A couple of days ago we posted a critique of the storytelling in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, from the L.A. Times. A lot of readers disagreed. Even most of us here at TVWriter™ disagreed. So it’s with great relish that we bring y’all a different viewpoint from one of the pickiest writers on the web: (Nah Ne Nah Ne Nah Ne, LA Times!)
by The Bitter Script Reader
I really didn’t think this one was going to work.
Marvel has had such a string of hits that it’s really easy to forget just how unknown many of their franchises were to a mass audience. Iron Man and Thor had always been second-tier, Hulk was seen as damaged goods after the failure of the Ang Lee-helmed film and Captain America was a dudley-do-right whose history necessitated the first film being a period piece. There are reasons that any one of those franchises could have struggled to find an audience, to say nothing of the risk of having all those franchises feed into one film with all the heroes?
It had the potential to be a mess.
And yet it did work.
I’ve always felt that Marvel owes a great deal of their mass appeal to two guys: Robert Downey Jr. and director Jon Favreau. A look at the box office backs that up – the first two Iron Man movies far outgross their cousins in the solo Marvel Studios outings. Once they all came together in The Avengers, the next films in the series saw their box office receipts soar. Robert Downey Jr. was the gateway drug, not just to the Iron Man character, but to the whole Marvel Universe. Miscast Tony Stark and maybe none of this would have worked.
So when the most hard-core of the geek faithful insisted that Guardians of the Galaxy was sure to be a slam dunk, I wasn’t ready to drink that Kool-Aid. A solo film populated with weird characters that included a talking tree and talking raccoon and none of the familiar Marvel touchstones? Honestly, it reminded me of my own excitement in the year that preceded Green Lantern‘s release. As a fan of that comic franchise, I was thrilled that the early trailers and stills suggested that they’d really worked hard to translate the mythology and the characters to the big screen.