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    August 1, 2014


    Translating Guardians of the Galaxy into an awesome silver screen has been called the ballsiest and most ambitious moves ever from the comic book powerhouse. Sceptics are quick to predict that it will be disastrous and possibly a financial bomb, simply because it is from one of the most unfamiliar Marvel properties. It also looks distinctively different from any of those Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) instalments you have seen before. But that is alright. Just when you find yourself amicably and comfortably in fond with this oddity, the movie soars above all as one of the best and complete instalment in the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) canon.

    ODDBALL OF THE AVENGERS:Director James Gunn certainly knows how to operate things with certainty. The oddity and the lack of clear-cut singularity with the whole shared timeline do not seem like a problem at all. Let us forget for a moment that Iron Man 3 had a dark endeavouring self-assessment issue, or Thor 2 having darker mythology to handle, or Captain America 2 having intense political drama to stroll around. With MCU is taking this event right into the space far far away from Earth, what can we expect from this tenth instalment? Everything. In Guardians of the Galaxy, it feels perfectly standalone or independence, but also consistently as authentic as any other MCU in the realm.

    WHO'S WHO:This brand new ragtag intergalactic superhero team is lead by Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), an arrogant treasure hunter from Earth and with great fondness for his awesome mix tape of 60s and 70s classic pop rock. Also joining the team of misfit toys are the green-skinned assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a rascal talking raccoon named Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a walking tree creature called Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and the revenge-fuelled warrior Drex the Destroyer (Dave Bautista). The villains, of course, are also several in numbers, including the fanatical Kree warlord Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Korath (Djimon Honsou), as well as the antihero Yondu (Michael Rooker) who acts as a paternal figure for Quill. Thanos (Josh Brolin) made a cameo, and so does The Collector (Benecio del Toro).

    THE BETTER AND THE GOODWorking from a screenplay Gunn developed with co-writer Nicole Perlman, the film works perfectly fine with a multitude of elements that were successfully introduced. The plot is largely very simple to follow, corny and some may argue that it follows other MCU instalments very closely, but it definitely gives it a better storytelling and flows. As cliché as it may sound, the issues related to friendship and plenty of MacGuffin chase are rightfully used again. Of course, like any other first film of a possible franchise, it quickly introduces several new characters with their own problems, troubles and back stories that set in numerous worlds. But the best of all, the screenplay is treated with exciting pop culture references, diligently-made, clever dialogue and dark slapstick humour that actually work, as well as plenty of sarcasm.

    SUMMER POPCORN:The definition of summer action is also pretty much laid out in the third act, a massive spectacular special effects display that set on a planet (that resembles Earth in many ways) where our heroes, the Ravagers and the capital of Nova Corps fighters goes on a Star Wars-scale air battle, together to fight the merciless army of Ronan. Hence, this is one of the most complete action movie ever as there are an equal share of heartbreaking, heartwarming, laughter and cheeky moments. The only down side I see from this movie is that it draws a lot of comparisons with the Star Wars prequel. The villains are once again getting less attention than they should (just like in many other movies out there – Thor 2 in particular), and more colourful insight on the aliens should have been invested to care on the details.

    Guardians of the Galaxy, is another strong and successful entry into the MCU. The last movie before we headed to another superhero assembly next summer, may contain less continuity to the Avengers’ core, but the essence is still pretty much the same. Guardians of the Galaxy is awesome.

    Story: 4.5
    Casts: 4.5
    Cinematography: 5.0
    Effects: 5.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 18.2/20.0

    "Guardians of the Galaxy" stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, David Bautista, Lee Pace, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Michael Rooker; presented by Walt Disney Pictures and Marvel Studios; directed by James Gunn from his screenplay with Nicole Perlman. The movie was rated P13 and was released in Malaysia since July 31, 2014. The movie runs about 121 minutes.
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