Essential James Gunn Movies & TV to Watch Before Guardians of the Galaxy 3
With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 marks the end of an era for the director, it’s a good time to look back at some of the best James Guinn films, shows, and projects in general. Let’s dive into several of Gunn’s diverse, interesting and unique productions over the years.
Gunn’s directorial debut was the horror comedy Slither, which certainly set the stage for the kind of unconventional concepts and comedy he would succeed in creating. The idea of alien slugs taking over a city has potential for unsettling imagery and black comedy, which Gunn has down in spades.
The practical effects go a long way in making the alien-possessed inhabitants look downright evil, selling the threat of the attack while also being straight-up comedy at times. The whole team joins in on the shlocky tone, adding a pleasing sincerity to this amazing attack. Gunn masterfully mixes laughs with grimaces in Slither, which stands out as a rather impressive feature directorial debut.
It’s especially interesting to watch Slither now, because you see a lot of Gunn’s collaborator often playing these wild over-the-top characters. Nathan Fillion, Michael Rooker, and Gregg Henry all star in the film and excel at making their characters utterly likable or hilariously unlikable – both of which work well with the statement.
Guardians of the Galaxy series
In retrospect, it’s crazy to think that so many people doubted the first Guardians of the Galaxy. Here we are almost 10 years later – the trilogy (apart from the Holiday Special and the team’s appearances in other films) is still one of the best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A lot of that comes down to Gunn.
The ragtag spacefaring crew has appeared in some of the best Marvel Studios films – each of them full of distinctive James Gunn flavor. Star-Lord’s excellent taste in music, his irreverent sense of humor, and the way the film series completely embraces the weirder parts of Marvel’s cosmic side make him stand out. out among other superhero movies.
That being said, it’s the heartfelt heart at the heart of the Guardians of the Galaxy series that makes it truly special. Every team member is independent and unique, making them easy to root for. If Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 sticks its way in, this might be the most consistent sub-series in the MCU, as well as three good movies in general. They are definitely James Gunn’s most famous films, something he can be proud of.
Gunn wrote only Scooby-Doo, as directed by Raja Gosnell. That being said, the two together made a very entertaining Scooby-Doo movie. You can see glimpses of the PG-13 film the two wanted to make the most, but even in its watered-down PG form, the film is full of charm.
Gosnell and Gunn understand the appeal behind Scooby-Doo, featuring the Mystery Inc. team. like newer and almost meta versions of themselves without ever sounding too cynical or snarky. Making Scrappy-Doo the villain was an inspired choice after years of fan frustration towards the character who almost feels ahead of his time, and it a lot of humor throughout the film has become especially good in this era of meme-fueled surreal comedy.
The CGI is definitely rough now – understandably, as the movie came out 21 years ago – and I’d love to see Gosnell and Gunn’s unfiltered take on the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, but whatever, the version of Scooby-Doo we got. it’s still fun to watch again.
You could have Gunn’s 2021 movie The Suicide Squad in this slot, but since Peacemaker is another great movie sequel that follows the best character in the movie, it’s more appropriate. John Cena is perfect as the witty and jingoistic homicidal maniac, imbuing the character with a kind of goofy appeal that keeps him from becoming unbelievable.
Both Peacemaker and Vigilante – who are played with incredible mental enthusiasm by Freddie Stroma – are unique. The entire supporting cast is superb, making for an ensemble-driven series that stands as the best of the previous DC Universe. There wasn’t an episode that didn’t go by that I didn’t laugh at, but at the same time, the worst part didn’t disappoint either. Whether Peacemaker is struggling with his white supremacist father or flirting with someone horribly, you always want to see him succeed.
Out of everything on this list, Peacemaker may have the most unfiltered Gunn number in its DNA. It’s quirky, funny, and at times, incredibly heartfelt. I mean, Peacemaker even features an alien lifeform that controls people from the inside – like Slither and Starro in The Suicide Squad. Looking back on it all, Gunn seems to love alien mind control.
For those who don’t play too many video games, Lollipop Chainsaw was a collaborative effort between James Gunn and visual video game designer Goichi Suda – better known as Suda51. It’s a really unique game in which players run around killing zombies as a chainsaw-wielding cheerleader who accompanies a living head with her lover. It’s as silly as it sounds, but like all Suda51 and Gunn projects, it’s so unique and catchy that it pretty much keeps the track on the ground.
Lollipop Chainsaw even played a role in the making of The Suicide Squad, as Gunn would draw on the game’s contrast between cute and grim images in the film’s “Harley-vision”. The game is getting a remake in the future, although neither Gunn nor Suda are involved.