Guardians of the Galaxy is dumb, cheesy and gloriously fun.
It is quite possible for a film to be both dumb and smart. Consider, for example, Die Hard. It requires no mental exertion whatsoever to enjoy it. Furthermore, baring a few well-placed jokes about the idiocy of TV news it has nothing whatsoever to say about anything of substance. And yet a great deal of intelligence clearly was clearly applied to making it for it is almost perfectly crafted: the action excites, the joke amuses and the plot carries you along without distracting you.
Guardians of the Galaxy is not dissimilar. True, it’s not as perfectly executed as Die Hard. It continues Marvel’s lame trend of relying on Orb/Gem/Cube McGuffins and not being able to create non-Loki villains who aren’t bland (Hans Gruber would not be impressed!) Oh and it stars the hugely overrated Zoe Saldana.
However, these are minor blots on what is overall a great film. When it was first announced, I thought Guardians looked daft. I was right, it is. But I was wrong to think I’d care. It’s a delirious and entertaining blend of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek, Firefly and Top Gun. Next to the Winter Soldier or the Dark Knight it’s decidedly lightweight. But trust me you’ll be too entertained to notice. And anyway, none of those films have a foul mouthed racoon or a loveable walking talking tree.
It’s also worth saying that for the anarchy on-screen, behind the scenes director James Gunn has shown the discipline to avoid some of the pitfalls that blockbusters fall into: it stays the right side of 2 hours and the final battle scene takes up a reasonable proportion of that length.
Verdict: 8/10 – I’ll let Rocket summarise my views on this…