Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy ★★★★

Is it the new Star Wars? Probably not. But it could well be the new Spacehunter or Ice Pirates or Battle Beyond The Stars - quirkier, cultier, cooler films which followed in Luke Skywalker’s wake. James Gunn, up until this point one of genre cinema’s great unsung talents, deservedly hits the big time with a deliriously entertaining romp, that’s big on laughs, stunning visuals and strong characters. It’s a warm, witty, wildly creative crowd-pleaser bursting with great one-liners (“Don't call me a thesaurus”) and memorably madcap setpieces (a city inside a giant floating ancient alien head). Yes there’s a rather perfunctory plot with the usual predictable mcguffin as ever central to proceedings (why do they always make planet destroying weapons quite so portable and easy to lose?). But seriously, you’d have to be a monumentally joyless sod not to be won over by a feelgood film quite so hellbent on being as engaging and entertaining as this. GOTG is essentially Indiana Jones in space, or Firefly with a mega-budget, with a rag-tag crew of “A-hole” misfits, a killer kitschy soundtrack, a wisecracking trigger-happy raccoon, Vin Diesel’s best performance since The Iron Giant, and the most unexpected cameo from an M.I.A. Marvel character in the customary post-credits scene.
So, is this the best film of the year? Hardly. Does it have the thematic depth and maturity of rival blockbuster Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes? Not really no. But, it is without a shadow of a doubt the most fun film I’ve seen in a very long time. I watched it with a huge idiotic grin etched wide across my face throughout, my inner child thoroughly appeased with the rainbow colour scheme, eye-popping intergalactic backdrops and breezy, bustling action sequences. It's a film which makes us all "just like Kevin Bacon".....or at least "high on believin".

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