Guardians Of The Galaxy: A Mars vs Venus review

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, John C Reilly

Director: James Gunn

The skinny: Peter Quill (Pratt) stumbles across an all-powerful orb coveted by the power-crazy villain Ronan (Pace). Now responsible for saving the galaxy, Quill - aka Star-Lord - teams up with a beautiful assassin (Saldana), a revenge-crazed brute (Bautista), a talking raccoon (Cooper) and a walking tree (Diesel). The gang of misfits must learn to play nice with each other before taking on the villains.

Rating: PG13

"A Mars look"

Jason Johnson: Outer space is such a wonderful playground, and it's nice to see a movie that really knows how to have fun there.

I don't think I've seen such a gleeful space adventure since the original Star Wars.

Some are thinking of Guardians Of The Galaxy as a superhero movie, but it's not that at all.

It's in the tradition of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, rather than Iron Man and Captain America.

It's a Marvel flick, but it's very much its own thing.

The way the movie starts, with a young Quill being taken away by a spaceship after his mother dies, reminds me of 80s flicks such as Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, E.T., The Last Starfighter and Starman.

Films of that era were filled with wonder over the idea of alien contact, not fear.

When we meet the grown-up Quill, he's still that same young boy on the inside.

His sense of humour and optimism are infectious.

I don't think I've ever seen a character quite like him in a sci-fi flick before, or at least not a type like this that has been so beautifully executed.

The thing I love best about him is his love of music, specifically the music of his youth, songs like I Want You Back by the Jackson 5.

What a lovely way to make a character relatable, and human.

This movie is beautiful to look at, funny, thrilling and charming as hell.

Why don't they make more movies like this? This is what we want to see.

"A Venus look"

Joanne Soh: Many have called this the best Marvel movie ever.

I don't really agree, but then I'm more of an Avengers gal.

But I admit that Guardians is a good space odyssey.

Marvel also needs this irreverent sci-fi romp to add to its staple with the Iron Man, Captain America and Thor flicks getting more serious with each sequel.

There's not a boring moment in Guardians, as director Gunn has packed in as much as he can in two hours.

He does a decent job introducing his obscure band of heroes, giving each character adequate time to develop.

Whether you connect with each of them is a different story.

Then there are all the other people Gunn threw in your face - the main scary bad guy, the supporting bad guys, the many other good guys and the requisite cameos that serve as a link to the upcoming Avengers-related movies.

All these varied characters make the already head-scratching plot more convoluted.

Call it the curse of having to set the foundation of a new franchise.

But Gunn compensates by giving you a succession of spectacular visuals.

He also deserves huge credit in casting the right guy to shoulder the movie.

Pratt is such a delight as the charismatic Quill, balancing reckless fun with tender moments that will win you over.

The consensus: Marvel has yet another winner with this colourful space romp.

This article was first published on July 30, 2014.
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