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The end of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ could also be the end of Marvel

The end of 'Guardians of the Galaxy' could also be the end of Marvel

Be supposed to Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3 It is the second movie of the phase 5 of Marvel. The one that began a few months ago, with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumaniaand is located at the equator of the multiverse sagato conclude with the phase 6. But these notions are attributable exclusively to calendars, or even to aspects that go beyond the film itself. Because it is directed by James Gunnabove all concludes a trilogy that has promoted James Gunn.

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There were a few months, around 2018, where concern spread that the volume 3 did not exist A year earlier it had been released Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 with a good reception, delving into the very personal ingredients for which he stood out in 2014 (two years after the premiere of The Avengers and the consolidation of marvel universe), but someone resurfaced some old black humor tweets from Gunn and the board of directors Kevin Feige decided to throw him out on the street. Gunn wasted no time, got on with The Suicide Squad and The peacemakerand began to make such a good impression that he was appointed president.

Even then, if asked, Gunn would say he was very sorry he was leaving Marvel, because it meant he wouldn’t be able to finish the story or, specifically, carry on the emotional journey of rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper) to its conclusion. Happily Marvel reconsidered and allowed him to direct the Volume 3. Now that it’s released in theaters, the story effectively ends. But it may end with her something else.

Who cares about Marvel at this point?

It is already more than accepted, or should be, the dramatic decline that Marvel has gone through since its Phase 3 will conclude with Avengers: Endgame (and, to a lesser extent, with the appendix of Spider-Man: Far From Home). There are several reasons that can explain the feeling of boredom that a good part of the successive titles have brought with them, even beyond the understandable disorientation that their scripts would lead to having left behind such a long and carefully orchestrated history.

Phase 4 was to bring a repositioning of the board pieces and a generational replacement, which Feige’s leadership tried to organize by alternating sequels (Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness) with debuts (Eternals and Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings) and specific events (Spider-Man: No Way Home). They also wanted to nurture the continuity of the mcu through a handful of series in Disney+. Quality was mixed in both departments, something audiences could have dealt with…if there wasn’t so much to see.

Still from ‘Scarlet Witch and the Vision’

Marvel’s production has increased dramatically since it only had to worry about a couple of films a year, and the more things they launch the stronger the question of where it all goes, what’s the focus. This in relation to the emotional performance of the viewer, since the industrial circumstances are more tricky: the Marvelite machinery, as it was designed, has not been able to deal with such a number of open fronts. Situation aggravated by the coronavirus crisis, true, but also by the entrenchment of certain work models.

The management of victoria alonso at the helm of Marvel’s digital and special effects (usually outsourced) had been criticized for some time, but things went into overdrive more or less after Thor: Love and Thunder. see to Tessa Thompson and to the director Taika Waititi making fun of CGI of a scene was for many the defining sign that Marvel’s art was ceasing to matter, in favor of carelessness and the assurance that whatever they put out, people were going to see it.

Still from 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania'
Still from ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Later, it served as a qualitative trompe l’oeil (at least in the US, where it reached the Oscars, in the rest of the world it has been more questioned), but at the same time it was a desperate salvage of furniture when trying to overcome the death of Chadwick Boseman. With it Feige hurried to close Phase 4, confident that Phase 5 would wipe the slate clean.

It did not. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania it made the conversation about Marvel’s poor visual effects more visceral, and not only had very discreet criticism: it also preceded two very serious turns, which will mark a before and after in Marvel. On the one hand, they have fired Victoria Alonso, without explaining exactly why (her management of her from VFX aims only to be a reason for so many). and for another Jonathan Majors, who had played twice Kang with a view to being the new ThanosHe has problems with the law.

The Majors thing hasn’t been resolved yet. The interpreter, minimal, was going to appear in the second season of Loki (which has already been filmed), and in one of the two films that would end the Multiverse Saga: The Kang Dynasty. Right now it is probable that after his appearance before the court he will be replaced by some other interpreter, and meanwhile a new threat is spotted: the writers strike just getting started in hollywood. It is reasonable to assume that a few Phase 5 films (The Marvels either Blade) are already written, but what about the ones that aren’t?

All this panorama leads us to a single conclusion: Marvel is dying. You can still take people to the movies or rally people in front of Disney+, but you no longer have the media on your side or cultural legitimacy. It is a product of the masses, which has always been determined by the hunch of a corporation but which aims to be even more so in the future.

Because that’s another: James Gunn has personality. It’s impossible to understand Guardians of the Galaxy without him.

Gunn is gone, and there is no one left in Marvel’s future with those authorial guarantees. Nia DaCosta, Jake Schreirer, Julius Onah, Destin Daniel-Cretton (director of shang chi) dealing with kang dynasty. All professionals, and surely very good, but with no other link than the contract with the adventures to come. Their projects are interchangeable. They hardly have a filmography to boast of. There is no Gunn, or a sam raimi. Not even a Taika Waititi or one Chloe Zhao.

James Gunn, new director of cinema and series for DC.
James Gunn, new director of cinema and series for DC.

What we lose with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’

The issue of authorship in Marvel is exhausted. It was especially discussed as a result of Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madnessand beyond how questionable it would be to include it entirely in the honorable corpus of Raimi’s filmography, there was one thing that was indisputable: in his images we recognized the director of Infernal possession. Perhaps as style capsules, perhaps as whimsical fetishes that would support a “Raimi brand”. But we sensed something. A minimal expressive richness.

The same can be said of Zhao with Eternals. Waititi went down a bit with love and thunder (a film marked by sloppiness), but the dialogues continued to have the style of Thor: Ragnarok. This is what leads us to deduce that, without intending to uncritically surrender to the author’s theory within Marvel, it is good to have someone with concerns directing. what happens with guardians 3as it happened with the volume 2is that there is such an imprint of Gunn that it may be annoying to some viewers.

There are grotesque bugs. There is exhausting humor. There is violence (much more than we’ve ever seen in Marvel). There is absolute disdain for what guardians 3 belongs to something greater, and it is something that is demonstrated both in the underutilization of Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) as well as in the very narrow channels through which this final chapter takes place. guardians 3 It’s not about saving the galaxy. It’s about saving Rocket, and nothing is at stake except the loss of a few lives.

At the time it was already possible to see guardians 2 like an intimate character drama. same goes for guardians 3. Within the channels of blockbusters, Gunn has accommodated them to do what he wanted. It is hard to imagine that the principals that follow in Phases 5 and 6 will have similar behavior. They will do their job scrupulously, to the best of their ability, and for home.

guardians 3 is the end of the Guardians trilogy, but also (and unless the signings of the phase 6 be crazy) is from Marvel with personality. Of the self-contained Marvel, with concern for its characters beyond their destiny in future films. Of the Marvel that found in her bosom a place for independence and enthusiasm. Marvel will continue to exist after guardians 3but surely we will care less and less.

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