Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper.
Plot summary: (Courtesy of Marvel.com) An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.
I’m not very familiar with the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series apart from the fact that it is from Marvel. I’ve enjoyed other Marvel comic adaptations in the past like the Spiderman and X-men films so I was quite optimistic about this one. And, I have to say that after watching it (in 3D might I add), it is now my favourite. It has everything you could possibly want from a Marvel superhero film; exciting action sequences, likeable characters, plenty of humour and an obligatory cameo from Stan Lee.
The cast is the main draw here. Chris Pratt, in his first leading role, delivers a solid performance as Peter Quill (aka Starlord). I suspect he’ll be getting many calls from directors hoping to get him for their next projects. Zoe Saldana is fast becoming one of the most iconic Sci-Fi leading ladies ever, while Dave Bautista is proof that pro-wrestlers can also be engaging screen actors. Rounding off the main cast are Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel who voice Rocket and Groot respectively. Cooper provides a sizable portion of the film’s comic relief, mainly through his banter with Pratt and Co. And even though he only says the same 3 words throughout the whole film, Diesel’s winning voice performance turns Groot (who is not unlike the eponymous hero he voiced in The Iron Giant) into the film’s most lovable character.
Unlike some Marvel adaptations (The Incredible Hulk is a key example), it doesn’t take itself too seriously nor does it drag along at a plodding pace. The film’s retro soundtrack consisting of hits from the 70’s and 80’s is also a plus (I’ve already added some of the songs to my Spotify playlist).
This is by far the best popcorn flick of Summer 2014. Even if you’re not a big Marvel fan, there’s still plenty to enjoy. It might even convert you to the whole Marvel Universe.