As the distant cousin of Joss Whedon’s mega-movie, The Avengers, Guardians Of The Galaxy has its work cut out. Without the benefit of an instantly recognisable cast of beloved superhero characters, James Gunn’s biggest directorial effort to date has to open big, and then get bigger, in order to stay in the game. No pressure then.
That’s why these last few weeks before its August 1 release date (July 31 in the UK) are so important. We have to know these characters before we book our tickets. We have to want to spend time with them, if we are to spend our hard-earned money on them. All the goodwill and gravitas that each Avenger brought with them in the early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – by virtue of their relatively well-known comic book appearances – has to be baked right in with these Guardians, whose comic book presence is considerably more obscure.
So, the promotional strategy is all-important, and by the look of the latest international trailer, Marvel is doing it right – more or less. We’ve had TV spots and character focus teasers, but now we have something a little more substantial. This trailer demonstrates more of James Gunn’s visual flair, with some fantastic shots and stunning set-piece action sequences. Predictably beginning with a subtle reminder of just who Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Marvel stable-mates are, the preview sets out the essence of the predicament facing our lead hero, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), before giving us a whistle-stop tour of who we will meet on this thrilling adventure – specifically Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Dave Bautista, along with John C Reilly, Glenn Close, Josh Brolin, Karen Gillan and Djimon Hounsou, among others.
It’s important to note that, though the dialogue delivered by Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill lands with more of a dull thud than a nimble spring at first, it does improve as the trailer thunders on – eventually showcasing some wonderfully loose chatter with Rocket – an arms specialist raccoon, of sorts. Hopefully, the finished product will feature more of that, and less of the ‘pep talk’ Pratt that sounds like he’s reading from cue cards.
Written and directed by James Gunn, with newcomer Nicole Perlman as co-writer, Guardians Of The Galaxy is released in US cinemas on August 1 2014. You can check out the latest trailer below.
“From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team – the Guardians Of The Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-present Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits – Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax The Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last desparate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. “