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Because some Hollywood movies feature titles with idioms or complicated phrases that won't market well in foreign territories, it's not uncommon for film's names to be changed when reels get sent overseas. This is why Sam Raimi's Army of Darkness was called Captain Supermarket in Japan and Woody Allen's Annie Hall was sold as Urban Neurotic in Germany (which is actually kind of an improvement). These funny cases pop up every so often, but thanks to China and Marvel Studios I think we now have a winner for 2014.
The blog The Chinese Pod has done an interesting Mandarin breakdown of James Gunn's interstellar adventure Guardians of the Galaxy, and in doing so has uncovered the incredible hilarious and bizarre literally translated title that the film had when it was released in China. According to the site, the title on this poster:
translates to "Interplanetary Unusual Attacking Team." I'll give you a moment to chuckle at that a little bit.
Just as a pure representation of what Guardians of the Galaxy is actually about, this is a rather funny title. "Interplanetary" certainly fits, and "Attacking Team" may just be the most direct translation of "Guardians" that could be found while still in context. But the inclusion of "Unusual" is what strikes me. Sure, Interplanetary Attacking Team is a bit vague, but it's funny that the film would actually play up exactly how weird it is. That being said, its unique, quirky qualities are what really sold the Marvel Studios movie to audiences here in the United States, so maybe it's just an extension of that.
Of course, my big question now is whether or not the Chinese version of Ronan The Accuser actually calls the Guardians the "Interplanetary Unusual Attacking Team" at the third act of the movie (same goes with Star-Lord when he throws the line back in the villain's face). If so, I would love to see a dubbed version of that scene.
After dominating at the box office for weeks, Guardians of the Galaxy remains the highest grossing film of the year, and while it's still out in some markets, to date it has made a grand total of $653 million at the global box office. It is also the third most successful film that has been released by Marvel Studios, trailing behind only Joss Whedon's The Avengers and Shane Black's Iron Man 3. You'll be able to bring home the Interplanetary Unusual Attacking Team on Blu-ray and DVD on December 9th, and Interplanetary Unusual Attacking Team 2 will be in theaters on July 28, 2017.