The film begins in 1988, 10cc’s melancholic song ‘I’m Not In Love’ plays from a vintage piece of technology. A Walkman.
This tune holds an odd association for me because I clearly remember it being used to eerie effect in season 4 of the TV series Medium. It accompanied one of Alison’s premonitions. And now here it was again providing the background to a family friendly action movie.
Young boy Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is the owner of the Walkman and is abducted by a group of alien thieves called The Ravagers.
Now in the present time Peter is an adult. He calls himself the Star Lord, roaming the planet like a feral child, stealing various artifacts and selling them. He’s a smooth criminal, Lothario and a popular catch for his alien girls.
But his work soon leads him into danger as he steals a magical orb, much like a nuclear weapon, that is also sought by Ronan (Lee Pace), a powerful dark force, who has dispatched his assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to retrieve it.
Peter tries to sell the orb but is told by the Collector that he wants nothing to do with it given Ronan’s involvement. Peter walks away mystified also unaware that he’s wanted by the Nova Corps having stolen the orb on planet Xandar.
Hunting for a fugitive and reward money, come peculiar Bounty Hunters Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and a Tree-like entity called Groot (Vin Diesel). After spotting Peter they chase him whilst Gamora fights for the orb in the most exciting and insane chase I’ve seen in a long time. Poor Star Lord doesn’t know what’s hit him. During this ferocious scrap, they’re all spotted by Nova Corp, captured and sent to prison Knowhere. That’s the authorities for you!
They begrudgingly become associates when they realise that the powerful orb is capable of mass destruction. Gamora reveals that she’s betraying Ronan and has a buyer for the orb. Peter, Rocket, Groot and newbie Drax (David Bautista), who wants to seek vengeance on Ronan, become a renegade group of assassins as they fight to keep the orb out of Ronan’s hands.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a cross between The Fantastic Four and Blade Runner with dystopian moments like the prison scene, which is really scary. Could the future really hold mixed gender inmates with crazy humanoid strength? Sounds like a recipe for Purge 3!
But there’s an interesting message in this film, and it’s not just a satirical reflection on what’s going on in the world right now, whether that’s the war on terror or the Gaza strip. It’s more unique. Throughout the movie songs from the 70’s and 80’s were played, an old Walkman was a crucial element in the story accompanied by other trends and apparel from the past which are now regarded as history. Guardians of the Galaxy hasn’t only celebrated the past, but educated a new generation of children, a digital generation who knows nothing about tape, analogue or even real film!
Guardians of the Galaxy is a special film, even through its CGI overload with two hours of death defying action that makes Mission Impossible look like Bambi. It’s fearless with its constant battles, starship chases, gadget firing guns and fantastic costumes.
Although the VFX is impressive it felt like I was watching a video game movie. There was so much action that it was hard to connect with the characters.
On the other hand beautiful moments such as Groot revealing his powers made it worth the watch and imbued the film’s simple message, a fight for world peace and love, with some emotion.
There will of course be a sequel; this was established very early in the film with sub-stories and one-liners that made it obvious the feisty five will return.
If you love Marvel and have a penchant for a good comic-book story, this will tick all of your boxes. It has superheroes, anti-heroes, science-fiction, fantasy, love, friendship and even horror. Let’s not forget the great soundtrack and nostalgia.
Catch Guardians of the Galaxy whilst it’s still showing on Planet Earth and put your space belts on!