Monday, 4 August 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy (4½ Stars)
We're like Kevin Bacon.
I knew from the beginning that this would be either a great film of an utter flop. I was right. It's a great film. There's more humour in it than any of the recent Marvel films (since 2000), but it works well. The humour doesn't detract from the film's serious parts, on the contrary, it supports them.
The main character is Peter Quill, a man who was kidnapped from Earth as a boy. He's spent his life making a living as a thief, giving himself the name Star-Lord. After being thrown into prison for stealing a mysterious orb he meets the other prisoners Gamora, Rocket, Groot and Drax. With their help he breaks out of prison. They discover that the orb contains a stone of infinite power, one of the six infinity gems, and it is now in the hands of an evil being called Ronan the Accuser, who has sworn to destroy billions of people. The five outcasts name themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy and go to take the orb from Ronan.
Okay, let's get the deviations from the comics out of the way first. Nebula is said to be Thanos' daughter. In the comics she wasn't his daughter, she merely pretended to be his daughter in his absence, so that she could take over the leadership of his army. When Thanos returned he severely punished her for her lies. Drax claims that Ronan killed his family, but in the comics Thanos killed them. Apart from that, Drax is much more powerful in the comics, so it would have been impossible for any prison to hold him.
Nevertheless, this is a very good film. It combines elements of "Star Wars" with hints of "Indiana Jones". The film is an exciting sci-fi romp, an epic tale of criminals who turn to the path of righteousness when it's necessary to save the universe. The brief glimpses of Thanos are exciting, making me want to see more of him in upcoming films. Maybe in the next Avengers film? The film's music isn't just for the background, it's an essential part of the film. When Peter was abducted from the Earth he was wearing a Walkman, and 26 years later he still owns the cassette tape, a mix of 1970's hits.
The film's initial box office takings make it look like it's destined to be one of the most successful films ever. Rightly so. I've deducted half a star for its deviation from the original comics, but I'll reassess it next time I see it. Oh, and if you haven't seen the film so far, please don't leave before the end of the credits, or you'll miss the appearance of Marvel's greatest hero.