Early Guardians of the Galaxy Footage REVIEW



Bummed that you didn’t get to come along and get your first glimpse of Rocket and those four other guys? Don’t worry, The Reel Word has you covered.

Marvel’s biggest gamble to date is looking damn fine indeed.

Lucky fans around the world were treated to a special 17-minute IMAX preview of Marvel Studios’ upcoming spacefaring adventure Guardians of the Galaxy. Since the excellent first trailer for GotG came our way earlier this year, there’s been a lot of excitement for this movie, so we’re pleased to say that the footage we saw did not disappoint.

The preview gave us an extended look at the team’s incarceration and escape that we first saw in the trailer. Straight away, we are reassured that the sardonic and bouncy tone of the trailers carries over perfectly into the film. The chemistry between Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Groot and Rocket is on par with the Whedon-esque interplay we loved in The Avengers. Even comedic beats that felt a little wooden in the trailers (especially the latest international one) work much better in context and with room to breathe.


As has been the case with Marvel’s previous hits, the studio does an excellent job of making each character feel unique when the action breaks out. While the footage does well to show off all five members, it’s the Vin Diesel-voiced Groot that steals the show. The tree-like life form is a lumbering (see what I did there) innocent amongst the thieves and killers, but his wooden hide and ability to grow and morph plant-based appendages make him the group’s biggest muscle.

Next up is Rocket, a gun-toting anthropomorphic raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper. As a veteran outlaw he acts as the viewers’ guide into the world, but that’s not to say he’s an exposition machine. Aside from being crafty and sarcastic, Rocket can kick ass with the best of them as he wields an oversized arsenal from the back of our flora-formed friend.

The muscle-bound Drax, played by Dave Bautista, isn’t quite as much of a slam-dunk at first, as his pulpy space-operatic dialogue is initially a little overbearing. As the sequence rolls on though, it’s clear they are playing his seriousness for laughs. Rocket explains that it’s pointless using metaphors around Drax, as his culture is so literal they would all go over his head. Drax reassures that wouldn’t be the case, since his reflexes would be sure to catch anything flying past.

Zoe Saldana’s Gamora is also on the less jovial side of the spectrum, and gives the sense she believes herself above the teammates she’s been stuck with. The assassin eases up once the fights break out, leaping around the battlefield like a cocky, super-powered version of the Black Widow we saw in The Winter Soldier.


Which brings us to the star of the show: Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord. Influences of Harrison Ford’s Han Solo (and maybe even a little bit of Indy) are immediately visible; sarcasm and bravado working perfectly with the backdrop of Marvel Studio’s fine-tuned, fun and energetic tone.

If there is anything worrying about the footage, it’s that we still haven’t gotten a decent look at the film’s villain, Ronan, who seems to have been dulled down to be little more than one of Thanos’ henchmen for his cinematic reimagining. Given the amount of new characters being introduced and Marvel’s track record for forgettable non-Loki villains, not seeing any more than a passing glimpse of him isn’t a great sign.

Also, for fans of the comics especially, I’m sorry to say that there weren’t any Cosmo sightings. Hopefully they’re just keeping him hidden for the main event.

All in all, things are looking good for James Gunn’s foray into the Marvel Comic Universe, which comes out in cinemas early next month.

Excited? Nervous? Utterly ambivalent? Let us know in the comments section below.

– Z.P.