Guardians Of The Galaxy
The ultimate mix of alien misfits
misfit crew of the Milano hits DVD and Blu- ray at considerable speed.
Release Date: 24 November
2014 | 12 | Blu- ray 3D/ Blu- ray/ DVD Director: James Gunn Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper
Everyone knew that Marvel’s movie about a rag- tag team of intergalactic misfits – their first space opera – was going to have a break- out star. What no one anticipated was that everyone would be arguing over whether that break- out star is Groot or Drax.
That’s not to denigrate Rocket Raccoon. He’s great too, but he was clearly lined up by the film’s marketeers as the character that we would all love. Well, we do. The wisecracking cyborg rodent ( okay, okay – we know he’s not really a rodent) is all kinds of fun. But because no one expected a tree with one line of dialogue voiced by Vin Diesel or a blue- skinned brute played by a wrestler ( rarely a good sign) to be the scene stealers, they stealthily damn near steal the entire show.
That’s even more amazing given that these three already had a fight on their hands to grab attention away
It’s witty and clever and smart, and equally appealing to SF fans and non- fans alike
from the most ass- kicking, charismatic, verbally- sparring, lip- locking big screen hero/ heroine combo since Han and Leia in The Empire Strikes Back: the roguish Peter Quill ( Chris Pratt) and the no- nonsense Gamora ( Zoe Saldana).
That’s the secret of Guardians Of The Galaxy’s success. Sure, there are some amazing special effects. Sure, it features some of the best on- screen comic- book scraps in ages ( what’s more, you can actually see what’s going on in the fights!). Sure, the production design is awesome ( although the planet Xandar does look suspiciously like its entire aesthetic has been influenced by London’s Millennium Bridge… which happens to be where they filmed part of it). And sure, there are teasing links to the rest of the Marvel universe.
But all that would count for nothing if the core team of misfits hadn’t been so exquisitely crafted and cast. For a long time now, Marvel movie bosses have argued that the key to their films’ success has been characterisation. Never has this been more the case than in Guardians.
Because the story ain’t up to much: a chase around space for a MacGuffin of galaxy- threatening power with which to create the requisite big action finale. Even the villains aren’t particularly interesting. Karen Gillan does little other than glower and kick things as the sadistic Nebula, while Lee Pace – so good in The Desolation Of Smaug – is pretty much an automated threat dispenser here as the fanatical Ronan.
The humour and camaraderie between the good guys ( or, more accurately, the not- bad guys) is the key here, along with some strong, quirky cameo performances from the likes of Benicio Del Toro as the Collector and Michael Rooker as Yondu ( a wonderful re- imagining from the comics).
Put simply, Guardians Of The Galaxy is very funny. Not camp funny. Not self- aware funny. Not in- joke funny. It’s witty and clever and smart, and equally appealing to SF fans and non- fans alike. It’s also warm and human, in an unsentimental way. That’s part of Drax’s success; the hulking warrior seems to be a two- dimensional character, but halfway through you suddenly can’t help loving the big lug as little chinks in the armour start to show.
All the heroes have their heart- on- sleeve moments, and none of them are cheesy. Well, maybe one of them is… but that’s right at the end when some Hollywood cheese is just what’s required at that point. Besides, the moment is immediately undercut with bathetic brilliance.
Working from his own exuberant script, James Gunn’s direction is pitch perfect. From his casting choices to his tonal choices to his editing choices, he gets it all spot on. The Infinity Gauntlet has been well
and truly thrown down, Joss Whedon.
Extras: Frustratingly, not only were the extras unable for viewing at the time we went to press, but full details were unavailable as well. So here’s what we do know...
The major news is that for a second Marvel Cinematic Universe release in a row ( after The Winter Soldier) we have no One- Shot short. Blimey, was everyone so bowled over by how untoppable Drew Pearce’s “All Hail The King” was that they’ve given up making them altogether? The official line is still, “a temporary halt until we come up with a good enough idea” – plus, according to a tweet by James Gunn, the discs are so full of extra
Guardians goodness that there was simply no room for a One- Shot anyway. You can’t help suspecting that the One- Shots are being quietly laid to rest simply because they’re an unnecessary expense, though. Be honest: will the absence of one stop you buying Guardians on shiny disc?
So what is bulking out that Blu- ray release, then? Audio commentary; making- of featurettes; a gag reel; an exclusive look at
Avengers: Age Of Ultron; and deleted scenes. From what James Gunn has been saying we know that among those will be a sequence where a prison guard walks through the prison listening to “Magic” by Pilot on Quill’s Walkman ( and playing with his Play- Doh), and a touching moment where Drax explains the meaning of his tattoos ( which the director assures us is simply “heartbreaking ”). It’ll all be quirkily wonderful, no doubt.
Buy the DVD and you’ll only get the Age Of Ultron preview and one deleted scene. Because DVD buyers are second- class citizens who smell of wee, obviously.
Vin Diesel claims that he recorded the line, “I am Groot!” over a thousand times. We’re not sure what this says about Vin.
Drax really should have gone before they set off.