Why GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Could Be the Best Marvel Movie Yet

     September 5, 2013


Starlord. Drax the Destroyer. Gamora. Groot. Rocket Raccoon. Remember these names, my friends, as these are about to reach the same level as Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America for the general public.  Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel Studios’ next team movie.  Hitting the silver screens on August 1st, 2014, Guardians will be the summer movie to beat.  Considering this is Marvel’s first original, and certainly different, property making the jump from comic books to the movies in some time, they’re hedging their bets that the film will stand tall alongside its fellow Avengers.

What is it about this motley cast of characters that elicits positive reactions from those who have read their stories?  What is it about the movie itself that gives Marvel such high hopes?  What makes this ragtag group of universe travellers better than their earth based super hero counterparts?  Hit the jump for Collider’s look into what Marvel’s next big enterprise is all about.

The Castguardians-of-the-galaxy-cast

OK…Deep breath folks. In the cast so far, we have Chris Pratt as Starlord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Bradley Cooper voicing the wise-cracking, machine gun-toting Rocket Raccoon, Glenn Close as leader of Nova Corps, John C. Reilly as a cop in the ranks of Nova Corps, Michael Rooker as Yondu the bounty hunter, and Vin Diesel is confirmed to be in talks to play the living tree, Groot.

But wait! Those are just the heroes! On the villains’ side we have Karen Gillan as Nebula, Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser, Benicio Del Toro as The Collector, and Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer. A name hasn’t yet been attached to the main villain, Thanos (the big purple figure grinning after the credits in last year’s Avengers), who might also be appearing. With Marvel’s track record, we can expect a big name to be attached to the Mad Titan.

Guardians has one of the most star-studded casts for films being released in 2014 and it will be quite a sight to have them assembled.

The Story


There have been many iterations of the Guardians of the Galaxy in comics over the decades. For as many roster changes as there has been for the Avengers and the X-Men, such is the case for the Guardians. Originally created by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan, The Guardians are a misfit band of heroes, billions of lightyears away from Earth, fighting intergalactic threats. The current version of the team, and the one we will see in theaters in 2014, was brought together by creators Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning during a Marvel comic book event entitled, “Annihilation: Conquest.”

The roster includes Starlord (the leader, an Earth-born native named Peter Quill), Drax the Destroyer (a powerhouse whose sole purpose is to hunt and kill Thanos), Gamora (a one-time assassin dubbed “the universe’s deadliest woman”), Rocket Raccoon (a walking, talking raccoon who acts as the team’s strategist and weapons expert), and Groot (a giant tree who resembles an Ent from the Lord of the Rings franchise).

The current series is being written by Marvel writer, Brian Michael Bendis, so feel free to visit your local comic shop to get in on the action before next summer.

The Director


James Gunn has directed some out-there movies in his past, which is really something that Guardians of the Galaxy needs. His past endeavors include the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake, sci-fi horror/comedy Slither, and the recent indie superhero hit Super. In each of these movies is a combination of action, comedy, and some things that you have not seen before. Gunn has a unique ability to balance genres and can have audiences bouncing from one emotion to the next almost instantly. It is these sensibilities that will help to convey the mad world of Guardians to audiences across the world.

On a side note, Gunn has been living with a raccoon, and several other exotic pets, to get into the head of fan-favorite character Rocket Raccoon. If nothing else, the man is committed.

The Humor


In all of Marvel studios’ films, there has been just as much discussion about the humorous scenes as there has been about the action scenes. From Thor smashing a coffee cup on the ground while demanding another to everything about Robert Downey Jr.’s performance as Tony Stark, the Avengers franchise has audiences rolling in their seats. Guardians of the Galaxy should be no different. Aside from the fact that the team has a raccoon with weaponry in its ranks, the team’s walking tree, Groot, can only say “I AM GROOT!” in different inflections. Did I mention that the two are best buddies?

Chris Pratt has been seen on the airwaves delivering laughs as Parks and Rec character Andy Dwyer for the past several years. As leading man Peter Quill, expect many a one-liner to be dropped. Does anything need to be said about John C. Reilly of Talladega Nights and Step Brothers fame, who will be acting as the team’s Nick Fury/Agent Coulson?

Better Than the Rest?

guardians-of-the-galaxy-concept-art-finalSo aside from the star-studded cast, expansive story, eccentric director, and copious amounts of humor involved in the project, what will pull Guardians ahead of its predecessors and make it the best Marvel Studios movie yet? Experience. As you read this, Marvel Studios has seven movies under its belt and has become old hat at understanding which formulas work and which don’t when it comes to their properties. While they’re certainly delving into new territory with Guardians, they’ve come to understand what audiences are looking for in their summer super hero movies.

With Guardians, Marvel is taking everything that they’ve learned and applying it to a different kind of story. They’re putting a good number of eggs into this basket, and the basket is getting a lot of folks excited.

Guardians of the Galaxy may be the film to watch for 2014, and I, for one, cannot wait to see what Marvel Studios has in store for the rest of “Phase 2” of their movie franchises.

  • Bloost

    If it’s the best Marvel film yet, then that really isn’t saying much.

    • Tey

      Marvel movies don’t feel cinematic at all! It feels episodic! Like an expensive TV episode… The only cinematic Marvel movies are Iron Man 1 & the Incredible Hulk.

    • Nikki

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      • http://www.twitter.com/erskine fed23

        Nikki, thank you for posting this. Great response to Tey’s thoughts on the episodic structure of the Marvel franchise.

  • Tey

    Hey I know another guy who also worked on 2004′s Dawn of the Dead! He made an awesome Superhero flick recently.

    • Lex Walker

      Watchmen isn’t that recent.

      • mistermister98

        You are an idiot.

      • joeybot

        You get jokes.

      • joeybot

        You get jokes.

      • mistermister98

        You are an idiot.

    • Lex Walker

      Watchmen isn’t that recent.

    • V

      A really awesome one, yeah…

  • Bob

    I can’t wait for this film. A superhero film actually has one of the best star-studded cast of the entire 2014 year…and Rocket Raccoon!!!!!

  • Matt

    While I get the Marvel criticisms of some of these posters, I think if you meet these films where they are than there are few movies that have eclipsed than for popcorn fun in recents years.

    Thor and The Avengers are two of the best popcorn films in years. Iron Man and Captain America were both very good, if they left something to be desired for me.

    GotG seems like its primed to be the best film yet because its so fucking weird and it feels like they’re allowing it to be weird.

    The odd thing about the Marvel films is that the studio is simultaneously responsible for elevating the films and reigning in the talent they have. I feel like every film they’ve made could’ve been better (but for The Avengers because, for what it is, it would be hard to eclipse) if they let the talent run free a bit. But they’ve made them mainstream smashes.

    With the base this first phase has put in place, I think we can expect each film to improve drastically. I really hope GotG pulls it off.

  • sambosimboo

    So in other words, this is Marvel’s answer to Green Lantern? An expensive, star-studded flop with an expansive storyline, helluva cast, and quirky, nerd-likeable (or “fan-favorite” as you call them) characters? At least GL had the director of Goldeneye and Casino Royale to blame for the fiasco.

    Get serious, Collider. This is NOT a true opinion piece – there were no real opinions presented here, rather just a bunch of fatuous and useless statistics meant to bolster your dubious “credibility” which will probably be accepted unquestionably by the slobbering, slathering masses of uneducated, trucker-spawned, Albertson’s stockboys, known on sites as pretentious as yours as… the “geek community.”

    Why your review sucks: it entirely lacks substance, and fails to get to any of the merits of your case, which is stated in the headlines quite clearly. You did not even attempt to answer WHY this film will be the “BEST Marvel Movie EVAH!!!” – for your information, merely listing qualities of the film, such as “expansive story, star-studded cast” and an “eccentric” director whose last film (“Super”!) grossed a measly $0.3 million dollars at the box office (or an “Indie superhero hit” as you call it) does not to prove your point – you only throw out these “nerd-cred” statistics to distract readers from the fact that there IS NOTHING that ensures that this will be a good, let alone the “best” comic book movie, other than your unbridled passions and youthful (infantile) wet dreams.

    Sorry, but to the rest of the world a talking tree character saying nothing but “I AM GROOT” and in “different inflections”, to boot (ooooooooooh! soo kewl, Kyle!), and a talking “raccoon with weaponry” are not enough to make a movie great or to sell it to a wide audience. And nerds these days tend to either a. be unable to afford the price of a movie ticket, or b. download such a movie illegally while they jerk off at Nicole Aniston on the other side of their computer screen.

    Frankly, the world’s gonna need to see a little more than an expensive, star-studded “Indie Superhero Hit” for the film to recover ANY of the massive costs Marvel is laying down.

    At the end of the day, I really don’t care if you people at Collider slobber and mutually masturbate over how great an unfinished superhero film is going to be someday – just do us all a favor and a. don’t make superfluous and unfounded claims to the unreleased film’s classic greatness years prior to its release, and b. learn how to write a fucking opinion piece with REAL FUCKING ARGUMENTS, rather than just describing attributes of the film which any tool can look up on IMDB and Wikipedia and which in themselves do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to make or break a film’s success.


      You need to masturbate.

      • axalon

        Does he think people actually read that whole thing?

      • sunshine

        made me car sick and i’m in my living room

      • FBO

        Yeah guys, thinking is hard. Let’s ridicule opinions that require more space than the platitude part of a motivational poster.


        It’s a rant and a childish, insulting and personal one at that. It’s hard to take serious. If he doesn’t like the articles so much that it pushes him to insult the author(s), he shouldn’t read them.

      • Jim-Jim

        Why are we talking platypi? Egg bearing mammals have no place in the conversation. I say sir, how about some tact.

      • axalon

        Does he think people actually read that whole thing?

    • GunzOfNavarone

      “Why your review sucks” – it’s not a review you penis.

    • Evan

      Doozy of a reply and I do appreciate the passion behind it.

      With each of these articles, there needs to be a balance between how much we can go in-depth with editorial pieces while not necessarily losing folks who have no idea what Guardians is going to be about. So when I mention stuff like the star studded cast or the story, I’m trying to push forward an opinion piece while also acting as somewhat of a primer for folks who have never heard of GotG before.

      I could go into how the movie will be great because of the implications of bringing a storyline like Annihilation to the big screen, or how each of the actors could bring nuance to their characters (Benicio Del Toro as the Collector will be pretty cool to see, and the character isn’t exactly well known outside of folks who read the books, but I thought Thanos Quest would be the best portrayal to use for the on-screen character.) Again, the article can only be so long so I tried to paint in broad strokes.


  • Nemesis11

    i still think ‘Vin diesel in talk to play Groot’ thing is just distraction and he is actually voicing Thanos. and yes either way this movie is going to rock. super psyched for it.

  • Cog

    Or it could be someone gets kick backs to talk nice about a movie thats unseen.

    • BV

      Or it could be that not everyone judges movies that they haven’t seen. How dare he be excited for a film.

    • BV

      Or it could be that not everyone judges movies that they haven’t seen. How dare he be excited for a film.

  • CandB

    Uh, Thanos is not the main villain. Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser is. James Gunn said this a while back.

  • CandB

    Uh, Thanos is not the main villain. Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser is. James Gunn said this a while back.

    • sunshine

      yeah, i read thanos is around but not the main guy.

  • LEM

    It may be good but it’ll probably be the least successful because there’s almost no recognition outside of the fan base. They’ll need an incredible first trailer to win over casual movie goers.

    • Convoy

      Well it’s their job to make a product that is appealing and entertaining enough to attract people outside of the fan base. You know this is going to get promoted like crazy. If it has a really good buzz going into opening night then it’s going to do well.

    • Convoy

      Well it’s their job to make a product that is appealing and entertaining enough to attract people outside of the fan base. You know this is going to get promoted like crazy. If it has a really good buzz going into opening night then it’s going to do well.

  • Kenny Smith

    All I can say is that since the announcement, GotG seemed pretty odd considering how much demand there is for say, Dr. Strange or Black Panther. But, they screened an early trailer at SDCC for Guardians and I gotta say, it looks truly amazing. Downey may have set the bar high for quirky comedy in a superhero film, but this one had me laughing the entire trailer. Seriously, if you’re even the slightest fan of Chris Pratt, you will not be disappointed. Sure this ‘opinion’ piece didn’t offer much evidence as to why this movie is a standout (partly because there’s little info to go off of), but for me, it’s my most anticipated Phase 2 movie behind Avengers 2.

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  • Raptor Jesus

    James Gunn has never directed a good movie. Slither was a disaster. And ‘Super’ was vile, absolutely vile.

    Sorry to rain on your parade, but based on his past films this is going to be pretty bad.

    Like Prometheus bad, or even worse.

    • Lex Walker

      If I don’t believe that Raptor Jesus died for my sins, should I believe his prophecy about a film? I believe Raptor Jesus was a great Raptor, but do I believe he was the son of Raptor God? No.

    • sunshine

      turn the other cheek dude.

  • mike_thoms

    I have never read Guardians and I’m not really a Marvel guy but I’m really excited about this movie. The entire premise sounds great, the personnel seems amazing and so far Marvel hasn’t really done anything unwatchable. If Iron Man 2 is the worst of the lot then I think there isn’t a movie studio around that wouldn’t take that kind of track record. Not to mention that if it succeeds it’ll also mean DC will copycat with a Green Lantern Corps movie and you know that shit is going to feature Ch’p and the one Lantern that’s a diamond and the one that’s a planet and probably Guy Gardner.

    • sunshine

      guy gardner is a fucking toolbag.

    • bidi

      Iron Man 3 is the worst Marvel movie. but still, pretty good track record

  • João Paulo

    If you have doubt about Gunn’s work watch Slither, the movie is very good. I think Gotg could be the best marvel movie, the article is right.

  • Nathan

    8 years ago people would laugh and say such a movie like this (or The Avengers) would never be made. And that a movie universe would never be this huge.

    Either Hollywood is getting desperate or they have finally learned their lesson.

  • ZladSupersonik

    If you’re asking me, they are not only using Bradley for a role he isn’t necessarily right for, but they are also using Djimon in this when they could create a franchise around him with Black Panther. The man is perfect for the Panther.

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