Guardians of the Galaxy trailer – reaction

The tenth film to be released in the Marvel cinematic universe and the second this year following on from the spring release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy is a leftfield choice in the deep space location, the obviously more humorous style and that while it takes the lead of The Avengers in featuring an ensemble, unlike that mighty crushing blockbuster cast, none of the characters featured have been established in their own lead up movies or are well known beyond the, admittedly expansive, field of comic enthusiasts. Also strange is the choice of director, James Gunn, a man with extensive screenwriting experience but whose best known feature as director was his 2006 debut, the science fiction comedy horror mashup Slither, which failed to make a significant impact at the box office. While the characters may be unknown the cast is possibly one of the strongest Marvel have assembled, most with experience in drama and comedy, indicating that action and laughs are to be the order of the day.

Glenn Jones – Personally I can’t wait for this. What might be seen as a random release from Marvel will actually help to pave the path forward for the next wave of Avengers led movies. It looks fun and fast paced and it’s also a potential new foray into space led science fiction from the ‘house of ideas,’ offering a fun alternative to established franchises that are now feeling a little weathered with age.

The Collector is there, the Nova Corps are featured and could future sequels involve Galactus and the Silver Surfer amongst other cosmic level Marvel characters? Kudos to Marvel, they’ve taken some of their most obscure characters (Rocket Racoon and Groot) and made them part of what will definately be a summer blockbusting movie, whilst DC are still unsure what to do with Wonder Woman, who so far has only appeared side by side with Batman and Superman in a Lego movie.

Les Anderson – I like the look of it but am hoping for something more than just the usual crash bang wallop. The lack of well-known characters makes for a difficult sell but the (possibly) gratuitous glistening torso shot might mitigate that… In a strange way it reminds me of a jacked-up version of Farscape. I’ll definitely watch it at the cinema.

Michael Flett – Typical James Gunn, the momentous buildup, then bring on the funny, and totally deflate any pomposity it could be accused of. After Thor: The Dark World, which wasn’t dark as in deep and serious but just mopey and gloomy and the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier which hopefully will achieve a more mature tone, this seems to be set up as the antidote, which is probably a shrewd marketing move. It’s a lot easier to sell unknown characters living in the moment in a comedy than a heavy drama, and with no interest for me on the basis of where the story links to either the Marvel comic or movie universe, it’s just as well they’re selling it on that basis, because if it had looked miserable I would have said my life is to short for that.

The trailer does nothing to sell the plot, it’s all about introducing the characters and setting the tone, but that’s a good place to start. I would say Chris Pratt seems to be having a whale of a time, but that’s unfair to single him out, as I think everyone was having a blast on this set, but it’s unusual to lead a film, even an ensemble, with an actor who isn’t a household name, though that will likely change after this. Though not large, he does have a dedicated fanbase who will suddenly become very jealous of the amount of attention their formerly personal idol receives when he goes global.

And what a cast! Although John C Reilly and Zoë Saldana are the only ones immediately recognisable – and doesn’t she look beautiful – they’ve got Vin Diesel and Dave Bautista, last seen together on opposite sides in Riddick (just waiting for some wit to quip how appropriate for our Vin to be playing a piece of wood), Bradley Cooper, always value for money, Lee Pace, whom I’ve been a fan of from Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies and The Fall, Michael Rooker (who of course was in Slither), Karen Gillan (Come along, Pond!), Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro… If the script is strong enough, there really is no way this should fail. Slither wasn’t a perfect first feature, but Gunn’s script for the remake of Dawn of the Dead was unexpectedly excellent, so fingers crossed for some summer fun.

Sam Read – As with new comic series, when a new film is announced I often have a peek at what the writer/director (read: write/artist in comics) has done before, not just the property involved, in order to gauge whether it might be something I might fancy keeping an eye on. So when Marvel announced Guardians, a comic franchise I was only mildly familiar with at best (and pretty unsighted on at worst), would be taking to the silver screen, the ‘creative team’ behind it was always going to be the hook.

Seeing that this was efficiently a full-on James Gunn joint, with him screenwriting and directing, my ears pricked up. A fan of his work as writer/director on both Super and Slither, plus his script for the bonkers remake of Dawn of the Dead, I was excited, though slightly confused. Gunn’s smartarse, gonzo style seemed at odds with Marvel’s reverential and aiming-for-epic approach to its super hero properties, but this just made the choice more fascinating.

Not a ongoing concern at the time of the films announcement, the Guardians comic was re-lanched as part of the Marvel NOW generation in its wake. So far it has proven to be a solid, if unspectacular ‘down-the-line’ cosmic adventure title which though entertaining, has yet to stamp any unique personality on the team, giving Gunn et al pretty much carte blanche to impose themselves on a property via the movie. And from the looks of this trailer, that is exactly what will happen.

From the sardonic introduction of Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord who acts emba
rrassed at the absurdity of his title, to a work-weary John C Reilly and his fellow Nova Corps officer lazily insulting the team’s odd membership, to the perfectly-bizarre look of Rocket Racoon and Groot (the former a sub-3-foot mammal with a penchant for 3-foot-plus weaponry, and the latter a huge man-tree), this looks to be the most original and envelope-pushing Marvel Studios creation yet.

With all of this is wrapped up tight in the sonic delight of Hooked on a Feeling, evoking the swaggering cool of Reservoir Dogs, from which it is culled, I for one am very eager to seeing more of this film, as soon as possible.

On a side note; I fully expect people to be running to their local comic shop asking what Guardians comics are available after seeing this, and with the second collected volume of the current series only having hit the shelves last week I tip my cap to the clever timing of Marvel on this one.  And with the fact that a Guardians comic is one of ‘The House of Ideas’ Free Comic Book Day offerings (first weekend in May everyone!), the cover of which shows the team wearing duds a lot closer to the movie versions than their current get-ups, I foresee this franchise/super-team blowing up all over the place in 2014. Well played Marvel, well played.

Brian Robinson – This is right up my street and has just jumped up to number one position as my most anticipated summer movie for 2014. Guardians is a hard sell to audiences expecting the same familiar characters/tropes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and this trailer does a superb job of introducing all the shiny, new things to us, without giving any of the plot away, keeping it to introducing the new guys, not what they’re doing just yet. My love of daft space fantasy is no secret and this just looks spectacular.

Amazing fantasy design and world building sat right next to what appears to be a great tone, combining comedy drawn from the characters (the space cops seem to know how dumb a name Star-Lord is) instead of winks to the camera, normally a sign the filmmakers don’t know what they’ve got; not so in this case!

Peter Quill/Star-Lord looks to be exactly the kind of space hero kids of the eighties wanted to be (Han Solo, but not quite as cool as he thinks). I know I did. And Karen Gillan looks absolutely amazing as Nebula (sigh…). This looks to promise not just be world building but galaxy building for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All that and an angry racoon with a blaster who looks like he might be an amazing character. More please!

Wes May – Ever since I heard that Marvel was making the cult comic Guardians of the Galaxy into one of their Phase Two films, I was alternately excited by the prospect of a live action film about these outrageous and abhorred misfits (one is a RACCOON and one is a TREE, fer Christ’s sake!). But the kind of comedic tack taken in this first trailer emphasises the humorous aspects of the Brian Bendis written comic while also showcasing the over-the-top action in a way that gives me hope for a rollicking good time at the cinema. And don’t even get me started on the adorable Chris Pratt’s shirtless scene!

It’s either gonna be a laughing-stock and make $150 million or work like gangbusters and make $300 million. Either way, Marvel has another huge hit on their hands.

Owen Williams – To say the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer filled me with glee is something of an understatement. Until the announcement back in 2012 I had no idea who these Guardians were, and I consider myself pretty well versed in the universe of comics.

I still don’t know much about them and, up until the release of the trailer, all I knew of the film was that there’s a talking raccoon in it along with Karen Gillan who shaved her head for the role. After the two minutes and twenty six seconds that it took to watch the trailer… I still don’t know much about the film. What’s the plot? Haven’t got a clue. Who’s the villain? No idea. What are they guarding the galaxy from? Your guess is as good as mine.

The inaugural trailer, despite featuring all of the Guardians, focusses on the not-very-impressively-named Star-Lord, or Peter Quill as he’s known to everyone else. This, presumably, is because Quill is the source of the comedy in the film, as well as being the leader of the group. There’s no reason that he can’t be both, in the same way that Mal Reynolds got all of the best lines in Firefly and Serenity whilst at the same time being an utterly ruthless captain.

I know nothing about the film. The characters are thinly sketched over the course of a Usual Suspects line up and, save for Quill, none of them get a line but… it just looks so cool! Sure, they’ve emphasised the humour, but they do a damn good job of it. Aliens, intergalactic battles, genetically modified animals and nudity, all to the sound of Hooked on a Feeling? It looks like immense fun, which is something that I am all for. The effects look great and they’ve assembled a top notch cast to compete with the Avengers. I’m fairly certain that this one trailer has pushed Guardians of the Galaxy to the top of the “most anticipated movie” list for many people. But next time, I want more Rocket.

Guardians of the Galaxy is released on 1st August