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Guardians of the Galaxy ***1/2

Brash adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe.
To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits: Rocket (Bradley Cooper) – a gun-toting raccoon, Groot (Vin Diesel) – a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista).
But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.
 As an admirer of Marvel’s recent big screen adventures, a lover of sci-fi, and a fan of director James Gunn’s previous works (which include Slither and Super), I was admittedly stoked to see this big budget sci-fi adventure. And the positive buzz surrounding it undoubtedly heightened my expectations even further.
Sadly, I came away a bit disappointed, feeling that there’s a great movie here, struggling to get out.
Yes, there are plenty of positives. The visuals, for a start… everything’s just plain gorgeous. There’s bags of heart.
The premise that our lead was abducted from Earth in the late 1980s along with his Walkman and mixtape allows for a gloriously out-of-place soundtrack. And the casting is pretty much A1… Pratt in particular nails it as the irreverent Han Solo/Indiana Jones/Mal Reynolds That irreverence is to be found everywhere, which is refreshing.
But while it’s fun to see a blockbuster that doesn’t take itself too seriously, the plot is scrappy, and it’s all so damn loud!
Star Wars meets Firefly by way of Red Dwarf, there’s lots to like here. And the basis of a terrific series. For me, it was a case of too much, too soon, but the stage is set for sequels that I’m ready to get behind 100%.
(Stick around after the credits for a cameo I’m pretty sure no one would EVER have expected!)

Starring: Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista and Vin Diesel
Director: James Gunn

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