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Last updated: July 31, 2014 3:57 pm
The special powers boasted by film critics – from Teflon faculties (withstanding all sensory bombardment) to titanium buttocks (sitting out all movie marathons) – make us overdue for our own Marvel Comics saga. “Supercrits!” We roam the universe boldly catching films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, skilfully managing their impact, then issuing valued reader advisories.
Disney’s new pilot for an intended action-fantasy franchise may look like the average Marvel-inspired screen blockbuster: a multilayered explosion of gift wrapping with no gift inside. Or none discoverable. But, to borrow from Groucho Marx, don’t be fooled: it really is that.
The best of the warrior-heroes plundered from bygone comics is Rocket Raccoon (sassily voiced by Bradley Cooper), a furry upstart with funny friends. They include a bass-intoning tree (Vin Diesel) whose only utterance, repeated with variations, is “I am Groot”; a darkly sexy damsel with killer couture (Zoe Saldana); and the band’s half-human, half-alien leader (Chris Pratt), who alone seems dangerously, disturbingly normal.
After token story setting the movie goes up like a firework display. The early attempts to establish a plot and quest object – the “orb”, a cosmos-domination device – retard us briefly with ping-pong dialogue. “Nebula, go to Zadar and get the orb . . . ”; “We have been halfway round the galaxy retrieving the orb . . . ” Then the mood of “what the hell” takes over. Bright, noisy, high-definition-inchoate, it’s a tale told by a video whiz army, signifying pretty much whatever you wish. In the blogosphere, the Marvel movie cultists will be already constructing their Babel.
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