The latest Marvel movie brings back that retro-futuristic cosmis adventure story made popular in the 1930s by characters such as Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon and Dan Dare. It is basically a dime store novel making the best use of CGI giving us some rogue like characters who banter and blag their way through an adventure that just happens to save the day. And there is nothing wrong with that.
I haven't read the comics this movie is based on as I am not an avid comic book reader. I tend to go for stand alone series with a beginnng, middle and end, and this comic is part of that endless story soup (in the comics) that is Marvel. However, I am a HUGE fan of science fiction pulp as I grew up on the trashy 1980s version of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and that Flash Gordon movie, however, this sidetrack into camp did not stop me from finding a reboot of Buck Rogers as a comic (1981) with a forward by Buster Crabbe that I read over and over again. Comic Vine says this comic came to be due to "the success of the Buck Rogers TV show the New York Times Syndicate decided to revive the classic Buck Rogers newspaper feature and to give it a contemporary sci-fi treatment. The feature, unrelated to the television show, offered the artwork of Gray Morrow with scripts by Jim Lawrence. Volume One offers a full two years of the strip with the black and white dailies and full color Sundays." This was only one example of how the popular culture of the late 1970s/early 1980s reinvented the pulp science fiction/adventure stories, which of course is what directly inlfluences not only Star-Lord himself but the tone and attitude of The Guardians of the Galaxy. The movie wears this homage on its sleeve with nods to the original Star Wars Trilogy and Indiana Jones.
There, of course, have been a lot of discussions about other modern science fiction movies of this tradition such as Luc Besson's The Fifth Element and his recent movie, Lucy. In addition to the anticipated Wachowski siblings' Jupiter Ascending - which was delayed from its summer 2014 release to the beginning of 2015 due to fear of failure at the box office (Warner Brothers must be kicking themselves now for that decision). However, if you enjoyed The Guardians of The Galaxy go and watch Joss Whedon's one season wonder, Firefly, and its subsequent follow up film Serenity. It has a group of misfits who are on the fringes of society, circumventing the law to band together and save the universe. Sound familiar? Also try Farscape. Just do, take my word for it. It is also great.
But back to The Guardians of the Galaxy. This movie knows what it is and keeps true to it. I deliberately kept away from any featurettes, extended trailers, and other promotional elements that are very popular in film marketing today that tends to ruin movies for me. I understand why this type of promotion was done, but I find it makes the movie anticlimatic for me. So I recommend going to see this film with as little sneak peaks as possible, get your popcorn and your coca-cola and set your brain to enjoy.