Of all the Marvel films we’ve seen so far, the biggest wild card has to be Guardians of the Galaxy. Not only is it the weirdest in concept – a sort of ragtag intergalactic A-Team – but it has no hugely mainstream characters: Star-Lord? Drax the Destroyer? Groot? With a likely hundred million-and-something budget and a director whose biggest financial success is probably as writer on Scooby-Doo, Guardians of the Galaxy could either be the franchise’s first flop or catapult the MCU into a brave new world. With that in mind, we take a closer look at the film’s first trailer, which made its debut last night.
Opening portentously enough amidst the ornate ruins of some fallen temple, we gain our first look at Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord (played by Parks & Rec star Chris Pratt). Indiana Jones in a burgundy trench coat, no sooner has he taken his prize than– “DROP IT!” Cue a pissed-off Korath (Djimon Hounsou) holding a weapon on him. Quill’s prize – an orb – ends up on the floor. Demands for his name meet with a musical crescendo and… “Star-Lord”. Korath’s reaction: “Who?” Soon enough, Quill is in custody and Nova Corp officer Rhomann Dey (John C. Reilly) is making the obligatory introductions. We have the hulking, scarred-up Drax AKA The Destroyer (Dave Bautista) who’s been on a rampage of destruction across the universe, looking for vengeance for the death of his family. Next, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) – green soldier and assassin with a smirk. Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) is a raccoon who likes to steal cars, apparently; also, spitting. The Ent-like Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) is his “personal houseplant/muscle”. Quill, as it transpires, is a petty thug and drunkard. The only person who calls him “Star-Lord”? Himself. Cue middle finger joke: “I’m sorry, I didn’t know how this machine worked.” So far so (un)Usual Suspects. Peter Quill takes issue to a guard listening to his Walkman and gets himself electric-batoned, and the montage kicks in! Spaceships, alien worlds, determined walking, prison, Rocket Raccoon shooting up the joint, Chris Pratt shirtless (and ripped!), deadly, blue and bald-headed Nebula (Karen Gillan), a glimpse of The Collector (Benicio Del Toro) violence, explosions… and all set to Blue Swede’s “Hooked On a Feeling”. Then it’s back to Rhomann Dey for summing-up duties: “They call themselves The Guardians of the Galaxy”. It’s Peter Serafinowicz who gets the punch-line, though: “What a bunch of a-holes”. The chorus comes back in for our first shot of The Guardians altogether in a lineup. Quill looks bored. It’s sorta cute.
What do you think? Are you pleased with the absence of spoilers or annoyed by the lack of plot? Does the film’s free-range comic weirdness appeal or is the use of obscure ’70s pop a step too far? In any case, give us a shout and if you haven’t seen it, check this out.