Film: Guardians of the galaxy
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro,Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Josh Brolin, Karen Gillan and Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper (voices)
Director: James Gunn
At the start let it be said: Wry, self deprecating humour, smart script, spectacular CGI, sleek production design and a star ensemble cast make this Marvel Comics product offering a must see. Now on to the whys and wherefores:
It matters not that box office hit stars Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper are only lending their voices to two of the quirkiest characters in toondom, while lesser known like Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana are playing out the live action roles man, the thing is Cooper (American Hustle) makes for a scene-stealing raccoon and even Vin Diesel (Fast franchise) is a hoot as a tree that grunts.
That’s right. All that he does is utter a single, solitary grunt with volumes of meaning.
Peter Quill (Pratt) is not your typical superhero, he’s an outlaw who was abducted as a small boy by mercenaries and has grown into an intriguing mish-mash of raffish charm and underlying grace. Kidnapped from terra firma on the night his mother died back in 1988, he’s a self-proclaimed Star Lord and Casanova who in circa 2015 clings to a cassette tape of golden hits from the eighties.
One of his mother’s favourite songs, Elvin Bishop’s 1976 hit, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” predicts her son’s transformation from r ladies’ man to hero. Nosirree, Peter is not afraid of sentiment. Or love of art. (He talks of Jackson Pollock paintings).
And he shows off both, during his many escapades, one of which, the main one actually on which this narrative hinges, has to do with a mighty orb called the Infinity Stone that’s coveted by anyone and everyone, including the army, bounty hunters led by Yondu (Michael Rooker), his erstwhile abductors, and above all, Ronan (Lee Pace, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) an alien who seeks to destroy the planet.
The creatures the viewer encounters in the course of this particular adventure encompass species that look even better than the ones from the Star Wars universe. And we are not talking about Cooper’s oh so practical and rascally raccoon Rocket, or Diesel’s Tree Groot or Zoe Saldana’s green-skinned Gamora who transforms from foe to friend or the tortured,revenge seeking,literal-minded warrior named Drax (Dave Bautista).