I haven't had that much fun at a movie utterly devoid of a story in ages.
There are about 3 plot points in the entire film. I was about 3/4 of the way through and said to myself-- oh... this IS the storyline. Nothing else is actually going to happen.
In theory that should be bad, but I love the characters so much I was tricked into not caring. That probably means I wouldn't watch it again in fear it would fall apart.
How many movies over the last few years have you watched and liked until the damn plot took over? It feels like we're so in tune to the basic Hollywood formula that no matter what, the big climax feels boring. Marvel movies are no exception, particularly since most of them had meh villains and plots that don't make the greatest sense in the world (the first Guardians no exception). This movie wasn't any different. Outside of the bits we already saw most of from the Trailer with Rocket and Groot, there really wasn't much memorable about the climax after Peter shoots Kurt Russell. Well, there was the Pac-Man visual gag (totally called out "Be Pac-Man, be Pac-Man" just before it happened) and Groot crying as the ground tried to swallow him up.
I think they made a good choice in letting their characters run wild through 90% of the movie and making the storyline secondary to the little themes that had going. Strangely enough, the character that served as the glue for the whole movie was probably Drax. I liked him well enough in Guardians of the Galaxy, but my goodness, he just reached full bloom here. Almost every scene he was in was comic gold, from the film's first good joke about nipple chaffing and paying it off later, to sneaking up on Peter for surprise words of wisdom on his need to find a pathetic woman such as himself, inquiring about Ego's penis, declaring his humbleness, and putting together the movie's best running gag by declaring Mantis repulsive.
He even made a turd joke funny.
If there had been a stronger plot running the movie, little character moments like that probably would have been crowded out in order to push the narrative forward. And, while I've seen the Hollywood formula done to death to the point of pretty much checking off the boxes as we get to the end of movies, wallowing in the fun of these guys, including the bad guys, kept the movie fresh and interesting. And, yeah, makes me want to see it again.
Honestly, if that Yondu B-story hadn't been there the movie would have fallen flat. I've never seen a story where the heroes were pretty much narratively passive the entire time.
That was the weakest part of the movie for me. Rocket was the least successful of the main characters and the violence of that whole prison break was just so tonally separate from the rest of the movie. Plus they easily had the least entertaining of the three camps of villains in the movie. You go from Peter throwing an energy ball with his daddy to Yondu going on a 10 minute killing spree. I don't mind the B-story in theory, I just don't think it meshed with the rest of the movie all that well.
Once they got back to the other characters, things were fine ("I'm Mary Poppins y'all!"). But I'll be just getting through those scenes in the middle I think.
Yeah, baby Groot is fun but it was a little too much.
You hush your mouth.