The Sloth is a huge fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Just the opening sentance gets us snorting unhygenically with laughter. So when we saw ‘Galaxy’ in the title of Marvel’s latest comic sci-fi, our interest was more than piqued, it was positively dribbling.
Peter Quill, aka Skylord (Chris Pratt) is on a mission. A self-professed outlaw, he’s searching the galaxy for a small silver orb that he’s nicking to order. Breaking into a vault on planet Morag, Quill finds himself surrounded by armed guards working for Ronan, leader of planet Kree who are after the orb themselves. After a bit of fistycuffs Quill escapes complete with orb and, most importantly, his original 80’s Walkman with ‘awesome mix tape vol 1’, triggering an inter-galactic bounty hunt.
Bu there are others who want this orb. Lots of them. Mostly painted blue and in posession of impressive laser and rocket based weaponry. Why they want it doesn’t really matter- various reasons abound, generally to do with inter-planetery rivalry between Kree and planet Xandar, involving adopted sisters with Daddy-issues.
What does matter is en route across the galaxy lonestar Quill accumulates a motley crew of cohorts, namely despised assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana, cornering the market in primary coloured aliens); affable if slightly dense muscleman Drax (Dave Bautista), whose inability to take anything no less than completely literaly is a particular delight, and the marvellous comedy double act of wise-cracking, chippy racoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and his giant tree monster pal / henchman Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). Bickering and scuffling their way into an unlikely bond, our anti-heroes christen themselves The Guardians Of The Galaxy.
If you’d told The Sloth a talking tree whose entire vocabulary consists of ‘I am Groot’ would be one of the most delightful comedy characters to hit the screen in quite some time, we’d have laughed you out of our, er, tree. Yes there are the standard studio action set pieces but, far more importantly, the anarchic, ramshackle and downright silly comedy spirit that pervaded The Hitchhiker’s Guide has definite echoes in this new Galaxy and what a marvelous thing that is.
UK release 2 August. DVD release 24 November. More comic book heroics? Check X-Men Days Of Future Past.