off. With a pretty unconventional line up of main characters including, a human, an alien, a racoon and a tree, it gives the film a fun and playful quality, and above all leaves you in awe of just how realistic the CGI is. The film engulfs itself with ridiculousness, hilarity and incredulous characters; it leaves you wanting to queue up and watch the film again immediately. If I recommend just one film to buy on DVD, Guardians of the Galaxy is the one to watch, over and over and over again.

9/10. Hilarious, action-packed, well-scripted, unforgettable epic.

 

Written by April Williams

 

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