Plot9.5Script9Acting8.5Direction9Effects9 9The Guardians of the Galaxy have finally blasted into cinemas in Singapore and all I can say is that it well worth the wait (and the hype). Guardians is the tenth instalment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) which includes the blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers. Guardians of the Galaxy is an action-packed space adventure that expands the MCU into the cosmos. The story centres around Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (played by Chris Pratt – you might remember him as the goofy Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation) who 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 and his motley crew rally for a desperate stand. Unlike the Avengers, who firstly have a a very deep-rooted history in comics and individual movies to set up the collaboration in the Avengers Movie, the Guardians of the Galaxy aren’t as privileged on both fronts. In the comics, these are some of the most obscure characters with backgrounds and origins that are as convoluted as they get and they don’t get their own origin movies to set the stage. However, despite the challenges the Guardians pulled through with guns blazing in a fantastic, and more than worthy, addition to the groundbreaking MCU franchise. Origin stories have been tweaked to fit the movie but aren’t too jarring to make fans riot. I especially like the way that each character has his/her own ‘moment’. While Quill is the leader, each character brings something special to the screen and the dynamic as a team. Related: 11 Characters you need to know from the Guardians of the Galaxy BEFORE you watch the movie Chris Pratt really looks like he’s in his element as a Indiana Jones-Han Solo hybrid portrayal of Star-Lord and Bradley Cooper has never looked more adorable than as Rocket. Vin Diesel shows that there’s more than one way to say ‘I am Groot’ and managed to get his point across succinctly in three words and not spew rhetoric like Optimus Prime in Transformers 4 (so bad.. oh so bad). Zoe Saldana is as graceful as ever as the deadly Gamora. Kudos to Dave Bautista as well who (let’s face it) is not the most accomplished actor, puts in a decent performance as a very literal and deadpan version of the Destroyer. When Singapore played host to Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana and James Gunn not too long ago for the movie’s SEA promotional tour, the trio commented on their bond. I have to say the chemistry between the cast does shine through the snarky remarks and the internal sniping. You truly get a sense that these are a bunch of distrustful misfits (who have every right to be) that find themselves looking out for each other. A very feel good movie – classic Disney no? A big feature (although small if measured in screen time) is the appearance of Thanos in all his imperious glory seated on his space throne. The Mad Titan really does look the part and it’s really got me yearning for Avengers 3. Guardians also introduces the Infinity Gems proper and gives us a glimpse of its power. We’ve seen the Tesseract in the Avengers and the Aether in Thor 2, my guess by the colour, this is the Soul Gem. Fans of the comics will also be treated to an appearance by Cosmo the space dog and a certain Howard the Duck. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Definitely one of the best movies out in 2014.