Ryan Francis’s review published on Letterboxd:
Believe me, no one is more shocked than I am with my rating of this. When Marvel first announced an entry in the MCU titled Guardians of the Galaxy and I read a brief description on what it was about, I believe my initial reaction was, "What the fuck is this horseshit?" I have to admit that it was my least anticipated Marvel film to date, with almost no interest in seeing it other than feeling it was a mandatory viewing since all the films in this universe tie together in some way. But the first trailer that I had seen for it definitely perked my interest, maybe after seeing more of what it was about and what they were going for with the seemingly heavier doses of humor and silliness. Plus, I've always thought raccoons were awesome (an odd fascination, I know) and seeing one spitting out amusing dialogue (perfectly voiced by Bradley Cooper) while wielding a giant weapon I guess kinda brought out the kid in me and got me more excited than I really like to admit..
Anyway, so as the early reviews started coming in, I was honestly still pretty shocked. Not only was this underdog comic book adaptation receiving crazy-good praise, but I even saw a few hail it as one of the best Marvel features yet. I seriously couldn't believe it, and I found myself becoming more and more pumped to see this thing for myself.
And man, it did not disappoint. Not one bit. It not only met all of my very recently developed expectations for it, but it somehow managed to surpass them as well. James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy gets just about everything right. It's got the perfect blend of endlessly entertaining action, hilarious humor, spot-on casting, extraordinary visual effects, a kick-ass soundtrack and the one aspect that I was probably most surprised by - and something I feel not only a lot of comic book flicks but many films in general seem to miss out on - is the tremendous heart it had at it's core. I actually cared about this band of misfits, and loved every minute spent with each of them. To the point that I wished the running time ran even longer than it did.
All of this - as well as my excited but still wary feelings towards the film in general before seeing it ending up being completely satisfied - is why I couldn't give it anything less than the full five-star rating. For what it is, I think that GotG is damn near perfect. This is a superhero movie done right, and should not be missed. See it on the big screen, in 3D if possible. It's one of the most fun experiences I've had yet in theaters this summer. Even if you don't feel as strongly about it as I obviously did, I can't see how you wouldn't at least be entertained for two hours (if you're into these types of films, of course). Already can't wait to see it again.
And yes, 'Rocket Raccoon' was as freakin' awesome as I assumed he would be.