Jareddd’s review published on Letterboxd:
I now have complete confidence in Marvel Studio's when it comes to film production. Unlike DC, it seems they truly give their directors artistic reign over most of their products. Granted, the film must maintain the over-arcing storyline, and a lighthearted action theme, but each film is unique in it's own right. Guardians is no different. To summarize my thoughts, Guardians of the Galaxy is a unique, lighthearted, hilarious, and interesting step in the right direction for this universe. It opens the Marvel universe up to so many possibilities I am excited for the future.
Much like The Avengers, Guardians pulls off more than a few ridiculous notions for characters in glorious fashion. Arguably the best character in the film, Groot, the talking tree with a limited vocabulary, is full of heart, hilarious, and a perfect compliment to Rocket, the raccoon. Following up Groot, Rocket is a hilarious character that parallels Groot beautifully. Zoe Saldana is badass and gorgeous as Gamora, and Chris Pratt solidifies his star status as StarLord. Even Dave Bautista, former WWE wrestler, pulls his part off beautifully.
The film does have it's flaws, though. The opening scene on Earth feels incredibly dull and uncharacteristic for the rest of the film, and the film has a bit too many characters for it's own good. I understand the first film in a franchise like this is often plagued by this issue, and I completely forgive Guardians for this.
The film soars off it's lighthearted feel. Marvel films often feel formulaic in their emotional aura, but Guardians is a breath of fresh air. The film throughout is a rollercoaster of humor and action. Another aspect worth noting is the action. Not to say it is gruesome, but it pulls less punches than it's predecessors.
I feel as though Marvel films have taken up the reputation of being formulaic in storyline, lacking of heart, and unwilling to take chances, but Guardians is breath of fresh air. It's characters have conviction and earn your emotional investment, the evolving relationships seem authentic and plausible, and the film goes in directions unexpected. It is the quintessential summer blockbuster striving for more, and more often than not hitting it's target.
Marry me, Zoe Saldana?