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Guardians of the Galaxy (12a)
Running time 121 mins
IF YOU were ever going to assemble a group of superheroes to save the world/galaxy/everything, then you would be unlikely to select the specimens used in Guardians of the Galaxy.
For a start, there is the only vaguely human-looking person, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), a wide boy of uncertain morals, who is an alien abductee from Earth. Then, on the descending scale of humanoid appearance, you have Drax the Destroyer (Dave Dautista), a revenge-seeking tattooed thing who resembles 1980s embossed wallpaper. Looking fetching within her green skin is Gamora (Zoe Saldana), who was a lot less green as Uhura in recent Star Trek films.
Bringing up the rear is a genetically-engineered racoon called Rocket (Bradley Cooper), who has as his only friend a lump of wood called Groot (Vin Diesel).
So there you have the Guardians, whose job it is to help Quill make sure some very nasty pieces of work do not get their hands/ tentacles on an Infinity Stone which can do bad things to almost everything.
One of these nasties is someone called Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) who has a fine line in face makeup, large warhammers and extreme violence. There are a number of others, but that would make the plot far too complicated and somehow make the film less enjoyable.
Based inevitably on the apparently inexhaustible Marvel Comics stable of fantastic tales, this is one of the most enjoyable sci-fi fantasy films so far – largely because it refuses to take itself seriously and everyone looks as though they are having a great time.
Like most computer-based special effects film these days, it was shot almost entirely in this country, thus contributing significantly to the UK’s economic revival in this country.
In the capable hands of director and screenplay writer James Gunn, who cut his teeth on films such as Slither and Dawn of the Dead, the action rattles along with plenty of bangs and shooting, dialogue with heavy emphasis, and set piece sequences that keep the audiences thrilled.
However, it’s the self-directed humour that makes the difference. For example, Vin Diesel plays Groot, a tree-like thing with not a lot of brain, but Diesel gives the character’s only line “I am Groot” plenty of variety and makes it come alive on the screen.
It’s a delightful recreation of the innocent mayhem of the original comic book tales, so enjoyed by kids in the ’50s and ’60s and producers Disney, who sometimes get brickbats for over-egging the occasional film pudding, deserve plaudits for this one.
There is, apparently, a sequel in the offing, which should be worth waiting for. Still, grab the chance to see this one, and give the whole family – from Grandad (who remembers the original comics) to Mum and Dad, (looking for something to keep the kids quiet in the holidays) and the kids themselves (looking for violence, fun and visual treats.)
This one has pretty much got the lot. Enjoy.

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