Last night, Marvel obliged fans who could not wait to see more footage from GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY by screening 17 minutes in IMAX 3D at 150 locations. By seemingly all accounts on social media, fans were very happy with what they saw. As an attendee of one of those screenings, I can’t help but agree.

No specific spoilers will be revealed here. Everything included in the rest of this article will be in general terms and has already been confirmed in interviews or shown in part during the film’s trailers. If you want to know nothing at all, however, thank you for reading this far and we’ll see you on August 1st.

The IMAX footage started with the now infamous lineup scene in which Rhomann Dey (John C. Reilly) runs down the rap sheet of each future Guardian. All of the not-yet-heroes are then escorted to the Kyln, a massive intergalactic prison housing the very worst of inmates. Their first mission before they even become an official team is to escape, and they do in spectacular fashion.

The entire sequence was massively entertaining and the audience was along for every minute of the ride. These characters are all funny with unique personalities that set them apart from one another. Chris Pratt feels right at home as Star-Lord, Vin Diesel is better than anyone should be at only saying “I am Groot,” Zoe Saldana is lethal as Gamora, Dave Bautista is brutal an improbably humorous way as Drax, and Bradley Cooper is clearly a show stealer as the voice of Rocket.

The action looks superb in IMAX 3D, as it should. Even better, the color palette in the film is so generously rich and vibrant. The one concern I had going in was the 3D dulling the cosmic colors, but this sneak peek showed that will not be a problem. If you can’t stand 3D and always go the 2D route, then that’s obviously what you should do. If, however, you sometimes like the format and don’t mind paying the higher ticket price for the right movies, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is one of them.

The neatest trick in all of the footage that was screened were a couple of very quick moments, one of which was especially subtle, that immediately endeared the audience to Peter “Star-Lord” Quill and Rocket. Small hints at each of their troubled pasts hooked me so that I can really care about these characters while I have fun with them. Director James Gunn has said this movie has heart and now I’m really seeing it.

Once the scene was complete, the sneak peek ended with a sizzle reel, most of which you can now see in the extended trailer released last night. You don’t need me to tell you how much fun all of that looks, but I will in a brand new Superhero Movie & TV Talk podcast to be recorded this evening.

All told, I have now witnessed two complete GUARDIANS scenes between this IMAX footage and the Disneyland preview I saw last week. It’s getting very hard to keep my expectations in check as this film continues to look better every time I see a little more of it. It’s hard to imagine audiences around the world not having an absolute blast when this movie launches on the first day of August.

Tickets for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY are now on sale.