Dir. James Gunn (TBD- on pace to break all-time August box office)
MCU “godfather” Whedon hired filmmaker pal James Gunn (Super, “PG Porn”) to helm Marvel’s most ambitious project to date, Guardians of the Galaxy. Of all of Marvel’s film properties, the Guardians of the Galaxy are certainly the least-known by a fair margin. Simply put, the movie made the comic books popular and not vice versa. Despite being around since the 1960s, Marvel Comics certainly hasn’t emphasized the Guardians of the Galaxy like they do Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Avengers. It was an uphill battle to merely gather a semblance of steam. How do you turn a profit on a blockbuster with comic book heroes unfamiliar to the general movie-going public? James Gunn did it with a killer trailer debuting on Jimmy Kimmel featuring Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling.” After that, not only did viewers Google the Guardians of the Galaxy like crazy, but the hit song saw an unusual boost in sales on iTunes following the trailer’s release.
The film recently came out, so only time will tell as far as the box office is concerned, but as far as critics are concerned, Marvel hasn’t seen this much love to date. Guardians of the Galaxy capitalizes on the science-fiction regard over the super power gimmick creating a new layer for the MCU. The movie featured a super group team-up without cramming it with movie stars, providing a more interesting narrative than The Avengers’ simple plot of save the world from aliens. Guardians of the Galaxy added heart to the team up that The Avengers lacked and more urgency out of the origin that Iron Man lacked. Chris Pratt received so many auditions to play blockbusters leads that the actor certainly knew not to miss his chance to shine. Like Downey, Pratt’s swagger and charm practically insists that one have as fun watching as the performer had acting. After ten installments, the MCU finally figured out what works and what doesn’t. Guardians of the Galaxy is evidence of a studio making an effort to entertain and please.