Luke Owen shares his thoughts on the 17-minute preview of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy…
“People don’t know who the Guardians of the Galaxy are. But you know what? I didn’t know who RoboCop was before I saw the movie as a kid, I didn’t know Star Wars before I saw it as a kid, I didn’t know who Indiana Jones was before I saw the movie as a kid”.
– Kevin Fiege
Flickering Myth was in attendance to see the 17-minute preview of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (which was shown in the States last week) ahead of its UK release on July 31st. Kevin Fiege was keen to note that the film was still in its final stages of post-production (which must be IMAX tweaks as James Gunn said he was already done) but we were treated to a full scene and a trailer sizzle reel at the end. We will beseeing the full film next Wednesday but for now, here’s what we made of the footage.
Wow. This looks like fun.
We were told that the footage was from the end of act one and the start of act two and is the follow on from the first trailer where John C. Reilly is running down their rap sheets. As you would imagine, this scene is slightly longer, but not much longer than the trailer. From there we see Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill argue with a guard for his Walkman back, before he and the rest of the team are punished and tortured and head into the mess hall of the prison where they plan their escape and a brilliantly fun action scene ensues. The 17-minutes flew by.
As expected, Guardians of the Galaxy is unlike any of the Marvel movies that have come before it. To an extent, each Marvel movie has their own flavour, but Guardians of the Galaxy is truly unique. It has a different style of writing, it has a different style of acting, the visuals are different and – importantly – the tone is different. This is very much a comedy movie masquerading as a comic book outing. There is a heavy emphasis on things like the banter between the characters, Groot only knowing three words and the movie has a lot of visual gags in the foreground and background. In the footage we saw, there was a hilarious moment where Star-Lord, Rocket and Gamora are planning their escape while Groot is in the background putting it into action. Kevin Fiege talked at length during the Q&A session after the screening about how James Gunn was keen for all actors to test screen together to make sure the chemistry is just right and that shows on screen. They bicker amongst themselves, but it’s always on the right side of comedy.
The voice work by Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon is really great and he brings a human level to Rocket that people might not expect. A brilliant move by Marvel and Gunn was to not have Rocket be a “cartoon character” as, in his mind, he is just like everyone else and Cooper brings that to the role. Likewise Vin Diesel manages to get a lot of emotion out of just three words. In the script, Groot’s lines were spelled out for Diesel so he knew what Groot was trying to say but could only articulate into the words, “I am Groot” and that again shines through his voice work. Chris Pratt is very much in his Parks & Recreation style of comedy (which works great) and Zoe Saldana is excellently quiet and cold as Gamora. But it’s Dave Bautista who was the real surprise. His performance was more than just being the “meat head” and his comedic timing with Pratt was superb.
Lastly, Guardians of the Galaxy looks spectacular on the 3D IMAX. It was never intrusive, it was never garish or gimmicky and it was totally immersive. The scope and size of the picture requires a screen this large and the space battles shown in the trailer at the end of the footage looked awesome. With the great script and characters, the film will have the same impact on a 2D screen, but the visuals are so damn impressive that this movie almost demands to be seen on 3D IMAX.
Guardians of the Galaxy looks fun, and that is really important to the tone of the movie. The characters are fun, the performances and chemistry between them are fun, the action is fun and the eclectic soundtrack makes this a fun movie the likes of which we’ve not seen from the comic book world. We were excited before, but we really can’t wait until we see the full film now.
The Q&A with Kevin Fiege talking Guardians of the Galaxy’s casting, when and why they picked these characters and how this ties into the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be posted over at The Flickering Myth Podcast tomorrow so make sure you subscribe via iTunes or RSS.
Guardians of the Galaxy is set for release on July 31st in the UK and August 1st in North America, with a cast that includes Chris Pratt (The LEGO Movie) as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Gamora, Dave Bautista (Riddick) as Drax the Destroyer, Bradley Cooper (American Hustle) as Rocket Raccoon, Vin Diesel (Fast & Furious 6) as Groot, Benicio Del Toro (Sin City) as The Collector, Lee Pace (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) as Ronan the Accuser, Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) as Nebula, Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) as Korath, John C. Reilly (Step Brothers) as Rhomman Dey, Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead) as Yondu, Glenn Close (Damages) as Nova Prime Rael and Josh Brolin (Men in Black 3) as Thanos.