Back when Marvel first announced their intention to adapt obscure-even-by-nerd-standards Guardians of the Galaxy and everyone went “What? WHO?” there was some not-so-quiet snickering throughout the industry. The prevailing attitude among rival studios and development teams was, Finally. They’re overreaching, and they will fall. Even as trailers began rolling out and they looked great, questions remained. Is it too esoteric, too nerdy, too weird? There’s no name-brand actor to front the project (Chris Pratt is not yet a proper movie star), two of the leads are CG animations of a space ent and a gun-toting raccoon, and where The Avengers got a five-movie build-up to introduce the characters, Guardians has to do it all in one go. It’s too much! It HAS to be too much.
But then that Ant-Man stuff started and as things went to hell on that project, James Gunn quietly finished Guardians with no one standing over his shoulder. And the result. Is. FANTASTIC. It’s Marvel does Spaceballs on steroids—easily the funniest movie Marvel’s made yet, with eye-popping visuals (if the transfers weren’t so consistently crap I wouldn’t mind seeing this one in 3D), and a star-making performance from Pratt. I’ve been saying it all year but now I have empirical evidence to back me up—Pratt is going to be huge. He’s funny, charming and handsome, with a great screen presence, and he has a real talent for selling the green screen stuff. Watching his interactions with Rocket and Groot it’s easy to forget they’re not really there. He looks totally natural talking to what was empty space and tennis balls on set.
The new international trailer for Guardians shows that skill off as it features lots of Pratt as Peter Quill and Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) sniping at one another. We also get to see a little of Quill’s back story and set up the stakes of the movie. There’s a glowy thingy (isn’t there always?) and everyone wants it, and the Guardians come together to stop the bad guy (an unrecognizable Lee Pace) from getting it. The trailers aren’t giving up much on the villain front, but suffice it to say that Guardians has virtually nothing to do with The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but does lay some pipe for The Avengers: The One With Thanos, due in 2018.
The new trailer puts a lot of emphasis on scope and action (big and bigger), but the movie is SO funny. A lot of that has to do with Rocket Raccoon, who is just bananas, as a character, but also benefits from a strong vocal performance from Cooper. A lot of people passed on that role. Once again, BCoop gets the last laugh.