Todd Gaines’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Outlaw with a mask. The Double Agent with her own personal mission. The Literal Speaking Wrestler with vengeance pouring through his veins. The Talking Raccoon who has no idea he's actually a talking raccoon. The Tree with a large vocabulary. Who are they? Would you believe they're the Guardians of the Galaxy?
This was the first MCU movie I watched. My original review for GoTG is one of my personal favorites. I was excited to revisit. Have my feelings for the movie changed? Not too much. In fact, I pretty much covered all I wanted to cover in my original review. So, in this review, I'm picking out a few new key elements I want to focus on.
Chris Pratt is a winner. No, I doubt he will ever win an Oscar, but he wins at the box office. He's likable as likable can be. He's not a superstar thespian, but he's charming as a motherfucker. In a way, Peter Quill is the space version of Tony Stark. From his costume, his unresolved parental issues, his smart ass attitude, and his way with ladies; he's the Iron Man of the Cosmos. Kinda makes you excited for Infinity War?
If you take a deeper look at Peter Quill, you see a fella desperate to hold onto his Earth roots. The music, the soundtrack we all boogie to, is his connection to his mom. But, look at the songs. All originally recorded in the late 60's / 70's. All songs his mom grew up with. You see her rebellious side in The Runaway's Cherry Bomb. Her fun side in Rupert Holmes' Escape aka The Pina Colada Song. Her connection to the Cosmos in David Bowie's Moonage Daydream. Her devotion to Peter in Marvin Gaye's Ain't No Mountain High Enough. Her story with whomever is her baby daddy in Elvin Bishop's Fooled Around and Fell in Love. Her dance skills passed on to her son in Blue Suede's version of Hooked on a Feelin, and her teaching Peter life is all about love in Redbone's Come and Get Your Love. You see, everything Peter Quill needed to learn in life, he learned from a mixtape. Now, you see why that fella loves that tape so much.
Now, look at a few more Earth references Peter holds near and dear. He's kidnapped from Earth in 1988 as a young boy. He calls a fella a Ninja Turtle during a present day scuffle. That makes sense. TMNT's cartoon first aired around 1987. Calling Rocket, Ranger Rick. The Ranger Rick reference is from a wildlife magazine aimed at kids. But, how he says it, makes me think he read a lot of Ranger Rick magazines in doctor office waiting rooms, due to his very sick mother. His ship, the Milano. Oh yeah! We all know Who's the Boss. Who didn't have a crush on Alyssa Milano? Kevin fuckin' Bacon! Of course he tells the tale of Footloose. We all know Peter loves to dance! Now, the real fun one, John Stamos. The greatest hero with perfect hair. You might be thinking Peter was a Full House fan. Naw, this is all James Gunn. He's paying homage to his own Troma past. It's safe to say Peter Quill watched "Never Too Young to Die" many late nights on HBO. Damn, GoTG is kinda deep and other stuff.
A few more thoughts: Rocket and Groot equal CGI done right. Dave Bautista kills it like HBK selling the impact of a Batista Bomb as Dax the Destroyer. Zoe Saldana is a walking talking sexy Skittle. Benicio Del Toro is high as a kite as The Collector. Lee Pace ain't that bad as the baddie. I used to think he was mega boring, now I realize, he's just following the MCU formula of underperforming villains. The prison break scene might be the climax of the movie, so did the movie, climax too quick? Plus, I simply love it when Peter gives us the middle finger in his prison lineup picture.
While GoTG is not my favorite MCU movie, it's still a ton of fun. Who would've thought a Walkman would last 25 plus years? Proof, they don't make them like they used to.