On its surface, making a movie adaptation of Guardians of the Galaxy seemed like a horrible idea. A genetically modified raccoon and a tree creature are major players. It’s not a well-known Marvel property like The Avengers or The X-Men. That may very well have been why it succeeded, though.
All movies from Marvel studios have had a certain level of expectation placed upon them starting after 2008’s Iron Man and exploding after 2012’s The Avengers but beyond that, most people had no expectations for this film when it was first announced. James Gunn had mostly done small films and he was probably better known to most people as Jenna Fischer’s ex-husband or Kirk from Gilmore Girls (Sean Gunn, who has a mid-size role in the film) than as a writer or director if he was known at all. The biggest names in main roles were Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, and Zoe Saldana and two of them were animated while the third was painted green. This was a film that relied on a little-known writer/director, his co-writer, Nicole Perlman, writing her first big budget sci-fi film, and the charm of Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation, Moneyball).
Fortunately, Chris Pratt has charm in spades. I could watch him crack wise and dance to the 60s and 70s music that make up the soundtrack forever. Banter between Pratt and Cooper’s Rocket (a genetically modified raccoon) helped keep the momentum going during long action sequences. Little moments from Groot (Diesel) and Drax (Dave Bautista) also added some welcome humor throughout the movie. I could watch these characters bicker, dance, and kick ass together forever. Happily, we’ll be getting more Guardians of Galaxy in the future.