“Guardians of the Galaxy and the State of Marvel”
by John Maffeo
Marvel Studios has been conjuring up quite a reputation within the last few years with success after success. Although the sequel to Iron Man in 2010 did not receive accolades from the critics, each consecutive film has grossed millions and more. But after last year’s tent-pole hit The Avengers, uneasy questions have certainly been emerging, and for a logical reason. Where do they go from here?
“Phase Two,” or basically what is being entitled as the next chapter in Marvel Studios’ line of domination, has much to live up to. Iron Man 3 was a very successful film, but it diverged fans due to severe comic book deviations. Other anticipated sequels are on there way, but what intrigues this guy right here the most is 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. What intrigues me about this film is the fact that it has no substantial ground leading into its release. Obviously there are fans of the original material, but general audiences do not care for these obscure intergalactic characters as of yet. However, if the stars align, then we may be in for something special. And in my opinion, Marvel Studios has caught lightning in a bottle more than once.
To cap things off, we have James Gunn leading the army, and he has just the right amount of quirkiness to make something as weird as this film adaption work. The cast is full of star power, including veteran faces such as Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, and John C. Reilly. But then there are talents that have proved themselves worthy to achieve stardom, including comedian Chris Pratt, sci-fi favorite Zoe Saldana, and zombie-murdering Michael Rooker. Everyone in the cast seems to fit their roles, and the excitement feels genuine through recent interviews and panels.
Ambition isn’t a new thing for Marvel Studios, and this is certainly one of the most ambitious project to date. The Avengers was ambitious for what it was trying to accomplish, but this particular film has a lot more riding on its shoulders. If this fails, then the doors reaching for even more silly superhero characters waiting for their shot will be shut and locked for a long time. For all we know, it could become a visceral achievement or a cult classic. Guardians of the Galaxy is a strange but intriguing project to keep eyes on. All roads have to hit an inevitable low point at one time or another, but let’s be hopeful that this film does not start the process.