A slight warning, spoilers may occur here - look away now if you don't want to see :)
Anybody who watched Guardians of the Galaxy will know that it was THE breakout film in Marvel's Phase Two. It was also arguably Marvel's biggest risk since the release of Iron Man at the birth of the MCU. The characters were not that well known and only dedicated Marvel fans would have known about them. But it is certainly safe to say that they are in the public eye now!
Star Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon and Groot were a ragtag group that were brought together by chance, but ultimately become a most effective team. But what were the best moments in the film? Let's have a look, shall we?
Enter: Star Lord
Peter Quill was a man abducted from his home on Earth as a child. Raised by outlaws, he went on to become a feared outlaw himself, known throughout the galaxy... Or so he thought. Our introduction to the character over the opening credits immediately sets the tone for the film and straight away you know that this will be different to the other Marvel films. His outrageous dancing to Redbone's Come and Get Your Love tell you that you're in for a fun ride (I actually heard the song in a shop and had to try really hard not to dance!). Then, his attempts to intimidate Korath fall on deaf ears because the soldier has never heard of him. Through sheer ingenuity, Star Lord manages to escape his captor and we are given an insight into his character.
The guardians are imprisoned after causing havoc on Xandar when Quill attempts to sell the orb he acquired previously. This leads to the team's first official team up in their attempts to escape. The team bond while they are being led to their cells by formally introducing themselves. Eventually, they also come across Drax the Destroyer, who has issues with Gamora, but these issues are put to one side as he helps the guardians escape. Rocket Raccoon comes up with a plan that requires absolute precision, but Groot decides to ignore it, so they have to wing it. This leads to a fantastic set-piece in which Rocket flies the prison control tower out of the complex using the magic of magnets!
A Giant Severed Head?!
As the most cosmic entry of the MCU so far, Guardians of the Galaxy opened the door for the introduction of some of the more outlandish locations in the Marvel Universe. Knowhere is certainly a great example of this. The whole place is the severed head of a god which has many inhabitants, all of whom are trying to mine the valuable materials from within (brain cells and such). This particular location is significant because it directly references the existence of the Celestials (god-like beings in the Marvel Universe). Could this mean we are not far away from the coming of a certain World Eater? Knowhere is also the location where Star Lord tells Gamora the legend of the great hero, Kevin Bacon, with yet another brilliant line!
Guardians of the Galaxy introduced another significant element of the Marvel Universe - the infinity stones. There had been a number of powerful objects in the previous films (the tesseract, the aether), but never before had they been named as Infinity Stones. Of course, this leads the way on to the Avengers threequel Avengers: Infinity War as the stones are hugely important in that storyline.
I Have a Plan
After discovering Ronan intends to destroy Xandar, the guardians ally themselves with Quill's surrogate father, Yondu. They then have to decide how to beat Ronan once and for all. Rocket Raccoon had been the brains of all of the guardian's plans before this moment, but Star Lord took charge here. Rocket's exchange with Groot after hearing Star Lord has 12% of a plan is brilliant. As viewers, we don't actually know if Rocket can understand Groot, but he manages to convince himself that they should listen to Star Lord.
Dance Off Bro!
After successfully bringing down the Dark Aster, the guardians finally confront Ronan. Armed with an infinity stone, it seems that the guardians are hopelessly outmatched... Until Star Lord starts dancing. This tactic seems to momentarily distract Ronan, which allows Drax and Rocket to remove the infinity stone from Ronan's hammer and level the field. Somehow, Star Lord is able to hold on to the infinity stone without being vaporised, then he uses the stone's power (and the power of friendship!) to defeat Ronan.
I Am Groot!
Groot is undeniably the breakout character of the film. His humour, wit and general character are all perfectly suited to the tone of the film. All of this is done by uttering 3 words (okay, technically 4, but SPOILERS!), "I am Groot!". Imagine how many times Vin Diesel will have said this during the shoot! Somehow, he manages to nail it every time. Groot's sacrifice to save the guardians is a true act of heroism so it was only just that Groot would return and, after missing the dance off, he could finally show us his moves!
There were so many great moments from Guardians of the Galaxy, I know that I'll have missed some. I could have written for hours about this but I wanted to keep it fairly selective. So, if you have any favourite moments that I've missed, please comment and let me know!