But on August 1st myself along with the rest of the world (well at least the US & Canada) will finally get the opportunity to sit down and watch Marvel Studios and James Gunn’s gamble of a space odyssey, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and find out exactly what the hell is going on and how it fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tonight packed IMAX theaters across the country caught a small glimpse of Guardians, wetting the appetite for many fans who know Iron Man and the Hulk but may be a bit fuzzy on what a Star Lord and Groot are.
But first, James Gunn.
A student of the Troma School of Filmmaking, Gunn has been a favorite of mine for years. Between writing The Specials (a superhero movie without any heroics & probably ten years ahead of its time), Slither (giving me my first big taste of Nathan Fillion), and the surreal Super (seriously, stop reading and go watch this now. SHUT UP CRIME!) Gunn has earned a place very close to my cinephile heart. When I heard that Marvel tapped him for this project my interest immediately skyrocketed despite my complete lack of knowledge on Guardians lore.
I’ve always been a fringe comic book reader at best, and even as a child I was more of a DC kid than Marvel beyond my love of X-Men and Captain America. When Marvel Studios kicked off their unified series of films (the aforementioned MCU) in 2008 with Iron Man I was instantly roped in thanks to the charisma of Robert Downey Jr. and the post-credit tease of Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury casually dropping the phrase “Avengers Initiative.” I was all in. Since then I’ve consumed every bit of the MCU from the rebooted Hulk to the fist pumping Avengers to the middling Agents of SHIELD. All of these characters and beats I was at least tangibly knowledgeable of. The Guardians of the Galaxy is a concept I’m completely unfamiliar with, and sold solely on the name of James Gunn. After our seventeen minute sneak preview tonight in Providence, I’m happy to say I’ve never been more excited to jump into the far reaches of the MCU.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Chris Pratt is a freaking Leading Man. Capital L. Capital M. Between this and Jurassic World I have a feeling (Hooked on a Feeling?) he’s going to be VERY in demand. I love the way he plays Quill, especially in the short scene of him going off about someone touching his Walkman and playing “his” music.
- The preview was in IMAX 3D, and despite my loathing for the 3D format I must admit it was very well done. Colors were vibrant, the CGI blended seamlessly with the live action surroundings (I can’t tell you how much I love these guys playing in physical, real sets), and the action was clear to see and follow.
- Bradley Cooper (or the voice of Bradley Cooper) really sells the character of Rocket, and kind of fades into the part. There were many parts of the preview where I couldn’t even recognize his voice.
- Dat’ soundtrack.
- Everyone had a chance to shine in the preview shown, which prominently featured the prison breakout and played every character to their strengths, giving them each a showcase moment. Plus who doesn’t love a scrappy underdog story of a band of misfits coming together with their backs up against the wall to become galactic heroes and I assume BFFs forever.
- Not a lot shown of the villains in both the trailers and this preview. I like that, because that means this is all just world building and character beats leaving the actual plot unspoiled and spelled out for everyone.
- Michael Rooker is in it. Ticket bought.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy opens nationwide on Friday August 1st.