Yeah, I know, it’s been out a week already – sometimes life has a habit of getting in the way of what we want to actually do, you know?
And anyway, the best things are worth waiting for apparently.
Well, that’s certainly true in this case…
Marvel aficionados will already be aware of the universe of the Guardians – a man who’s half human, a racoon with attitude, a talking tree, a brick outhouse with body art and the adopted daughter of big baddie Thanos.
But the movie fans are getting something new. None of the established characters are present (despite Iron Man flying around the first book), and so we are thrown into a whole new world.
And boy are we thrown.
Fight scenes come flying at you at lightning speed, the quips and gags whizz past with glee and the new characters become old friends within the opening thirty minutes.
Much like the Avengers, Guardians is a BIG film. There’s a lot going on and a huge cast of characters, and it all gels quickly and easily – serving up one of the best films Marvel have put their name to.
Where Winter Soldier fused action with classic thriller tropes, Guardians just goes for all out fun – and not only hits the target, but leaves it shattered in a million pieces while you sit there with a huge grin on your face.
A lot of this is down to James Gunn’s direction and Nicole Perlman’s script (co-written by Gunn), but the real stars of the show are, well, the stars.
Chris Pratt was clearly born to play Peter Quill, aka Star Lord, bringing out a perfect balance of naivety and arrogance, and he’s balanced perfectly by Zoe Saldana’s Gamora – her ice cool aloofness and kick-ass fight scenes being nothing short of delightful.
Then there’s the ‘voice’ artists – Bradley Cooper’s Rocket (all racoons should now come with mahoosive guns) is comic genius, while Vin Diesel isn’t exactly stretched playing Groot (I AM GROOT is all this walking mass of twigs can muster), his gravel tones fit the bill.
It’s a real credit that to Dave Bautista that Drax The Destroyer doesn’t get lost in the mix.
But the huge surprise is Lee Pace.
Anyone who watched Pushing Daisies (and you should have done) would not have imagined that he could not only own the big screen way, but he infuses Ronin with such evil and menace he could easily become Darth Vader for a new generation.
And the Star Wars references don’t end there.
It’s hard not to watch Guardians Of The Galaxy without having a bit of your brain thinking ‘JJ really needs to bring his A game to Episode VII’, because the dialogue is so sharp and the space battles so slick it makes you realise just how far Lucas dropped his ball on the last three efforts.
The plot itself is really neither here nor there – Ronin wants the thing everyone else wants to do bad stuff with, everyone else wants to stop him getting it while hoping to flog said thing to a variety of bidders.
There’s no noble cause here, let’s be clear.
It’s a band of renegade pirates forced to do the right thing, almost reluctantly.
And in doing so, friendships are formed. Obviously.
And it’s here that Guardians really comes into it’s own.
Yes, things go boom, there are laughs a plenty, and people hit each other in a lot of different ways, but this film has a real emotional heart.
While you start caring for the characters pretty much from the off, it’s how they end up caring for each other that carries the biggest punch.
Even the scenes that are clearly thrown in just for the 3D version don’t stick out like sore thumbs (Spidey 2 take note), instead they blend seemlessly into the mayhem and bedlam that has been lovingly crafted on screen.
And if all this wasn’t good enough for you, there’s the soundtrack.
No need for an epic score here, no sir – instead we have classic hit after classic hit, all with a good reason for it being there.
Yup, even the soundtrack is a key part of the film.
The summer blockbuster has, over the years, got a bit of a bad rap – with Transformers leading the charge of films that put cash and products ahead of proper storytelling.
With Guardians, however, we have the start of a new franchise (Marvel has already said the sequel is coming) that has it all – heart, soul, action, drama, suspense and more laughs than most comedies seem to be capable of managing.
Go. Sit back. Immerse yourself in a whole new world you won’t want to leave.
And remember to stay ’til the very, very end!