This film was re-reviewed, read it here.
What this movie has is a lot of heart. As you watch it, you really feel for these characters. Rocket as he drunkenly cries that he’s the only one of his kind, Starlord when he loses his mom’s tape and tries to convince the guy to give it back no matter how many times he punches him, even some of the minor characters and villains are delved into as we go through it.
It also has a lot of comedy. The first half of this film I would say is one of the best action-comedies I’ve ever seen. The pacing is great, the jokes original and hilarious, the action only there to compliment the funnies or develope the characters. It’s really great, that is, until the comedy comes to a halt at the halfway point and it becomes just a slow-paced action movie and the heart is kind of taken out of it. There’s still some comedy (like the famous “we’re all standing up now,” scene) and some heart but it feels like both take a backseat to just dumb action. Action for the sake of it is fine in my book but with such great action with comedy and musical sequences and progressing the story forward, it was great and full, but becomes empty in the second half. It’s fine, really, but nothing special, even for its time.
Also, the music is great. I think everyone knows that about this movie, but the 70s soundtrack combined with the space background creates an awesome anachronistic juxtaposition that you rarely get to experience anywhere. I guess unless you like to put Star Wars on mute and listen to Led Zeppelin or something, but still.
Anyway, something that really bugs me in movies is when major plot points aren’t properly set-up or explained. In this case, the things revolving around the Orb, or Infinity Stone, or Whatever It Is. There’s a scene (spoilers following) where a purple-skinned alien girl, who is apparently the slave of the Collector, is fed up for some reason so decides to grab the infinity stone and blow herself up along with everything else around her because the PLOT DEMANDS IT! It doesn’t make sense because none of this is properly set up. The climax is a lot like that to, where I was just questioning “why do they think this will work?” but then it worked anyway, so whatever, I guess… I know that part is explained in the sequel so I guess I forgive this movie for that, but the suicidal-slave-girl definitely loses some points.
I’ve never read the comics, but this movie has too many men and not enough women. I like Gomora, played by Zoe Saldana, but she’s almost the only woman in the entire movie. I know there’s tons of women in the Marvel comic-book universe (I’m an avid comic book fan), why doesn’t the MCU have more women?
Why I think its on the list: I know I just complained a lot, but this was a shift from the traditional superhero movie into something where it’s not just about saving the world but something that lets you see the characters as people and give some actual heart to the story we’re watching. Also, “I am Groot” is probably one of the most quoted lines in movie history, though this film is only a few years old.