I finally got to see this last night and I loved it! The thing about Marvel movies is they do what it says on the tin (I love that phrase): These are popcorn-action flicks meant only to entertain, but they don’t do it half-assed. The characters are fully formed, fun and engaging. The plot is satisfyingly complex and satisfying. The action is first rate and my personal favorite: The dialog is thoroughly enjoyable in balancing wit with that Joss Whedon-esque technique of “Regular folks saying regular things in the face of extraordinary, grandiose or melodramatic circumstances.”
““He says he’s an A-hole, but — and I’m quoting him here — he’s ‘not 100 percent a dick.’”
It’s lines and characters like that, or when Quill promptly ruins an act of selfless heroism by milking it to make a pass, that are not only funny, they help keep the audience grounded in outrageous circumstances. That is a real skill, in both writers and actors.
I was also very pleased they kept the “half-alien” aspect of Peter Quill, it served as a nice “Chekov’s Genetics.” Actually, I liked how Quill’s whole character was just one dorky step away from being the pulp-fiction heroic archetype.
The only tiny flaws I found were the “coming together as a team” moment kind of came out of nowhere given the characters’ relationships up until that point. And Ronin, who was an odd choice to warp into a genocidal madman, was rather dull. Against Marvel villains like Loki, Obediah Stane and Alexander Pierce, Ronin only rises slightly above the faceless Chitauri. Slightly.
But Nebula was great, ruthless and self-serving (with some reason) and I’m glad she escaped to scheme and hate another day.
And those minor flaws did not detract from my enjoyment. I will go see this again, and it will be added to my DVD collection.
Also: “Distraction by dork.”
Also, also: Dancing baby Groot!
Note: Everything You Need to Know about Guardians of the Galaxy (in the comic books)