Review is from my 2014 Cinema outing with my son:
I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy IMAX 3D with my six year old son and, after being slightly underwhelmed by the trailers, I am very pleased to report that we both thoroughly enjoyed it. Not as hyperbolically (is that a word?) good as some reviews have suggested, nor would I place it above The Avengers, but for two hours entertainment that barely misses a beat and will leave a smile on your face when the credits roll, this has to be in the top tier of this summer's blockbuster event movies.
Let's get some of the negative stuff out of the way. For a family adventure movie - ok I acknowledge it's a 12a - that I want to take my kids to see, it does have some unnecessary adult tinged humour and swearing which wouldn't have hurt the movie if they had been exiled to the darker side of the galaxy. That's just from a parents perspective, if it was just me then obviously no problem at all. Also, I think I missed it, but I wasn't sure of Ronan the Accuser's beef with Xander and Nova Prime, why he wanted to destroy the planet? Is it a long running feud between Xander and Kree and he didn't like the peace treaty? Just wasn't sure about the root of his hatred.
The Guardians themselves are a little bland. I like Chris Pratt - well, I've only actually seen him in The 5 Year Engagement and Zero Dark Thirty, and thought he was great in the former - but his Peter Quill could have been played just as well by someone like Ryan Reynolds. Rocket Racoon didn't make much of an impression, and Drax the Destroyer has his moments. Ironically, the character that ends up stealing the show is made of wood. Yes, we both loved Groot. The Avengers had Hulk, and Guardians has Groot. Marvel movies have the knack for scene stealing characters, and Groot manages to be the most fun whilst only ever having one line of dialogue. I also really liked Ronan the Accuser; he's no Darth Vader and not as fun as Loki, but as intimidating villains go, he's not too shabby. Nice hammer too.
The opening homage to Raiders is fantastic, as we are introduced to Star Lord. The guys got loads of neat gadgets and I really want that mask/helmet! From there, it zips along at a lovely pace as we see how the Guardians are brought together and find out about Ronan's nefarious plans which revolve around a mysterious orb. There's always an action scene/set piece around the corner (although nothing particularly memorable), and my son only asked me a couple of times when the film was going to end (a sign of boredom). Towards the final part of the movie, just when I thought it was starting to run out of gas, it manages to get it back for the last hurrah on the way to an appropriately crowd-pleasing climax.
The humorous tongue-in-cheek tone that is a constant throughout the movie was a good decision although rather hit and miss. I wasn't laughing out loud, more so in a frequent state of amusement at the events unfolding on-screen. The cinema audience in attendance was much the same. The dialogue lacked the sharpness and zingers featured in The Avengers and it was left to the visual gags that had my son and I chuckling away in our seats.
I must also mention that the 3d IMAX was excellent, and I couldn't tell that it was a post conversion job. IMAX sound was as amazing as you might expect. I definitely want to see it again, which is always a good thing, and I fancy a D-box viewing.