It was only a matter of time until Marvel tried something truly bonkers.  Sure, Iron Man and Thor were not really major players before their initial cinematic debuts. Guardians of the Galaxy however, is even less well known and the fact that Marvel hired Troma veteran James Gunn to write and direct the adaptation certainly raised a few eyebrows.

Guardians of the GalaxyWhat Gunn and his production team have delivered is a long overdue solid slice of sci-fi action. I think the fact that it’s doing so well with its box office takings is no surprise. It’s been a long time since audiences have been treated to a genre movie where they didn’t know the characters, the plot or the world they inhabited.

Sure you can argue that Star Wars delivered this once, but the prequels didn’t treat us with anything we didn’t already know – effectively, Star Wars has not presented any surprises since 1983. And the rebooted Star Trek series had its chance to be something truly original, but instead blew it with the second film Into Darkness by turning itself into a tribute act, the sci-fi equivalent of The Bootleg Beatles if you will.

Guardians is by no means perfect. I found it took a little while for the characters to all gel together, but once the clunky first act is out of the way, the film finds it stride and runs with it to great effect. With gun battles, dog fights and a lightning fast script, all accompanied by some 70s and 80s rock music, it’s pretty hard not to be taken in for the ride.

“Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel’s riskiest move yet”

Chris Pratt is spot on as the egotistical and charming Peter Quill, AKA Star Lord and its pretty much a given that his career will see him become a household name pretty soon.

Bradley Cooper does a solid job of voicing Rocket, the weapon obsessed raccoon with the complicated origin. And Vin Diesel lends his low octave vocal talents as Groot, the walking tree and personal bodyguard to Rocket.

Sadly, Zoe Saldana (a sci-fi veteran now) while putting in a good performance, has little to do in the movie and as a result, Gamora feels a little underwritten.

The real surprise of Guardians was Dave Bautista as the raging powerhouse Drax – deadly and lacking any understanding of humour. His deadpan performance is easily one of the highlights of the film, with Bautista showing a natural ability with comic timing.

The villains are sadly lacking a bit.

While Lee Pace and a bald Karen Gillan are menacing enough as Ronan the Accuser and Nebula respectively, the script doesn’t really give them much to do other than look evil and then destroy things with no real clear motive.

With the Marvel series now becoming like the Harry Potter cinematic universe (and I’m not saying thats a bad thing), it is great to see other famous faces popping up left, right and centre too.

The likes of Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker and Benicio del Toro add some nice weight to the ensemble cast.

Without a doubt, Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel’s riskiest move yet and it looks to have paid off.

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy
It may not be perfect, but it sure is a lot of fun and it's great to see a major studio attempt something so brazenly different and ambitious compared to what is usually churned out during the summer months. Not only have they expanded the Marvel cinematic universe, they've kickstarted a new franchise and I can't wait to see more.
The Good Stuff
  • Funny script
  • Great action
  • Cracking soundtrack
The not so good stuff
  • Villains sadly lacking motive
4.5Overall Score

About The Author

Colin lives in south west London. Looks like a hobbit and has been watching films ever since he saw Return of the Jedi at the age of 3. You can follow Colin on Twitter @obicolkenobi.