Following his mother's death, a young Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is abducted from Earth by some blue skinned bandits. 26 years later, Peter is on the planet Morag attempting to steal an orb of some description. However, Peter got more than he bargained for as it turns out he is not the only one interested in the orb as the Kree race are also keen to get their dirty hands on it. Peter escapes, returns to Xander but is ambushed by Gamore (Zoe Saldana) and team consisting of a raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and a tree with limited vocabulary (Vin Diesel). The four of them, finding out that the Kree intend to destroy the galaxy with the orb team up with a guy they met in prison and inadvertently become the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Credit where credit is due, the only modern film studio that can produce good films at a consistent level is Pixar, this was until Marvel have proved to be equally capable at producing films in high volume but also great quality. Even the recent Marvel films that are among the least popular always have something about them that makes them watchable (Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 2). Guardians of the Galaxy, a brand new film franchise, gets off to the perfect start as the film is right up there with the best of the Marvel films.
Guardians of the Galaxy is in its element when the main five the characters (the guardians of the galaxy) are interacting with one another. In recent years, Marvel films have excelled at having amusing and well written characters which manage to take any some of the problems caused the relatively threat and tension free action sequences. Perhaps it is just a limitation of the genre (and many big Hollywood franchise movies) but there is no tension or threat in the many action sequences because the only people who are going to die are the cannon fodder. These action sequences are, however, visually entertaining and never boring.
The same issue of tension free action scenes is apparent with Guardians of the Galaxy, no matter how much I liked the characters I never felt the sense of danger that would elevate the average action sequence to the exceptional. However, the creative and entertaining characters interactions with one another are what makes the film as much fun as it is. Chris Pratt shows he has genuine charisma in the lead role which resembles that Han Solo and Marty Mcfly mixed together (Pratt said so himself). Bradley Cooper's Rocket is also entertaining, his relationship with Grood is much like the one between Han Solo and Chewbacca as only Rocket can understand Grood.
Zoe Salanda and Dave Bautista are also very enjoyable as well, but the villains are a tad disappointing (with the exception of Josh Brolin's Thanos who looks a potentially menacing villain for the future) with Lee Pace's Ronan the Accuser lacking the menacing figure that Thanos would have certainly made. Despite the sketchily written villains, director James Gunn does an excellent job maintaining a constant pace as well as contributing to an exciting and well written script.
People bemoan modern Hollywood for lacking ideas, Marvel on their part are frequently producing sequels, but certainly they show no lack of effort and if their output is regularly this good then keep the sequels coming (but original ideas are just as welcome).