Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy ★★★★

From the studio that brought you Iron Man, Captain America & Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy arrives as Marvel Studios' biggest gamble to date with it being a lesser-known entity and yet, the risk pays off tremendously well as this crazy mixture of oddball cast & eccentric crew strikes gold for the studio on both critical & commercial fronts and delivers the most enjoyable, entertaining & satisfying studio offering since The Avengers.

Set in a galaxy far far away, the story concerns a notorious scavenger who finds himself as the main target of a manhunt after stealing a mysterious orb and is put in prison along with a deadly assassin, a genetically-engineered raccoon & a tree-like humanoid where they encounter a brute looking for vengeance. As an uneasy alliance form between these extra-terrestrial misfits, they learn to work together as a team and try to save the world when a greater threat arises.

There is so much in here that could've so easily gone wrong and there's also no denying that many eyebrows were raised when James Gunn was brought in to helm this high-budget space epic. But he has done his job with such precision & mastery that it feels like the film was his calling. And the fab use of humour infused into its action & dramatic elements only makes the journey all the more engaging, enriching & delightfully amusing.

Coming to the technical aspects, everything works in near-perfect harmony in a manner that only elevates the viewing experience to better heights. Set pieces are impressive to look at, make-up adds a dimension of its own to the characters, its homage to several space classics is tastefully carried out, cinematography employs dynamic use of camera without ever getting carried away, editing is tight, VFX is seamless and the soundtrack is an absolute bliss.

The cast is as eccentric as the characters present in the film with Chris Pratt (Peter Quill), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Vin Diesel (Groot) & Bradley Cooper (Rocket) playing the role of Guardians. And all of them deliver excellent performances, with Groot & Rocket leaving the lasting impressions. Also contributing with fab supporting performances are Lee Pace (Ronan), Michael Rooker (Yondu) & Karen Gillian (Nebula), along with cameos from Benicio del Toro & John C. Reilly.

On an overall scale, Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the most exquisitely balanced blockbuster offerings of 2014 that promises a lot of fun from beginning to end and delivers it in an endlessly entertaining & immensely rewarding manner. Ingeniously directed, wonderfully lighthearted, fluidly photographed, skilfully edited, splendidly acted & featuring stellar visuals, Guardians of the Galaxy is arguably the ballsiest big-budget production to surface on screen since James Cameron's Avatar. Delightfully recommended.

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