Phips’s review published on Letterboxd:
Well this was better than expected. The first round of trailers last year were not encouraging. I viewed this film as Marvel realizing what they had in Robert Downey Jr and the adoration of his snarky Tony Stark and trying to capitalize on that by pouring that into Peter Quill. Well, I wasn't far off but the film didn't suffer too much because of it.
There were many times when I thought Marvel was trying way too hard to be funny or snarky and the quips ended up being lame. When films try to force a certain agenda it usually becomes very apparent and negatively affects the film.
If last film season was the year of Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street, White House Down, Magic Mike, GI Joe) then this season belongs to Chris Pratt--Guardians of the Galaxy, Lego Movie, Her, Zero Dark Thirty and he has Jurassic World coming up and was in Moneyball a few years ago. Not to mention he's in the overwhelmingly popular "Parks and Rec". The guy is on a McConaughey-esque roll right now.
The action and CGI were awesome, as expected from Marvel films. After Thor 1 (easily the worst of the MCU) they all are basically the same with only slight variations that differentiate how much I like them. There's the obligatory hero/es vs. the bad guy(s) to save the world/city and the obligatory sexual tension.
That's also something that really bothered me. Did Gamorra have to be in there solely to be the romantic interest? This time it was actually more insulting than Pepper Potts and Peggy's presence because Gamorra was actually allowed to play with the boys. But of course she wouldn't be allowed to offer up something to the group. Nope. She had to be there as the love interest.
My favorite part was easily Rocket. I am not entirely sure but I just found him to the be the best character. Part of it is because he's a talking, gun-wielding raccoon and thats just insane. Whats weird is that he sounded nothing like Bradley Cooper. Regardless, Rocket is a badass character.
Since all of these Marvel films are basically the same now I really like looking out for the Easter Eggs. Spotted: Dark Elf, Tesseract, and Chitauri.
All of these back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back superhero films are becoming a bit tedious but as long as they keep packing in the same type of great action sequences then I'll probably keep watching them. Overall, another solid Marvel film but I much prefer the Avengers characters.