Friday, 3 February 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

When Guardians of the Galaxy was announced there was a lot of conjecture about whether this would be Marvel Studios' first box office failure.  It's space opera, not superheroes!  The characters are known only to comic book nerds!  There's a talking raccoon!

And then it went on to be one of the top 3 grossing films of the year (whether is 1st, 2nd or 3rd depends on whose figures you use), and the doomsayers started in on Ant-Man.  One day they'll be right, I guess.

This film begins in 1988, with a young boy named Peter being abducted from Earth.  Some 25 years later, he's a minor criminal in the interstellar community, engaged in petty theft and other such endeavours.  Pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

At least, that's what Peter is until he steals a mysterious Orb from a now-abandoned planet.  Suddenly some of the most powerful people in the galaxy are after him ... not to mention his former partners in crime, who are understandably miffed that ol' Pete snuck out to pinch the doo-dad without them.

So there are quickly a whole lot of people gunning either for Peter or for the Orb, and through an anarchic sequence of events he finds himself thrown into reluctant co-operation with an outlandish band of fellow reprobates.  There's Gamora, the beautiful green-skinned 'daughter' of an alien tyrant whom she has betrayed; the musclebound Drax the Destroyer (played by former wrestler Dave Bautista, who based on this really ought to stick to the screen and avoid the ring hereafter), a sentient tree named Groot, and Rocket, the aforementioned talking Raccoon.

Naturally, hHijinks ensue, and the band of vagabonds may find themselves in the unlikely role of heroes by the time all is said and done.

While I think it does have a little too much backstory to unpack in the opening half hour or so, Guardians of the Galaxy is a fine adventure-comedy SF romp.  CGI characters Groot and Rocket are really the breakout stars of the movie, but the flesh and blood characters are no slouches either.  I'm pleased to see that everyone will be back for the sequel, which should be hitting cinemas in a few months.  I know I'll be going!

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