Thus far, all of the marketing for Guardians of the Galaxy has played up its goofy insanity, with trailers that focus on Rocket’s bloodlust and Peter Quill’s lack of badass reputation, and big action moments timed to the beat of cheesy classic rock songs. All in all, the trailers give off one clear message: these aren’t your typical superheroes. That’s not to say that the Guardians of the Galaxy can’t be serious, but rather that it’s hard to evoke a gritty, dramatic atmosphere when your team of heroes includes Andy Dwyer, a gun-toting, chain-smoking raccoon, and a tree creature with a limited vocabulary. These are true losers, people who would just as soon save the planet as they would accidentally blow it up. This is a group of funny, strange, deadly misfits, and this film is going to be a hell of a good time. Which is why it’s so surprising that the new UK trailer has taken such a different approach to the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Instead of introducing this band of weirdoes one by one and playing up the things that make them so strange, the new trailer focuses squarely on the plot of the film, the origins of Star Lord, and everything that’s at stake for this group of former outlaws. Sure, there are jokes, but they take a back seat to action, explosions, and dramatic speeches. And there isn’t a single note of Blue Swede to be found.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s still a great trailer, and it still has us counting down the days until August 9. But it’s so far from the tone of the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy promos – and, we assume, from the tone of the film itself – that we’re confused as to why Marvel would choose such a drastically different route for its international marketing. The lack of music can be explained by copyright and licensing fees, but where has all of the humor and insanity gone?
Is Marvel concerned that the jokes in Guardians of the Galaxy won’t translate to an international audience? Do they think that the rest of the world will be more enticed by the standard action/adventure superhero fare? This trailer certainly offers a more traditional blockbuster than the earlier Guardians clips did, so perhaps Marvel is looking to play on audiences’ familiarity with the genre, rather than win them over with everything that makes these guys different. The studio could simply be trying to use its connection to Thor, Captain America and The Avengers to bring in moviegoers, as this trailer has a lot more in common with Marvel’s established cinematic universe than the other ones suggest. Or, perhaps they’re just concerned that the rest of the world doesn’t recognize Chris Pratt as the comedic gift that we in the U.S. hail him to be.
Whatever the reason for Marvel’s abrupt shift in tone, one thing still remains, and it is of such vital importance to the film as a whole that even the lack of banter, obscene hand gestures and classic rock can’t take it away. Above all else, the Guardians of the Galaxy are going to save the universe, and they’re going to show you a damn good time while doing so.