Guardians of the Galaxy looks ridiculous, hilarious and exciting

Cast and crew, including Zoe Saldana, shoot scenes for the movie Guardians of the Galaxy on the...

Cast and crew, including Zoe Saldana, shoot scenes for the movie Guardians of the Galaxy on the Millenium Bridge in London. (WENN.COM)

Steve Tilley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:06 PM ET

OK, Rocket Raccoon.You win. For now.

Several months ago, right here in this space, I lamented Marvel's decision to make a movie based on the starfaring superhero comic book Guardians of the Galaxy.

With dozens of household name heroes who have yet to have their shot at the big screen, why would Marvel set their sights on this weird, B-list collection of virtual unknowns? Then it somehow got worse: they cast the guy who plays goofy Andy on Parks and Recreation as the heroic lead, with co-stars that include a former WWE wrestler, a walking tree and a CGI raccoon who can wield massive guns.

A raccoon? Insanity. Stupidity. A recipe for box office disaster. But y'know what? I think I thought wrong.

I recently got back from visiting the Guardians of the Galaxy set at Shepperton Studios outside London, England, where filming is taking place under the watchful eye of director James Gunn (Slither) with stars Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation), Zoe Saldana (Star Trek) former WWE superstar Dave Bautista and many others, including Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket Raccoon.

And now I've done a complete 180 on this movie.

Unfortunately, movie set visits are kind of like Fight Club: the first rule is you don't talk about them, not until the studio gives you clearance to go ahead and start spilling details.

Next summer, all will be revealed. I promise.

But aside from what I saw who I talked to while there -- which has gone a long way towards convincing me Marvel know precisely what they're doing -- the thing that really turned me around on Guardians of the Galaxy was (gasp!) the comics themselves.

I finally started reading the 2008 reboot of the comics, which is the source of the movie adaptation, and it turns out they're really funny. And exciting.

And yeah, the raccoon talks and shoots guns, and yeah there's a tree-man named Groot, and a green-skinned assassin lady and all kinds of silly, space operatic madness that somehow co-exists with the contemporary earthbound Marvel universe. But damned if it doesn't work.

Also while at Shepperton I got to see the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer shown at this year's Comic-Con, and that was what truly clinched it.

After an opening sequence revealing how Star-Lord Peter Quill (Pratt) comes to meet Gamora (Saldana) and Drax the Destroyer (Bautista) in an intergalactic prison, a jail guard takes Quill's prized Sony Walkman and puts it on.

Quill rushes in to confront the giant guard and gets immediately space-tasered, which kicks off a fast-cut montage set to the music playing on the Walkman: Blue Swede's 1974 cover of B. J. Thomas' Hooked on a Feeling.

(For the love all that is holy, Marvel, this song MUST be used in the official theatrical trailer. IT MUST!)

The whole thing is ridiculous, hilarious, jaw-dropping and nuts, with one of the final scenes of the trailer showing Rocket Raccoon spraying hot lead at enemies as the camera does a dramatic swoop around him. "That raccoon looks completely badass," I muttered.

And I couldn't believe those words came out of my mouth.


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