My friend brought Guardians of the Galaxy along when she came to visit, because I still hadn't gotten around to seeing it, which has prompted incredulous responses from most of my friends. In my defense, I hadn't really had the time or opportunity back in the summer, and I was more than a little leery of a movie where a pro wrestler was one of the main characters.
It turned out alright. I still like Captain America: The Winter Soldier a lot more, but my fears were largely unfounded. I had already mentally prepared myself to not expect the characters to resemble their Abnett and Lanning-written versions, so that helped. Ronan allying with Thanos was probably the part I found the oddest, but I liked the fact the movie hints at the idea that Ronan's position as an outcast among the Kree is for show. The bit where Glenn Close asks the Kree (who had just signed a peace treaty with the Xandarians) to at least publicly condemn Ronan's murderous actions, and basically gets, "Not our problem" in return, was telling. Ronan may not be some Kree agent posing as an outcast, but the powers that be certainly have no problems with him. It was a nice bit, suggesting how old the conflict is, how not everyone was happy with the way things had been resolved, and wouldn't mind this loose cannon prompting a return of hostilities.
That was probably what I liked most about, was the feeling there was a lot of past history we were only getting parts of. The rivalry between Nebula and Gamora, egged on by Shitty Dad Thanos, Rocket and Groot's history, both alone and as a team. It's still sort of an origin story, but for the characters, it's starting in the middle. They've all lived wild, horrible, crazy lives already, this is just another (hopefully happier) chapter in it. Which was a nice touch in itself, the idea of making them a band of outcasts and misfits who help each other not be alone. Wasn't something that could really happen with The Avengers, since most of them still had someone to lean on. At that point, Thor still had his parents, Tony had Pepper, Natasha and Clint had each other. Steve and Bruce were kind of on their own, but I don't recall it really being played up as much in that movie.
I thought the facial expressions on Rocket were well done, especially his sad face. It was a little heart-wrenching when he'd look sad. I didn't laugh a lot during the movie, but there were a few parts. The "pelvic sorcery" comment, Rocket's "I need his eye" gag. The bit at the end, where the John C. Reilly explains to Rocket that no, he can't take something that belongs to someone else just because he wants it more. Though, given that his family was murdered, shouldn't Drax understand the concept of "murder" as a crime? Maybe it's the fact he was allowed to kill as many of Ronan's soldiers as he wanted, so he can't see why killing isn't always OK. I could buy that.
I would like to see more of Gamora and Nebula, which presumably we will in the sequel, since Nebula's still out there. There's an interesting relationship there, where Gamora seems to have gotten all the love (such as it is) from Thanos, but doesn't want, while Nebula wanted it real badly. So it's hard to say whether she resents Gamora more for being the favorite, or for being able to walk away from it with no regrets So seeing where Nebula goes from here - works independently, tries to be more like Gamora to please Thanos, some other option - and what that means for her next meeting with her sister, that could be cool.
One thing I was surprised about was it was only two hours. Not a complaint, I've just grown used to all the superhero movies being 150 minutes now. Nobody seemed able to do a good job (or a bad one) in less time.