The movie was very enjoyable and we definitely liked it, but I didn't find it quite as wonderful as some reviewers lead me to hope, for some reason. I found myself comparing it with Star Wars: A New Hope (or The Original Movie, as I tend to think of it), with which it has a great deal in common. You've got an ad-hoc band of mismatched adventurers, drawn into a battle against a galactic villain (in this case, Ronan the Accuser in a "Darth Vader/Moff Tarkin" role) featuring a climactic battle in which his enormous starship is destroyed, and so on. Even one of the villains (Nebula) gets away to fight another day. The good guys have to break out of prison--. And there are other parallels.
Major plot differences include the McGuffin that is an "Infinity Gem," one of the most potent artifacts in the Marvel Universe, and closely connected with the mad Titan, Thanos (appearing here in the "Emperor Palpatine" slot). However, I think most of the difference was in tone: although there's quite a bit of humorous dialog, and some incident, in Guardians, in the main the movie takes itself seriously, and the climactic battle is just as grimly fought and drawn out as is the ending of the other recent Marvel films, whereas Star Wars (TOM) had a lighter touch throughout, a quicker, cleaner climax, and a sense that, in general, everyone was just having fun with it all. By the time you get through forty-five minutes of serious combat, the lightness is pretty well gone.
That said, it's a marvelous looking movie, definitely the last word in CGI and special effects. Rocket, the "uplifted" raccoon is perfect, with the best animation of features, fur, ears, etc. of any CGI animal I have seen.
All in all, an enjoyable space opera, which I'm sure will link into future Marvel films in a potentially interesting fashion. One note: we always stay for the end of the credits. This time, we hope the "Easter Egg" was a gag--.
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