Mar­vel movies are tak­ing a cul­tier, more comic tone. The re­sult? Eas­ily the best su­per­hero film of the year

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The most de­light­ful thing about the cur­rent gen of Mar­vel movies is that they’re not cyn­i­cal cash grabs launched on raven­ing comic fan­boys. They have heart. Nowhere is that truer than in Guardians of the Galaxy, which teams up a talk­ing – al­beit mono­syl­labic – tree, a for­mer pro wrestler, an an­i­mated rac­coon and the fat one out of Parks and Rec to tri­umphant ef­fect.

James Gunn’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of one of Mar­vel’s wack­ier ven­tures mines hu­mour from self-par­ody with­out bit­ing the hand that feeds it. It pairs a bril­liantly re­alised, grand uni­verse with a plot that’s sim­ple enough for ten-year-olds – but with enough mo­ments of depth to sat­isfy adults. Per­haps the Tarantino-es­que sound­track is a tad forced, but it makes a change from Mar­vel’s usual re­lent­less sym­phonic as­sault. Guardians has heart, but it also has brains and a funny bone. $43 3D BLU-RAY, $30 BLU-RAY, $25 HD DOWN­LOAD, OUT NOW

“Trick or treat?”

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