Guardians of the GalaxyWhen I saw the first 17min in the IMAX I was excited. Rocket (Bradley Cooper) gave a brilliantly misleading introduction to the segment. The images were brilliant, the 3D enhanced but didn’t impose, the plot at that point in the story was fantastic and there was a lot going on. In a nutshell, I really enjoyed the 17 minutes, wanted more characterisation of the female role but was happy to see a prominent female character who was smart and kicked ass. She was a little more Kendra than Buffy but still – brilliant.

That said, when I came to watch the movie in regular 3D instead of IMAX I have to admit, I felt the lack. The IMAX lent so much to the experience that I’m not sure if I can now ever enjoy a movie again unless I go see it in IMAX. Not only are the seats more comfortable in the IMAX (I have generous proportions), the whole experience is more immersive and this movie with its plot and action really draws you in. Being in an IMAX cinema not only gives you better picture quality, it immerses you in the film and that is why the 3D is an enhancement rather than an intrusion.

This though is not about the experience of watching it but rather the actual movie.

This review contains SPOILERS of a sort – stuff you might not have seen in commercials or trailers.

We start with Peter Quill at home as a young child. Peter is like pretty much any 80’s kid, or really any kid in North America from almost any time period, including his perhaps extreme connection to his Walkman. Things happen to his mum and his life that rather turn his future upside down.  We get that in the first few minutes and continue on to a much more light-humoured scene involving karoke with an alien creature, dancing, advanced technologies and another shot of that Sony Walkman.

It was nice to see what happened leading up to the jail scene (widely used in promotional  videos and commercials) which gave a lot more context to the characters and the predicament they were in. There was plenty of action and sadly the kind of 3D antics that are common to make it all *ooooo look at me in 3D coming out at you* but they were thankfully few. They were made more jarring by the non-IMAX experience probably which is why I’m now such a fan of IMAX.

The action progresses, as does the humour. You get the sense that it is a bit of a piss-take, including a great cameo by Stan Lee. This movie doesn’t take itself too seriously – how could you with a troll doll playing as important a role as it does at the end? Also – a talking tree. How serious can you be with a talking tree, a genetically engineered raccoon, an abducted human, an engineered daughter of Thanos and a literal strongman out for revenge. The chemistry between the actors comes through in this movie, making it seamlessly brilliant. Where in some areas of the Avengers it could feel jarring, this is so seamless it hurts when it ends.

I think Marvel has a winner on their hands with this one. Despite the age of the comics, they have managed to update the characterisation of the female characters and make them more modern (so to speak). They know their own minds, have their own agendas and kick wicked butt. The modernisation of the back story of Peter Quill a.k.a. Star Lord, the brilliant characterisation of Groot and Rocket, the great action, the introduction of Thanos to pull the various threads of Marvel movies together and especially Glenn Close as the leader of the Nova Corps all makes this a winner.

Is it worth it? YEAH! Should you see this? F YEAH! Is this movie brilliant? Beyond words BRILLIANT! Did I recommend it for my 5 year old nephew? You better believe I did (with a caveat about the swearing and violence). Will you regret it if you don’t see it? FOREVER – you’ll regret not getting the full movie theatre experience FOREVER and EVER. When is it out? July 31st but you can BOOK TICKETS NOW!

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