It’s been barely 24 hours since the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer was released and it has already topped 4 million views on YouTube. I was surprised by the positive buzz over it in my office today, mostly from non-comic book readers (including one of my co-workers that admitted he’s never read a comic book in his life – you know who you are…).
When I first learned that Marvel Studios had green-lit Guardians of the Galaxy, my initial reactions were surprise and skepticism. Considering the higher profile characters and super teams that have yet to get the big screen treatment (Doctor Strange, Black Panther), I was surprised Guardians was even on the cinematic radar. I’ve only read a handful of GotG comics, so while I’m hopeful the film version of Guardians of the Galaxy will continue Marvel Studios’ current positive streak at the box office, I’m not as emotionally connected to the characters or canon as I would be to the Fantastic Four, Alpha Flight or even the New Mutants.
Before I even watched the Guardians trailer, I was convinced I wouldn’t like it. Maybe a better choice of words would be that I was convinced there wouldn’t be enough in it to make me want to give the film a chance. But I’ll admit, I liked what I saw though not without a few concerns.
A solid cast: Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon), Vin Diesel (Groot), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Benicio Del Toro (the Collector), Djimon Hounsou (Korath the Pursuer), Glenn Close (Commander Rael), John C. Reilly (Rhomann Dey)
The effects, production design and makeup/costumes show that Marvel Studios saw something in the Guardians of the Galaxy and didn’t skimp on the budget.
The trailer doesn’t give any indication as to what the movie is about. Maybe the “Who are these guys?” element of the trailer will drum up initial curiosity/interest in the film, but I can’t help but wonder what it might be lacking in plot.
The reliance on comedy in the trailer has me concerned that the studio is trying to make the film more “accessible” to a non-comic reading audience by having the film make fun of itself rather than creating a story true to the GotG canon. Nothing irks me more than a comic book movie that gives a wink to the audience as if to say, “We know comics aren’t cool, but this is!” Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord reminded me of Bill Pullman’s character Lone Starr in Spaceballs.
But in spite of my concerns, I’ll still hold out hope that Guardians of the Galaxy is a good film that both comic readers and non-comic book readers will enjoy, and that it will be successful enough at the box office to add more comic book films to the pipeline.
Guardians of the Galaxy opens in theaters August 1, 2014.
On a side note, BleedingCool.com posted this article on Rocket Raccoon co-creator Bill Mantlo. A significant portion of my comic book collection growing up was written by Mantlo, with my favorite titles Micronauts, ROM: Spaceknight and Cloak & Dagger. In 1992 Mantlo was the victim of a hit and run accident that caused a traumatic brain injury and he has required ongoing care ever since. I made my donation tonight. I hope this article will inspire other fans of his work to also make a contribution towards the cost of his care.