If Guardians of the Galaxy is an origin story, it is also a satire of the origin story, one that emphasizes the power of the "We" over that of the "Chosen One."
Blessed with a loose, anarchic B-picture soul that encourages you to enjoy yourself even when you're not quite sure what's going on, the scruffy Guardians is irreverent in a way that can bring the first Star Wars to mind.
The lightly derisive, live-action-cartoon tone robs the movie of any majesty, even of the comic-book type, and the many violent deaths of their suitable gravity.
J. R. Jones
These meager pleasures are swallowed up in all the frantic action and overblown CG sequences.
Chris Pratt, overflowing with charisma, plays the leader of the pack of misfits, and his blissed-out space cowboy (with a love for seventies music) is so full of good will that he buoys the film and its requisite whizbang special effects.
Director and co-writer James Gunn brings a giddiness and a wondrous, endless sense of why-the-hell-not? possibility that's reminiscent of Star Wars.
Pratt is their prime asset for turning the comedy up to 11. With him playing Star-Lord, you never question what Quill brings to the team: a sparkling, cracked esprit de corps.
It may be a mess, but it's an extremely good-natured mess, full of humor and warmth. More surprising still, the very elements that seemed most likely to ruin the movie-the tree-man, the talking raccoon-account for much of its improbable charm.
Gunn appears to remember the high of certain kinds of moviegoing, where when the credits are over, all you want to do is get back in line and enjoy the whole thing again.