The Marvel Cinematic Universe has fallen into darkness as of late. While it made its name with breezier, bouncier jaunts like Iron Man and the surprisingly delightful Captain America, the latest Marvel films are saddled with names like Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Of course, this darkness hasn’t only overtaken Marvel (in fact, it’s even settled over our soda), but it seems particularly unwarranted in movies about, say, bridges made of rainbows.
Enter the Guardians of the Galaxy. With space raccoons! Talking trees! And, perhaps most difficult to take seriously in 2014, Chris Pratt! Sure, this the first trailer (which debuted, in a rare move, on a comedy show) gets to the inevitable CGI-packed action sequences eventually, but even those are undercut by “Hooked on a Feeling”—just so we know not to take the raccoon with the machine gun too seriously.
While I’ll usually turn out for Chris Pratt and John C. Reilly and Benicio Del Toro (who plays the villain), not to mention Bradley Cooper (who voices the space raccoon), this trailer still hasn’t convinced me that America will turn out for this, or should. The other direction Marvel has been moving of late is toward more and more movies about aliens fighting aliens (which is essentially the plot of the Thor movies), which can be hard to really get invested in. So while I’m as down as the next guy for space raccoons and talkin' trees, it will take more than irony to convince me I should care. A gun-totin' space raccoon is promising, but a gun-totin' space raccoon I can connect with would really be something special.
(Guardians of the Galaxy is due out Aug. 1.)