Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"Guardians of the Galaxy" first impressions

This movie based on one of Marvel's most obscure properties is coming out later this year. And it made my Top 5 most anticipated movies of 2014 list. I may be looking more forward to "X-Men: Days of Future Past," but "Guardians" is not too bar behind as far as my rabid geek anticipation goes. So the trailer dropped last night. Here are my immediate first impressions:

1. It's different, and that's good: The Marvel Cinematic Universe is doing extremely well, but thus far we have not had a Phase 2 movie that's blown everyone out of the water the way "Avengers" and even "Iron Man" did back when it was first released in 2008. The reason? They're not bad, but they're all the same. They all follow the same formula with the heroes picking up the pieces after the Battle of New York. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" looks a little better than its two predecessors, but otherwise, the formula is the same. They're all extremely predictable. "Guardians of the Galaxy" on the other hand is something entirely new. The trailer was extremely action-heavy, but the song it played said a lot about the movie's sarcastic and smart-assed tone. We could use a little light-hearted humor in the months leading up to "Age of Ultron."

2. It's a love-child of Stan Lee and George Lucas, essentially: From what I saw last night, "Guardians" looks to combine the best aspects of Marvel Comics and "Star Wars," which I did a lengthy post about earlier this week. It has the interstellar villains and smart-assed anti-authority protagonist types that made George Lucas' original works so endearing. The smart-ass tone of the Guardians themselves looks to be very reminiscent of the dry, witty humor that Han Solo and Chewbacca provided in the original trilogy, especially with Chris Pratt's Han Solo-esque portrayal of Star-Lord. But then we have characters like Drax, Rocket Raccoon and Groot who are all very much Marvel creations. It has the potential to be a literal match made in nerd heaven.

3. The ragtag band of misfits: We have a smart-assed pilot who's essentially the second coming of Han Solo, Batista as a green alien assassin, Zoe Saldana as a green alien assassin, and a talking tree and raccoon. You can't really ask for a more mismatching group of unlikely heroes. It's even more mismatching than the Avengers before they became the Avengers. And you know what? That's great, because those are the kinds of teams that audiences tend to root for. I know I do.

I couldn't really come up with more, and after that TL;DR post I just made, I thought I'd keep this fairly short and sweet. Only time will tell how "Guardians" will fare at the box office, but like "X-Men," I think it has the chance to utterly dominate and rise to the top of its genre.

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