Mikael Stånggren’s review published on Letterboxd:
Wondrous sights are to be beheld in Marvel’s latest adventure effort. A gigantic, decapitated head that floats around in space, transformed into a mining colony. Cities that seem fetched from my most thrilling of boyhood fantasies. And, of course, a weapon-loving raccoon, whose resourceful engineering has given him a good right to brag about his 22 prison escapes.
But before we head off to distant worlds we make a short stop in our own. A day of sorrow, 1988, in which a young boy, Peter Quill, has just lost his mother to cancer. Devastated, he rushes out of the hospital, only to be beamed up moments later by an alien spacecraft.
The next time we see him nearly thirty years have passed. Quill, also known as Star-Lord (or rather to say, wish he was) has made himself a not-so-law-abiding life as a mercenary and pilot. Stealing, unbeknownst to him, a very powerful object, he attracts evil figures who seek to exploit it for misdeeds. You know, the usual, wipe out innocent civilizations and so on.
A chain of events kick off where destiny throws him together with a bunch of colorful culprits. Apart from the mischievous Rocket Racoon, we’re also delightfully joined by the tree creature Groot, fighting phenomenon Gamora and vindictive muscle-man Drax who doesn’t for the life of him understand metaphors. Anti-heroes in the truest sense, whose differences have to be laid aside if they’re gonna have a sporting chance to guard the galaxy.
The combination of humor and space action is here as perfect as can be. I crack up laughing one minute, only to lose myself in its spectacular battles and inviting settings in the next. If that’s not enough, you can also take joy in its rich abundance of heart and soul.
And man, that soundtrack. Those divine bits of eargasms with songs like “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5. Even Blue Swede becomes part of the cosmic fun with the immortally energizing “Hooked On A Feeling”.
The Achilles’ heel, the only thing holding that fifth star back, is a reasonably flat main villain whose motives are left underexplained. But otherwise it’s a great, wonderfully great adventure that will give forthcoming Star Wars chapters a whole lot to live up to.