Daryl’s review published on Letterboxd:
There was no doubt that GotG was in safe hands with James Gun. Both Slither and Super are great movies with a very specific tone and nuanced characters. Once again proving Thor is the weakest link in both Marvel's Phase I and Phase II, Gunn's Guardians establishes this rag tag team of super misfits in just one movie, whereas it took The Avengers a grand total of six.
With sites squarely aimed at its Science Fiction credentials, GotG paints a cinematic universe in bold strokes. It doesn't hold your hand or allow you breathing space to catch up. In a very Tolkien'esque fashion you're thrown in at the deep end with alien worlds, peculiar characters and a multitude of ricocheted back stories. The environments, ships and creatures are completely out of this world and totally envelop the audience in an immersive setting. There are parallels with Star Wars here but that's doing both franchises a disservice.
Chris Pratt, David Bautista, Chris Cooper and Vin Diesel are each outstanding but unfortunately I feel Zoe Sultana gets the rough end of the deal by being the less developed of the titular heroes, her skirmish with Karen Gillan's Nebula being a little scrappy and unpolished. In fact, if I had one issue with Gunn it's the fact that his physical action scenes are not as strong as either character development or space battles. As with pretty much every Marvel cinematic villain besides Loki, Ronan Keating The Accuser is a one trick pony. Sure, he's probably the scariest villain to date but I wanted more than just malevolence from him. Anyone THAT imposing deserves to be fleshed out a little more.
GotG looks and sounds like an event movie. I love how completely different it is to everything we've seen from Marvel so far. It has an especially strong final act and it's sequel in 2017 couldn't seem any further away. I hope we get to see a couple more new entrants to the MCU in Phase III as a never ending production-line of sequels (especially Thor 3. Zzzzzzzz) could possibly leave the audience grow weary. BUT... exciting new IP like Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and Black Panther could take this universe into a multitude of cool new directions.