Wednesday, February 19, 2014

First Impressions: Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Debut Trailer

The first trailer for the highly anticipated (by me) Guardians of the Galaxy, the latest in Marvel's path to cinema dominance, premiered on last night's Jimmy Fallon. For those unfamiliar, the Guardians are a classic Marvel Universe franchise rebooted a few years ago by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning during the Annihilation: Conquest storyline. This lineup, on which the film is based, is somewhat quirky, consisting of everyman Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord; ruthless warrior Gamora, adopted daughter of Avengers post-credit baddie Thanos; other ruthless warrior Drax the Destroyer; gun-toting Rocket Raccoon; and a talking tree named Groot.

So how was the trailer? Take a look:

A few thoughts: I'm surprised by the tone. Marvel films have had their fair share of levity, whether it's Tony Stark's one-liners (more like Tony Snark, am I right?), Thor's fish-out-of-water antics, or the song and dance number in Captain America. But the Guardians trailer seems to go nearly flat out comedy, nearly to the point of parody. Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is bad - and I certainly don't think it'll be reflective of the film as a whole - but it's an interesting gamble when introducing a team for the first time to a large audience. I suppose it helps when you have Chris Pratt, best known for his role as Andy Dwyer on Parks & Rec, as your leading man.

It also seems to be a good take on the DnA series, which combined humor, surprisingly deep character moments, and insane sci-fi action. It's not a scene-for-scene adaptation (where's telepathic Russian dog Cosmo???) but the look and tone of the fan-favorite series seems to have been faithfully replicated.

Overall, I couldn't be more excited for Guardians of the Galaxy. It looks like it will successfully carve it's own unique niche in a film universe that's quickly becoming crowded (and hopefully not overcrowded). It's also nice to see chances being taken on franchises like Guardians and the upcoming Edgar Wright/Paul Rudd Ant-Man. Hopefully they can continue the trend of Marvel's fun, sharp blockbusters.

Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters August 1, 2014.

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