Trailers are one of the most important traditions in Hollywood. Good or bad, a trailer can make or break how well a film does in the box office. Unfortunate trends in the industry recently have resulted in studios releasing teaser trailers for trailers, or worse, spoiling major plot points in subsequent trailers and TV spots (looking at you, BATMAN V. SUPERMAN). But even amidst some of the worst offenders, there have been some pretty great trailers in recent memory. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS springs to mind, a huge franchise revival that managed to keep major plot points completely under wraps despite heavy marketing and a rabid fan base. It pleases me to say that the first official trailer for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is another example of a studio doing a trailer the right way.

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A lot of trailers can feel disjointed, like editors cobbled together a Frankenstein of scenes, hastily sewing them together out of place to try and win over audiences with 2-second shots of explosions and guns shooting. That isn’t to say it doesn’t work, but after watching the trailer for GUARDIANS VOL. 2, I can’t help but wish that every movie could do it this way. Director James Gunn knows his audience and plays off of that in all the best ways. A glimpse into the much anticipated 80’s soundtrack? Check. Long, uninterrupted scenes that are hilarious and not at all compromising of plot? Check. Witty banter between Rocket and Baby Groot? Adorable check.


Everything audiences loved about the original GUARDIANS is there, plus enough new stuff to get the hype train in motion. This is why the trailer works so well, it takes what we know and expands upon it without ruining the full experience. “Fox On the Run” by Desolation Boulevard sets the tone immediately, the 80’s theme of the original obvious. The only new character that has been shown is Mantis, in an elongated scene which ends the trailer. It gives us a glimpse into what could be a new member of the established team, without spoiling the new character in any way and instead relying on characters we are already familiar with to carry the scene. The two biggest names that were announced for GUARDIANS VOL. 2, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell, have yet to be shown, keeping their importance to the plot a secret.

The trailer also shows off how vibrant the film is looking so far. The first GUARDIANS was a gorgeous movie that marked a major departure from the gloomier-looking Phase One of Marvel films, showcasing beautiful planets with colorful aliens that popped more than anything the cinematic universe had presented thus far. VOL. 2 is trying to up the ante by shooting on the new RED’s new WEAPON 8K camera. From the trailer alone, the film looks sharp and colorful; the quick glimpses of over-the-top space action seemingly jaw-dropping. If you’re a Marvel fan that lives near a theater that can play this film in all its glory, I suggest you do so. Gunn hasn’t disappointed yet in the cinematography or visual effects as of late, and GUARDIANS VOL. 2 looks to be no different thanks to the WEAPON 8K.

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The GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 trailer is proof that a “less is more” approach to trailers work more than their overwrought counterparts. Gunn and his editors have crafted a two-minute sequence of events that appeal to Marvel and science fiction fans alike, complete with fan service and a wonderful lack of anything resembling a major plot spoiler. It raises more questions than it answers (in a good way), all while setting the series’ undeniable tone, right down to the retro Marvel Studios logo at the offset. It’s a great time to be a comic fan, and I cannot personally wait for May 5 to arrive and we can see Star Lord and company on another wild adventure.

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