Guardians of the Galaxy did what few team up movies did before. With next to no set up from a previous movie, it managed to take a group of characters and successfully make their movie a huge hit. Unlike in Suicide Squad, you not only care about this group of misfits, but the stakes they find themselves in.
James Gunn has a clear love for the material and his passion shines through. Everything from the dialogue, the music, settings, nothing was left to chance and his gamble paid off. Make no mistake, Guardians of the Galaxy was in fact a risky move by Marvel. Outside of general comic book fans, very few knew who Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Gamora, Drax, and Starlord were. In addition, setting the majority of the film in space took away the comfort zone of Earth. In essentially the first MCU cosmic film, a lot had to go right for mainstream audiences to embrace them.
Next to the Avengers, Guardians was the second movie in the Marvel Universe that I genuinely had fun watching. While most of the previous films were great to watch and enjoy, having an actual fun experience is something that doesn’t happen very often. As far as comic book movies go, it very nearly captures page to screen perfectly.
The entire cast looks to be having a grand time and it shows. I’ve seen many movies in the past that look as if the actors could barely be in the same room together, here it really feels genuine. Clearly James Gunn was the best choice to direct, I honestly can’t think of Guardians without his influence.
The choice of villain in Ronan the Accuser was a very good one. Lee Pace gets his fanatic on and offers a genuine threat. Throughout the entire film, Ronan is all business but his reaction to watching Starlord dance is priceless! He is joined by Nebula, played by the lovely but unrecognizable Karen Gillan. While her sister Gamora has her own agenda, Nebula clearly has a pain that manifests into rage and their arc is one of the best in the film.
Guardians of the Galaxy firmly sits in my top five of the MCU films. Everything from the characters, the special effects, soundtrack, all hit just the right notes. The chemistry that made this film is a hard one to duplicate and the enjoyment watching it never gets old.
HOW IT CONNECTS TO INFINITY WAR: Thanos appears in pretty much an extended cameo, his first time speaking. Of course the Power Stone plays a prominent role in the film. The Collector recounts the history of the Infinity Stones and they, though quickly, are featured visibly on screen.