I know I just saw a Marvel movie because there was the great Marvel logo in the opening, there where also Marvel Comics easter eggs throughout the film: Thanos, The Collector and The Other were in it and there was a post credits scene. However I came out of the theater felling like "Okay when is the next one?" but not because it was so amazing to me but because I felt like I need more to go on. I think it was the least thought out Marvel film to date raising more issues than explaining them.
I know it was meant to be a separate storyline, but I think they made it too isolated. Peter Quill aka Star Lord (Chris Pratt) is abducted by aliens as a boy apparently at the request of his alien father. Fine, but for whatever reason he was not turned over to his dad. So Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his crew adopt him and teach him the art of stealing and apparently also space flight. Here is my first issue: Why wouldn't Star Lord make a bee line back to earth in his spaceship? At least to be all "Hey I was abducted by aliens and check out the cool things I have learned" or even just to go home.
My second disconnect was all the humans on Xandar and in the Kyln..who are these people and where are the from?..If they are not Terrans or Asgardians then why not explain a little bit why english speaking human looking people would populate this far off sector of the galaxy. At least in the Star Wars films different languages were spoken even if all the humanoids had British accents except Han and the Skywalker twins (Luke and Leia). I know Thanos and the Other also spoke english and maybe thats a universal language in the MCU so I guess I can let that go.
What I can't let go of though is the missed opportunity to establish the earth connection with this film. If as Nick Fury (Sam Jackson) noted to the world council at the end of The Avengers (2012) the defeat of The Chitauri put the universe on notice that earth was not to be messed with. So why then does Star Lord reference Billy the Kid etc when speaking about his home planets badasses? Shouldn't he have said something about The Avengers? Maybe he didn't get the news..Okay but why would nobody else mention any of that when speaking of Terrans?..Also why wouldn't The Collector say anything about possessing the Aether? ..not even to tell his assistant "Hey don't put this next to that!"
Thanos was great to see further developed, but why no mention of his defeat by the Avengers or at least his plans for revenge. I know the connection will come later but I think there were natural points available to establish a link. Marvel should have been a little more concerned with saying "Hey this is something new but it totally connects with the other stuff". I am sure casual movie goers may have known its a Marvel film but aside from having someone remind them that Thanos was in the post credit scene in Avengers I don't see how they would connect this film to the other seven.
If, in fact Marvel is planning on introducing all the rumored characters we read of like Ms. Marvel,The Inhumans and Nova this would have been a perfect time to at least reference or name drop like how Captain America:The Winter Soldier did with Dr. Strange. Except for the post credits scene and The Guardians themselves they didn't introduce anyone of note.
So for those reasons I feel more like I just read a one off comic (or saw a full length One Shot) as opposed to the newest part of a larger story as each previous Marvel film has been. I did enjoy the film though.