Fantastical fun abounds in this Marvel megahit following a motley crew of superheroes.
After being abducted by space pirates as a child, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) now marauds the cosmos as an outlaw, known (or so he’d like to think) by the moniker Star-Lord. However, when he steals a priceless and powerful orb, it makes him a wanted man, and puts him on the radar of assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and bounty hunters Rocket (Bradley Cooper) the raccoon and Groot (Vin Diesel), a creature who’s more tree than man.
A brawl for the orb lands the quartet in prison, where they meet the musclebound Drax (Dave Bautista), who holds a grudge against fanatical leader Ronan (Lee Pace). Having initially been at each other’s throats, the gang soon realise that they’ll need to team up to settle any personal scores and to stop the orb falling into Ronan’s destructive hands.
After uniting some of its best-known heroes for Avengers Assemble, Marvel has taken a punt on a rag-tag new alliance, and despite their lower profile, the Guardians of the Galaxy have paid great dividends for the comic book giant. Coming across as the scrappy black sheep of the superhero family (albeit on a multimillion-dollar budget), GOTG isn’t afraid to complement its abundant visual style with jokes, sentiment and a bit of silliness, as well as a feelgood retro soundtrack.
With Cooper and Diesel – arguably the film’s biggest stars – not exactly appearing on screen, Pratt ably shoulders leading-man duties as the cocky Quill. While fans of US sitcom Parks and Recreation have appreciated his charms for a while, this role (and a stringent workout routine) has launched him into the stratosphere. Next up: the lead role in Jurassic World.