Guardians Of The Galaxy
Direction: James Gunn
Actors: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana
After the release of The Avengers, the 2012 romp which assembled Iron Man, Captain America and a clutch of similar superheroes, the question on almost everyone’s lips was “Can this be bettered?” The good news is that it has by this space opera based on a little known series in the Marvel canon.
One part Han Solo and one part Indiana Jones, a space outlaw (Pratt) forms an unlikely alliance with a vengeance-seeking warrior (former WWE wrestler Dave Bautista) and a green-skinned assassin (Saldana). Their mission: prevent an all-powerful orb (a Hitchcockian McGuffin if ever there was one) from falling into the hands of a zealot (Lee Pace).
The misfit trio is aided by a trigger-happy raccoon (voiced with subversive glee by Bradley Cooper) and a tree-like humanoid. Setting aside their personal agendas, the titular team zooms across space to save the galaxy from imminent doom. The effects-heavy spectacle isn’t merely a soulless exercise and the climax provides a beacon of hope. The Guardians…are slated to reconvene in 2017. In the meantime, go celebrate this year’s funkiest entertainment.