It’s not often I walk out of a summer blockbuster feeling refreshingly entertained and in high spirits, but against the odds this is exactly what happened when I managed to attend an early press screening of Guardians of the Galaxy on Wednesday night. (Of course the screening was in 3D but you know what they say, if you’re given free shit, don’t be a knob about it.)
After stealing a mysterious orb in the far reaches of outer space, Peter Quill is now the main target of a manhunt lead by the villain known as Ronan the Accuser. To help fight Ronan and his team and save the galaxy from his power, Quill creates a team known as the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ to save the world…
What made Guardians of the Galaxy such a breath of fresh air? One of the major things going for Guardians of the Galaxy is that, to me, and I imagine most, the source material is completely unknown. In a comic book movie shitstorm of rehashed ideas and stunted creativity, this movie felt new and genuinely exciting. Unlike the predictability of a Batman, Superman or Iron Man film, where the bar in storytelling and nuance has to be raised to avoid the films feeling recycled, the director, James Gunn, has the luxury of having fun here, playing with the unknown and never taking what he places on screen too seriously. The feast of pop culture references and the self-deprecating gags ensure this is achieved with charming aplomb. That’s not to suggest that the film is by any means lazy or the effort to produce a legitimate story is not there; Gunn has managed to create a rich universe with multiple worlds, species and characters, that he incorporates into impressive action sequences and set-pieces. The result is a film that delivers genuine thrills, intrigue, excitement and actual laughs out loud. From my mouth. That the other people beside me heard.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a welcome addition to what was beginning to feel like a tired genre, managing to breathe some life back into the Marvel movie juggernaut. It is by no means a perfect film. There are moments when it succumbs to the obvious soppy and overly sentimental dialogue, and there are a couple of one-liners that will make you cringe, however there is still a hell of a lot to enjoy. The fantastic performances from the cast, the pop culture satire and the technicolour CGI make this a genuinely worthwhile, entertaining and rewarding watch. Let the cynic in you have a night off, go to the cinema and enjoy. You won’t regret it.