Guardians of the Galaxy ★★★★
Premiere 8.30-10.20pm BBC1
A more obscure property in the Marvel comics universe, Guardians of the Galaxy follows a motley, multi-species gang whose aim is to go looking for interstellar trouble rather than waiting for it to happen. Under relative directorial newcomer James Gunn (who’s mostly been screenwriting and acting since the 1990s), it has a certain funky, steampunk charm, embodied by star Chris Pratt – already one of cinema’s most likeable comic leads, despite looking like he stumbled into the job. As Quill, the former abductee of space pirates, he surrounds himself with a bounty-hunting raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a blue assassin (Zoe Saldana), a revenge-seeking convict (Dave Bautista) and a tree with limited vocabulary (Vin Diesel). Trust me, it works, and this first chapter (Vol 2 is in cinemas on 28 April) is an unkempt riot of carnage, crashes, wisecracks and hits of the 60s and 70s – as featured on Pratt’s “Awesome Mix” tape. It makes other Marvel franchises look po-faced, which can’t hurt.
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