For legions of Marvel fans in Fresno and all over the world, the wait ends tonight. After years of speculation, fans got their first official look at Marvel Studios' upcoming tenth film, Guardians of the Galaxy, in the form of the first official trailer on tonight's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, as presented by film star Chris Pratt.
The trailer, which can be viewed here, opens up in the depth of space as self-proclaimed legendary space outlaw Peter Jason Quill, or as he likes to call himself "Star-Lord" (played by Pratt), enters an alien tomb and attempts to steal a mysterious artifact that resembles black and silver orb. Quill is captured by a platoon led by Korath the Pursuer (played by Djimon Hounsou), an ally of the ruthless villain Ronan the Accuser (played by Lee Pace), who does not have much interest in Quill's boasts and self-given alter-ego.
The trailer then cuts to a line-up at the headquarters of the intergalactic police force called the Nova Corps, where all five of our main characters as their are introduced individually by Rhomann Dey (played by John C. Reilly). the first is Arthur Douglas, a.k.a. Drax the Destroyer (played by Dave Bautista), A warrior on a mad search of vengeance against Ronan after the murder of family. Second is Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana), a former ally of Ronan and Korath who now lives as a soldier and assassin wanted on over dozen counts of murder. Third is Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a genetically-engineered raccoon wanted on over 50 charges of vehicular theft and escape from lockup. Fourth is Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), a tree-like humanoid who has been traveling recently as Rocket's personal houseplant/muscle. Last to be named is Peter Quill himself, with the Nova Corps also mocking his "Star-Lord" moniker while listing his as wanted on charges of minor assault, public intoxication, fraud, etc.; there were going to say more, but Quill makes a humorous obscured obscene gesture to break up the conversation.
The trailer continues as the five are lead away handcuffed, when Quill notices someone putting on his personal Walkman and headphones to listen to Blue Swede's cover of "Hooked on a Felling." Quill gets mad and tries to take in back and gets tasered. The rest of the trailer is a montage of sci-fi action shots cut to a cord from the song as we see this extremely unlikely team of intergalactic heroes engage in battle with alien forces, Korath, the villainous Nebula (played by Karen Gillan), the mysterious Taneleer Tivan, a.k.a. the Collector (played by Benicio del Toro), and others both on the ground and in the sky. The trailer ends with Rhomann Dey stating that the team calls themselves the "Guardians of the Galaxy", much to the Nova Corps ridicule, as with get one final group shot of the five in line-up as "Hooked on a Feeling" plays over it into the main titles.
As for this examiner's thoughts on the trailer, I was greatly entertained by it. It was filled with a lot of colorful and fantastic imagery and it is clear that there will be a lot of humor to go around, a common theme for Marvel films. The characters themselves are set-up. particularly Chris Pratt as "Star-Lord", and the action shots do give you a taste of what each of them can do when in the heat of battle. The villain characters look interesting, though I was surprised to see that Le Pace's character Ronan, who is supposed to be the main villain of the film, was never clearly shown throughout the trailer save perhaps one shot what might be him in profile as he is strangling Drax. It was also nice to see a quick look at Benicio del Toro reprising his role from the post-credits scene of Thor: The Dark World; that cameo came off as weird of off-putting to many audience members who saw the scene, and seeing that he will return for this film helps puts things into perspective that we will be seeing what this guy's deal is very soon. The use of the song is wonderfully funny, especially at the end.
It cannot be denied that Guardians of the Galaxy will Marvel most visually unique and weirdest film yet (lets face it, we've got a talking tree and raccoon here), utilizing a team of characters that is considered obscure even to many comic book fans, and yet this trailer shows us that Marvel has found a way to make these characters cool, interesting, and be something to watch when their film eventually comes out.
Guardians of the Galaxy is set for release on August 1, 2014.