It was with giddy anticipation that I sat down at City Screen in York on Friday night to watch this latest offering from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite my incessant tweeting whenever a new Marvel Studios film hits the big screen, you might not know that I'm generally a huge fan of these films and their comic book origins (albeit to a slightly lesser degree on the comic side of things).
Guardians of the Galaxy is definitely one of the more obscure would-be-hero teams in this particular film universe, so I wasn't entirely sure where this story would go, but I have learned to trust in Marvel Studios. With the exception of one or two releases that were slightly wide of the mark (Iron Man 3 anyone?) I have never left the cinema feeling in any way disappointed with the experience.
Without giving away any major spoilers let me tell you a little bit about the film. Our leading man for this fantastic space opera is Peter Quill, who really wants to be known as Star-Lord (played to rakish perfection by the Chris Pratt). We first meet the man trying to steal a mysterious orb from an abandoned planet and thereafter being set on a collision course, not only with several villainous types determined to have said orb for their own nefarious planet destroying purposes, but also his soon-to-be friends and somewhat mismatched team, the Guardians of the Galaxy.
First up is Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana), the rather seductive green-skinned assassin, trying to do the right thing in the face of her powerful and evil adoptive father Thanos. Next up are Groot, the humanoid tree creature (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Rocket, the genetically altered raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), the bounty hunters who are in it for the money (at least at first). Last but not least is Drax the Destroyer, the muscle bound alien intent on revenge for the death of this family. This band of criminals and misfits are thrown together by fate and set out to try to achieve what seems like an impossible task, saving an entire planet and probably universe from main villain Ronan (the delightfully dark Lee Pace).
Stacked up like this there's no way this film should work, but oh it really does and so well too. This film has everything I want from a cinema experience and more; from Peter's back story where your heart absolutely breaks to the laugh out loud moments in Groot's joyful destruction of any obstacle in his path and Drax's completely literal interpretation of anything said to him. Not forgetting the pure childlike awe you experience at the magnificent alien landscapes presented to you, or the spectacle of the immense and absolutely epic spaceship battles and action scenes.
Guardians of the Galaxy has so much heart in each of it's lead characters too, but most often witnessed in the enterprising and foul-mouthed Rocket and his unexpectedly loveable and warm companion Groot. How Vin Diesel managed to convey so much with just three words (all Groot says is "I am Groot") I really don't know! Almost another character is the film's incredibly well chosen 70s and 80s soundtrack, blending seamlessly into every scene but making it just that little bit more memorable too.
Seeing how the Guardians are fitting into the wider universe already occupied by superheros including The Avengers is just brilliant for Marvel fans and honestly I left the cinema at the end of this film feeling thoroughly entertained and almost elated. Seriously, you should just go and see it! I know I'll definitely be seeing it again soon.
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is out now in 3D and 2D at City Screen, find the listings here. You can also find City Screen on Twitter.
Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy? What's been your favourite film so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? If you fancy a natter about all things geeky, come and find me on Twitter.
*Tickets provided free of charge, all geeky gushing is my own.