It is no secret that Chris Pratt got ripped to portray Marvel comic book hero Peter Quill. His comedic skills are put to great use as well and he was perfectly cast as the lead. The ragtag team he works with include Zoe Saldana, trading her Avatar blue for green as assassin Gamora (though she does have a blue sister), Rocket Racoon voiced by Bradley Cooper and his muscle, Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel. Josh Brolin voices an uncredited role as Gamora's father Thanos, Benicio Del Toro portrays the Collector and Glenn Close is Nova Prime.
The movie balances sci fi, superhero, and comedy genres with special effects and excellent dialogue. The pop culture references begin immediately with the Awesome Mix Vol 1 mixtape (and subsequently a fantastic soundtrack) in the opening scene and proceed to include the Millenium Falcon, Jackson Pollock, Footloose, and John Stamos. While very mainstream, the movie is also offbeat at times and sometimes delightfully odd. The extensive backstories and amount of villains to keep track of would seem to indicate an effort to remain true to the comic book.
Shout out to the Lees for being able to enjoy Guardians on my new big tv with excellent sound. It's going to make for great Oscar viewing.
Just a couple of the best quotes...
"It's not a purse, it's a knapsack!"
"Well, on my planet, we have a legend about people like you. It's called Footloose. And in it, a great hero, named Kevin Bacon, teaches an entire city full of people with sticks up their butts that, dancing, well, is the greatest thing there is."