DVD review: Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by James Gunn
Guardians of the Galaxy
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper
Director: James Gunn
The surprise is not just that Guardians of the Galaxy has been a global hit but just how much of a blockbuster the film is - second only to Transformers: Age of Extinction with around US$770 million, and counting, worldwide.
And the genius is not just that the filmmakers have used source material that's nowhere near as well known as many of the recent additions to the superhero genre have been, but that they have made the film so smart and so able to appeal across the generations.
Put much of that down to the modern dialogue the screenwriters developed and also the chance director James Gunn ( Dawn of the Dead) and the studio took by casting Chris Pratt in the lead.
Known mostly for his work on TV's Parks and Recreation, Pratt brings shades of that character with him but buffed himself up into an entirely believable cross-galaxy wise ass into the bargain. As Peter Quill, he seems to be having so much fun leading this band of misfits, which includes Zoe Saldana ( Avatar) as daughter of the universe's most evil dude, Bradley Cooper voicing a genetically modified raccoon, and Vin Diesel uttering no more than a few words as an all-action tree.
It is instantly infectious.
Quill begins the film watching his mother die and then being abducted by a space ship, and we quickly fast-forward to him full grown and making mischief in a far-off world. The film sticks pretty much to a formula we have grown used to: back story, characters bond, and then the last hour or so is a full-on battle against the forces of evil.
But again there's a freshness here that recaptures the freewheeling nature of comic books that sometimes gets lost among the plethora of brooding malcontents Hollywood has turned into heroes over the past decade.
OK, so you might scratch your head from time to time at just how these characters can so effortlessly name and fact-check things from our world, but that's a small price to pay for a film that is 100 per cent enjoyment.
Extras: deleted scenes; making of featurettes; gag reel; director's commentary; exclusive look at Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron