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Director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a world apart from today's more 'serious' comic book adaptions, brimming with nostalgia, taking us back to a time when humour – not action – defined a comic flick.


The plot


Peter Quill aka “Star Lord” (Chris Pratt) is a gold-digging scavenger from Earth who has to save the world from the evil villain eyeing a destructive crystal. In order to defeat them, Quill has to form an unwelcome alliance with a ragtag group of intergalactic killers.

A scene from movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy". – Courtesy Photo
A scene from movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy". – Courtesy Photo

The movie opens in 1988 when a young Quill, while trying to come to terms with his mother’s death, is abducted by space pirates.

Today, Quill, a pirate himself, steals an orb (an infinity stone that is part of a handful of gems, whose collection and exploitation became a pivotal Marvel comics story arc in 1991) from a desolate planet, triggering the wrath of his pirate lot and the fanatical Ronan The Accuser (Lee Pace of Pushing Daisies and The Hobbit).

Ronan sends Gamora (Zoe Saldana of Avatar and Star Trek), adopted daughter of Thanos – the bigger baddie, with the voice of Josh Brolin, yet to make his full-fledged appearance – to kill Quill and retrieve the orb.

A scene from movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy". – Courtesy Photo
A scene from movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy". – Courtesy Photo

Quill, with a bounty on his head, finds it impossible to sell the stone. He ends up getting caught by planet Xandar’s police (played by John C. Reily and Glenn Close), and is shipped to an off-world prison.

Also caught by the police are Gamora, Groot and Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper). While Groot is a powerful and alert yet innocent looking tree of few words, Raccoon is a trigger-happy prison escape specialist rodent with a bad mouth.

A scene from movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy". – Courtesy Photo
A scene from movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy". – Courtesy Photo

Quill also finds another uneasy alliance with Draz (a terrific Dave Bautista, the famous WWE wrestler), a resilient warrior whose family was killed by Ronan.

With all of them getting together, it’s pretty easy to guess where the plot is heading.

Bear in mind: the first 40 minutes are also somewhat of a drag. Despite the action sequence that’s placed about ten minutes into the opening, Guardians takes a while to kick off.

A scene from movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy". – Courtesy Photo
A scene from movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy". – Courtesy Photo

Gunn and co. have managed to make most of the characters believable – and a little nostalgic. Quill’s fascination with cassette tapes and 70’s music, in the form of a mix tape given by his dying mom, and the tonal familiarity of the Guardians, takes one back to the 80s.

A scene from movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy". – Courtesy Photo
A scene from movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy". – Courtesy Photo

Quill has the “wow” factor that is missing in other lead actors; he is an amalgamation of many space odyssey heroes – a brash adventuring Indiana Jones, the small-time crookedness of Han Solo, and even a touch of Captain Kirk’s intergalactic, inter-species woman wooing.

Quill, Groot and Rocket Raccoon are classic stereotypes of a typical adventuring rogues’ gallery. A shabby team of good and bad guys, who, despite all odds, will save the day – but then again, that’s what super heroes do.


Staying Marvel


In some ways Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is an oddball addition to the Marvel movies set. Its storyline is dictated by a set of circumstances that have already unfolded in the Marvel movie lineup. Gunn (with co-screenwriter Nicole Perlman), under producer Kevin Feige’s direction, devises Guardians as a standalone series of movies, connected to the bigger Avengers franchise.

But this connection works in its favour. Guardians is a relatively unknown group of heroes and this factor can help it connect with fans and a general audience who are aware of the Avengers.


The final word


With great humour and great visuals working in its favour, Guardians of the Galaxy is a must watch.


Released by Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy is rated PG-13 for high-octane spectacle-void action and sarcasm by both humans and animated characters.

Directed by James Gunn; Produced by Kevin Feige; Written by Mr. Gunn and Nicole Perlman (based on the comic-book series created by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan); Cinematography by Ben Davis; Edited by Fred Raskin, Craig Wood and Hughes Winborne; Music by Tyler Bates; Production Design by Charles Wood.

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close and Benicio Del Toro.