Jay-r’s review published on Letterboxd:
Before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was released, the rewatches of this movie have dampen my rating of this movie a bit. But it's still pretty great. When I pieced together the plots from Vol. 2 and this one from my recent rewatch, I came to hugely appreciate this movie and why I loved it in the first place when it came out.
The Avengers may be more badass but there's something about the Guardians that made me more emotionally invested in them. All of the members have lost something in them and their world view is quite selfishly pessimistic until they met together and slowly realize that the galaxy they live in needs a lot of hope and saving. The way how the team was formed is absolutely beautiful.
I am so emotionally invested in them that if they break-up as a team, it would literally punch me in the gut. If this were the case for The Avengers, the members still have people to turn to when things go south. The Guardians have none to turn to when that happens. It's this part that makes them a family, cheesy and corny sounding aside. There has always been this sense of community between the Guardians compared to The Avengers.
The music choices here are fucking excellent. What the movie and the sequel did with the music was to elevate the mood and tone of the scene and in some cases, elaborate or make sense of the character's motivations through music. This is what a lot of films that tried to do the "nostalgia music" thing failed to do. Films like Suicide Squad and Ready Player One simply missed the point and just used a bunch of random throwback songs to panderly ask the audience "OH REMEMBER THIS SONG? PRETTY COOL HUH." Who would ask questions like that? It's probably a head from Warner Bros.
I feel like a lot of people have overlooked how great the cast performance is and how I was immersed with their characters. I would like to highlight the performance of my husband Chris Pratt as Star-Lord. He nailed the balance of being a badass and being soft-hearted. He is the perfect actor to nail this version of Peter Quill.
Couple of nitpicks aside like the lack of development on Ronan, this remains to be one of the best films of the MCU.
I'll save my further praises for my review of the sequel once I rewatch it.