Reelz’s review published on Letterboxd:
"We are Groot."
When the Guardians are actually all together for the first time in Guardians of the Galaxy, I proceeded to pull out my wallet, take out whatever cash I had in it, and started throwing my money at the screen. People that were sitting in the first few front rows started jumping up and picking up the cash but I yelled out, "no, you bastards, that's for James Gunn and every single person that worked on this movie because it's fucking awesome!" Everyone in the audience then looked at each other, pulled out their own wallets, and cash started raining towards the screen. My two friends were sitting next to me and they even pulled out their wallets and started throwing their chump change towards the front of the theater. As I looked towards the screen, it was if everything was playing out in slow motion: money, credit cards, Chuck E. Cheese tokens, and even bits of string from the little kids were raining down onto the screen as a talking raccoon and a tree were busy fending off a horde of bad guys with a rocket launcher.
It was at this moment that I knew that this movie was something else entirely.
A big part of what makes Guardians work so well is its five main leads: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel. Never before have I seen such a group of unlikely heroes have such unparalleled and unbreakable chemistry. I mean, who ever thought that a fucking tree, a talking raccoon, and a ridiculously bulked up guy can steal the entire show by just appearing in the same shot?
The two characters that ultimately do steal the show for me are Rocket and Drax. Their sense of humor and the way their arcs change over the duration of the movie make them feel different than the normal superheroes you see in every other superhero film. After seeing Bautista as a "just-to-be-there" character in Riddick, I didn't have much anticipation for him going into Guardians because I thought he was going to copy and paste his performance from before and deliver the same one here; I couldn't have been more wrong. Bautista delivers one of the best performances of the movie and I'm incredibly optimistic about his future as an actor (I think he'll turn into another Dwayne Johnson).
But the thing I just realized about Guardians is that there isn't a weak link in the entire group. Reflecting back on Boyhood, The Beatles are brought up in that movie and how they were the greatest band ever because there was a perfect sense of balance between Paul, John, George, and Ringo. I personally like to think that the Guardians are The Beatles of the superhero universe because they are each 20% of a full 100%. If Rocket outshines Groot at one point, Groot will come back a scene later and outshine Rocket. Every single character has a scene or sequence where they are able to shine and this is what makes Guardians so much different from any other superhero movie out there. One of my friends liked Gamora the best while I liked Rocket the best. Everyone will have a different favorite character in the movie but in reality, together, the five Guardians make one hell of a great fucking team because they are a full 100%
Guardians made me feel genuine emotions as I watched it, which has never happened with a superhero movie before, because each of the five characters in it are so fleshed out and really feel human, despite literally being the complete opposite of being so.
When a movie can make an entire audience laugh and cheer when a giant plant/tree thing beats the living shit out of a group of 20 people, you know you have something fantastic and truly special on your hands.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie that's full of heart and soul and for a superhero/space movie to achieve that sort of feat is something that I have never seen done before. There's a perfect blend of action, humor, and emotion to deliver a tasty smoothie that is completely unparalleled when compared to other films/smoothies of its genre.
The Guardians are The Beatles of the superhero universe and, just like the greatest band of all time, are already starting off incredibly strong.
And they haven't even reached Abbey Road yet.