To the 10th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe we head to a very different location to the previous ones, and into the wonders of space for Marvel’s equivalent of The Dirty Dozen 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
Directed by James Gunn and co-written by Gunn and Nicole Perlman.
In 1988, a young boy called Peter Quill is abducted from outside the hospital where his mother has just passed away. His abductors turn out to be a group of alien smugglers and raise him. Now an adult, Quill has become a lovable space rogue (basically he is Han Solo without Chewie) and has taken to calling himself Star Lord.
Having stolen an orb from a historic site on an abandoned planet, Quill finds it in higher demand than expected and the target of bounty hunters and other lifeforms desiring its power. Along a journey of escape he finds himself teaming up with a group of misfits that include Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), and Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper).
All of this against the backdrop of Ronan, a member of the Kree (a militaristic alien race – i got that bit from Wikipedia) who is seeking the orb to give to Thanos (the villain being increasingly introduced in the MCU). It’s with Ronan that the team are ultimately heading towards conflict with.
Having recently expressed a level of fatigue with the Avengers : Age of Ultron, this film is the opposite. It is a breath of fresh air into the series and sets a huge opportunity for the series to continue beyond the Stark / Captain America hits that have been the basis so far for the series.
Its not just the new characters (although there is something refreshing about the lack of cameo’s) but its the new settings, histories, backgrounds that are entirely new to the MCU. Chris Pratt is great in it and his charismatic lead performance in this could very well set him up as a future A list lead actor in the future rather than the sidekick roles that he had been previously playing.
Plus, a large part of the films ability to engage is the phenomenal soundtrack that the film has in the form of a mixtape that Quill owns. Through this, even with its science fiction visuals, the music is set in 70’s and 80’s pop classics which creates a contrast that feels very new in film.
Much like with Deadpool, (although not near to the same extent) this film feels like it cuts through a genre in a way that isn’t very common at all.
8/10 (8.5 were I operating in decimals)