Some thoughts on GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2!

9 May


Stewart here…

(Major SPOILERS coming up, but first, some less spoiler-ish thoughts…)

Marking the second movie in a month where Vin Diesel is in it, as well as Kurt Russell, and with the big subject of “family”, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has finally arrived!  The first movie was a surprise to lot of filmgoers and critics who didn’t know from early previews what to make of this bizarre comic book sci-fi action movie, and with its equally shocking success, it seemed inevitable a sequel would be coming our way.  Written and directed again by James Gunn, was this sequel going to live up to the original?  The short answer is: yes.  The longer answer is: well, keep reading…

Up front, this is not as streamlined as the first movie, but considering the extra bulk of story is more about developing our core characters than just making bigger action sequences, it’s welcome.   Not to say this is lacking in some great action set pieces, but the real focus is on the surrogate family that is the Guardians, and their real family connections, or lack thereof.  And unlike another Vin Diesel related movie this year about “family”, this movie makes an emotional impact with its theme.  Even with all the reveals that happen (and that I will not discuss until later on here), this group is a dysfunctional family that somehow will back each other as they have to save the galaxy once more.

Just hanging out, hanging out, hanging out with my space raccoon and baby tree monster, having ourselves a party…

But really, this movie is about having fun, and it does that very well.  Out of all the Marvel series of films, the GotG films deliver on just being a good time to watch, even when this installment delivers a few moments of legitimate drama and depth to these characters.  And the soundtrack is great (maybe not as much as the first movie, but that’s because the surprise novelty of it is hard to replicate), and it’s usage in the opening titles and the final scene are some of the most incredible combo of visuals and classic 70’s music you’ll see for a while.

With those general pleasantries out of the way, let’s jump into SPOILERS:

He’ll figure things out…eventually…

–That opening title sequence.  Five minutes into this and you’ve already got awesomeness.

–Drax’s sensitive nipples aside, I would have liked a little more Drax fighting in this one.  He certainly benefits from being comic relief, and especially in his bizarro not really-relationship with Mantis.

–Speaking of, Mantis was a surprise as that character seemed the most extraneous to the crew at first glance.  Hopefully she can get less dumped on in the next movie.

–Kurt Russell was a really good villain as Ego, maybe the best Marvel movie bad guy since Loki.  And as the movie escalates, he gets more and more sinister to the point when it’s revealed what he did to Peter’s mom, you really want him defeated.

–Speaking of dads, Peter’s surrogate one, Yondu, gets a wonderful character arc in this.  You can’t really complain when Michael Rooker is in your movie, but this is a high point for him.  When he sacrifices himself to save Peter, I was misty.  When Yondu gets that giant funeral service, I was in tears.

–“I’m Mary Poppins, y’all!”

–Baby Groot wasn’t overused, which I like.  And of course, by the next movie, we will either have Tween Groot (another fun bonus scene in the end credits) or Teen Groot.  How can Vin Diesel say “I am Groot” disaffectedly?  I guess we’ll find out.

–Those failed attempts to use Baby Groot to escape the Ravager ship.  The severed toe.  Yeah, we don’t have to talk about where that toe came from.

–The Gamora/Nebula arc was one that grew on me as it went on.   It’s obvious the two “sisters” did care for each other, but thanks to all that growing up with Thanos, have had to get to that understanding the hard way.

–Glad Peter and Gamora point out how unspoken and odd their relationship is.  Will these two fly off into the sunset in Volume 3?  Who knows.

–Rocket pretty much sets this insane series of events in motion with his lackadaisical theft of those batteries from the douchebag gold people, and at least by the end, he might grow past that need to push people away.

–Speaking of the douchebag gold people, I’m sure they were set up for potential villains in the next movie, as is their special weapon “Adam”.

–And for potential baddies for Volume 3, those Ravagers led by Starhawk, aka Sylvester Stallone?  That was a shock to see, along with his group of Ravagers.

–Somehow the Zune manages to make it into the farthest reaches of space, but not the iPod?  At least Peter can now create his own Awesome Mix, and maybe add some music from the 80’s while he’s at it.  Maybe some “Major Tom” or something.

–Taserface!  He’s an actual character in the comics, and it’s a great running gag watching everyone start chuckling every time they hear him proudly say his name.

–More creepy-ass de-aging stuff with Kurt Russell in this case.  It’s at least less creepy then resurrecting a long dead actor for a Star Wars movie.

–At least the end credits were made interesting with all those weird sequences (like the dancing heroes in the background).

–And Stan Lee, hanging out with the Watchers?  Does this confirm that all those Stan Lee cameos are of the same person?  Seems like it.

–If there’s any negative I can find with this, it’s that the real younglings may be weirded out by how violent this thing is.  You got Ravagers dumped into space to die, and more Ravagers getting killed by Yondu.  It’s bloodless, but it’s still underlined creepy as hell to watch.

–#TrashPanda

Not all these guys make it out of this movie alive, or at least without being hit by space rocks.

But hey, what are your thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2?   Why not comment below, and let’s chat about it?

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