Alex’s review published on Letterboxd:
Guardians of the Galaxy is just about as much fun as you can have at the cinema. It is full of action and humour and pretty much all the gags and set pieces work perfectly. But it is also has heart, with all of our seemingly empty warrior-type protagonists carrying some pretty heavy grief on their shoulders.
On top of the clear success the film is as a stand-alone story, it is also the perfect entry into Marvel's Cosmic Universe. Aside from The Collector and Thanos, none of these weird and other-worldly characters and races seem like they couldn't fit into the human perspective. There are strange creatures and customs throughout, but everywhere from Xandar to Knowhere comes across as possible in this world they've created. This is greatly helped by the main characters, who we grow to know and sympathise with, coming from all corners of the galaxy.
This means Marvel came now smoothly travel to whichever bizarre planet they choose. The Nova and Kree worlds are now open and now races such as the Inhumans and the Shi'ar could seamlessly slot in, all because Guardians of the Galaxy worked so well.
It's worth watching simply because it's a great movie, but the major achievement here is what this film means for the potential of the Marvel Universe.