So just this last week I had the opportunity to see a limited screening of 17 minutes of footage from Marvel Studios’ newest film Guardians of the Galaxy, in IMAX, and it blew my freaking mind. Marvel Studios has done this in the past with international audiences; showcasing footage from Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 and Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World, and Just recently the studio has begun to offer these first looks to American audiences. The first real sneak peek came in the form of 11 minutes of footage from Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Directed by brothers Joe and Anthony Russo) shown in select IMAX theaters. The preview not only showcased the change in tone of the movie but also hyped up audiences to actually shell out the cash for tickets. It worked on me, as I saw the film at least three times in theaters, and it looks like I’ve fallen under Marvel Studios’ Executive Producer Kevin Feige’s spell once again.
So without any further ado (and be warned here there be spoilers) I give you the Guardians of the Galaxy 17 minute first look.
From left, Kraglin played by Sean Gunn and Yondu Undonta played by Michael Rooker. Via USA Today
The sneak peek began with an introduction from the Director of the film James Gunn (Check out his other films Super and Slither) informing the audience the footage being shown had been fully converted to IMAX and 3D for the showing.
The scene in question began with the familiar line-up shots we’re used to from the first trailers with some added footage, mainly focusing on Gamora (Played by the beautiful Zoe Saldana). John C. Reilly’s Rhomann Dey informs us that Gamora is the last of her species from a destroyed world, and that she is the adopted daughter of the “Mad Titan Thanos” (played by Josh Brolin) who has loaned her and his biological daughter Nebula (played by the equally stunning Karen Gillan) to Ronan The Accuser (played by Lee Pace) for use of their unique skills in acquiring “The Orb” before anyone else can get their green or blue hands on it. The Orb is Marvel Studios’ latest “Infinity Stone” and the film’s galactic macguffin introduced in the mid-credit scene in Thor: The Dark World (The Dark World also introduced “The Aether” another Infinty Stone).
Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill and the Infamous Orb. Via: Marvel
After some more of Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill aka Star-Lord flipping off the camera we are brought to “The Kyln” and intergalactic prison were our would be heroes first start to work together. The team, sans Drax (played by Dave Bautista) are being herded down a hallway of cells. Rocket (Voiced by Bradley Cooper) is shown to be a very loud-mouthed vocal character, boasting about his exploits with his partner Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel). This part has some pretty funny back and forth between Quill, Rocket and Groot. Peter calls Rocket a raccoon to which Rocket responds “what’s a raccoon?” so its not an insult to him quite yet claiming “there ain’t no thing like me, except me” while Groot attempts to communicate with Quill but only succeeds in annoying the human with his repetition of “I am Groot.” Rocket seems to have a lot of knowledge about the galaxy, he knows about Gamora’s family history and tells us that Groot’s species can only articulate the words I am Groot, in that exclusive order.
Following the characters down the hall Peter spots what looks to be a Kree prison guard examining his walkman. Peter slips into the cage and demands that the guard “take those headphones off, RIGHT NOW!” The guard grabs a shock stick but Peter is not deterred saying the walkman doesn’t belong to the alien and that Blue Swede’s Hooked on a Feeling is “his” song. At this point the guard tazzes him into the ground while Hooked on a Feeling starts playing over a short montage of Quill and the team being processed with some kind of orange cleaning fluid and put into their cells. In this scene we see that Rocket has some sort of implants on his back as we were informed earlier that he is the result of genetic experimentation on a lower life-form. It seems that Rocket is going to have a lot more to him than just a machine gun and fur.
We next see the characters attempting to enter the mess hall but they are quickly recognized by the inmates, particularly Gamora who has helped kill a lot of the inmates families in her work for Thanos. Peter is stopped by a large blue alien which is not a Kree, it resembles something from the Star Wars Prequels. Blue Alien starts to get in Peter’s face intimidating the smaller human until Groot shoves two fingers into the alien’s nose growing them up into his brain leaving him a blue sobbing mess on the floor. Rocket informs the rest of the inmates that “this one here [Peter] is our booty!” Still not sure if he means a bounty or prison sex, this is some of the dark humor that (Director) James Gunn is known for and is prevalent through his films.
After their small show of force Groot, Rocket, Quill, and Gamora begin discussing how they are going to escape the prison and we get a glimpse of Drax staring down Gamora. Rocket informs the three others that they will need a cybernetic arm remote from one of the guards, an inmate’s prosthetic leg, and the battery from an alarm on the guard tower. In one of Gunn’s long camera takes that he is utilizing for the film, Groot takes its upon himself to get the battery while Peter, Rocket and Gamora argue over the best course of action. They need the battery last because its very high up and once it is disconnected the alarms and security system will activate. Behind the three, Groot grows himself tall and yanks the battery from the wall, the alarms sound and chaos ensues. Gamora goes for the guard remote and Peter gets the leg, while Groot is attacked by floating gun turrets. In an epic scene Groot lets out a loud “I AM GROOT” and grows himself a shield, his strength and wooden body seems to be very resilient, he basically just takes the shots fired at him. Rocket runs up his friend’s shoulder jabbing at him for ruining the plan. Drax uses the chaos to join the others in their escape, this is when Drax’s character starts shine. In fight choreography reminiscent of The Winter Soldier Drax takes out three guards, using mostly his head, its all very “Terminatory.” Drax grabs a gun from the floor and tosses it up to Rocket calling him “creepy and little”, Drax is very literal and funny. Rocket takes the weapon and this is the scene from the trailers where Rocket cocks the rifle saying “oh yeah.” There is no other way to describe the carnage of Rocket and Groot other than bad ass. Gamora displays a fighting style similar to Black Widow in Iron Man 2, making use of her legs to take down some of the guards. Meanwhile Peter tries to convince the inmate from earlier to give up his fake leg. The team commandeers the guard tower and Rocket begins work on his plan.
In one of the funniest scenes in any Marvel movie Rocket starts to make fun of Peter for actually getting the leg, Rocket was kidding with Peter and in more of that Gunn humor Rocket begins to laugh asking Peter what the guy looked like hobbling around, Peter says he had to wire 30 units for the leg! There is more comedy from Drax too, Peter calls him a walking thesaurus to which Drax gets deeply offended warning Peter never to call him that again. This is when Rocket informs the gang about Drax’s unique species and their aversion to metaphors, Drax is confident that “nothing goes over [his] head” and that “[his] reflexes are too fast, [he] would catch it.” Gamora laments that she is going to “die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy.” Before Rocket can finish what he is working on a team of Nova Corp officers surround the guard tower and shoot the glass with well placed rockets to weaken the structure. However, just before the final volley from the Nova Corp hits, Rocket shuts off the artificial gravity everywhere but inside the tower, he then re-programs the automated turrets to latch on and fly them up towards the exit. The Guardians (who aren’t quite Guardians of the Galaxy just yet) crash through one of the walls of the prison ship and the scene ends. The preview was then followed by an exclusive extended trailer that shows more of the camaraderie between the guardians but most intriguing was a short glimpse of Ronan the Accuser bowing to a familiar purple chin in a floating gold throne, the one and only Thanos of Titan.
Guardians of the Galaxy. (From left, Gamora, Rocket, Star-Lord, Groot, and Drax). Via: Marvel
I’ve been following Marvel Studios’ evolution from independent film studio to multi-million dollar brand since the release of Jon Favreau’s Iron Man in 2008 and I can honestly say I have not been more excited for a marvel movie since Joss Whedon’s The Avengers in 2012. I predict that this film is going to be a game changer for summer blockbusters. In all the interviews I’ve seen Director James Gunn has shown he has a strong passion not only for science-fiction and Marvel comics but the art of film itself. He really is an auteur and this film will be his gift to audiences come August.
To help tide you over until then here is the edited down extended trailer shown. Don’t forget to click that subscribe button and share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and remember to get your tickets for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy coming out August 1st in Cinemas and IMAX near you.