SF elements: talking animals and trees, space battles
A bunch of minor criminals and bounty hunters all after the same MacGuffin reluctantly join forces against the Really Bad Guys who want to Destroy the World with said MacGuffin.
We have a motley ensemble cast: human space pirate Peter Quill [Chris Pratt], green humanoid assassin Gamora [Zoe Saldana], uplifted raccoon bounty hunter Rocket [Bradley Cooper, voice] and his sidekick the tree-like Groot [Vin Diesel, voice], and paisley-tattooed humanoid assassin-hunter Drax [Dave Bautista].
After a rather slow start (a dying mother foreshadowing trope) the action gets going, accompanied by a 1980s pop soundtrack (for reasons that make sense at least in the story). There’s lots of running around, lots of wisecracking, lots of fights, lots of CGI things being blown up.
The team of good guys has one woman (Gamora); the team of bad guys has one woman (Nebula, an unrecognisable blue bald Karen Gillan); and the team on the planet has one woman (Nova Prime, Glenn Close). Oh, and Peter’s mother [Laura Haddock], in her death scene. It arguably just passes the Bechdel test: sisters Gamora and Nebula have a few conversations, not necessarily about a man. But that’s not exactly a high bar.
It doesn’t take itself seriously, but isn’t as funny as it thinks it is. Nevertheless, it’s sufficiently entertaining piffle for a dark winter’s evening viewing. And at least the raccoon isn’t cute.
reviewed 26 December 2015