Auteur’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's only been four days and I'm already tired of arguing with people about Guardians Of The Galaxy. So I say fuck this movie right in its 92% Rotten Tomatoes-approved-fresh ass. Sorry, does that offend you? Here you go, here's the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack to listen to while you read the rest of the review; apparently that can make everything better.
People like to criticize Hollywood for making the same movie over and over again. Apparently some of those same people happily line-up for Marvel films that literally do that exact thing. Guardians Of The Galaxy is the upteenth Marvel film about a [blank] that can destroy the universe, which [blank] tries to obtain, so [blank] must stop them. Fucking Mad Libs are more complex than this shit.
Plot drives this film completely. The only character development comes from our main character just spending time with people. Wow, he goes from being selfish to having a sense of community. The rest of the time it's cardboard villains vs. cardboard heroes, accompanied by K-Billy's super sounds of the seventies, and the occasional joke that has been done to death by countless other films.
Our hero Quill talks about people having "sticks up their butts," and our alien heroine takes his statement literally. Oh hahahahahahaha...stop...I can't contain my laughter. You know, this was funny back in 1986 when Star Trek stretched the joke out to an entire feature length. Elsewhere a villain appears suddenly in front of our heroes and begins a large monologue, which is immediately cut short by the blast of a death ray...juuuuuuuuuuust like in Raiders Of The Lost Ark when the guy come out with his knives and does a big show before Indy mows him down. That's the extent of the imagination on display here.
Co-written and directed by James Gunn, it's safe to say he has no idea how to direct action. The orientation of several scenes was confusing, and not a single one of them escalated to any sort of emotional payoff. The effects were incredible, of course, but the film amounts to little more than Manborg with a bazillion dollar budget. It's a two hour wink-wink-nudge-nudge to a bazillion people that are "in" on the joke. When I first heard of the film I was hoping that it would be a sort of inverted Avengers, unafraid of being irreverent and embracing a kitsch aesthetic. Yeah, I don't know what the fuck I was smoking either. I didn't give a damn about anyone in this film
So why 2 1/2 stars you ask? Actually, I'm surprised you are still reading, and haven't written me off as a hater of fun. I'ts not too late; there's still a big open "comment" space below for you to type "tl;dr." If I'm being honest Guardians Of The Galaxy is nowhere near as bad as Iron Man 2 or Thor 2, which actually manage to scrape the bottom of the barrel. But for all its stabs at ingenuity and off-the-wallness, it's no more than the same old dime-a-dozen crap we all rail against each and every summer -- a sheep in wolf's clothing if ever there was one.