By now, you should know…if you’re looking for searing reviews and tough critiques…you have come to the wrong place. I like things and it’s pretty easy for me to find virtues in just about anything, even things I really don’t like (i.e. Man of Steel.)
With that in mind, let’s talk Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 which I definitely, definitely LOVED!!! Beware matey…there be SPOILERS AHEAD!!
We can’t say one word about the Guardians of the Galaxy without first acknowledging Baby Groot and his cute Grootness. We knew it was coming from the look of the trailers, but it’s even better than we all dreamed. And everyone in the movie is aware of just how dang cute he is…even their enemies. Yep, go out and spend all your money on Baby Groot merchandise. No one blames you. In fact, hold that thought…I’ll be right back!
Emotional Roller Coaster
Marvel is good at walking that line between plain, unadulterated fun (i.e. the new Thor Ragnarok trailer and the words “He’s a friend from work”) and deep cutting emotional moments (i.e. the death of Phil Coulson.) And Guardians is chock full of all of the above. Amazing space battles…blooming (almost) romance…heart-wrenching losses and hella bad ass slow motion walking scenes! Guardians has it all! The addition of Peter Quill’s father, Kurt Russell playing the part of Ego (a departure from the direction the comics took with Peter’s father. See…J’son) the Celestial being who impregnated Peter’s mother Meredith and was, in the end, quite the psychopathic demigod adds a layer of unexpected emotional turmoil. There’s more to Peter’s childhood then we ever knew!
One of the things I love about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and the comic book universe before it) is it’s ability to laugh at itself. It’s always been hyper aware that it’s characters are a bunch of weird, flawed beings in tights, capes, suits and leather. And the Guardians are the kookiest bunch of them all. But the one who stole every scene and made me really use my funny bone was Drax. His literalism and his booming and infectious laughter…every time he laughs, I dare you not to crack a smile! As I mentioned before…Baby Groot is so Groot that it just Groots me every time. Rocket and Peter have some growing pains to get through, but their oddball relationship continues to grow throughout the film. But let’s get back to Drax who I want to see so much more of. Dave Bautista deserves…what’s a funny version of an Oscar. He should get one of them. He should probably get all of those!!
I Love the 80’s
As a child of the 80’s, I deeply appreciate the music and references peppered throughout both Guardians 1 and 2. James Gunn is obviously a kindred spirit!! From Footlooseand Kevin Bacon to Skeletor, Howard the Duck (again), Heather Locklear, Pac-man, Sam and Diane from Cheers, Knight Rider and the Hoff (who even makes a RAD guest appearance), Walkmans, Troll dolls…and on and on.
Do you love the 80’s much as James Gunn and I do???
If you loved what worked about Star Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Drax and Groot meeting each other and becoming a team in Guardians of the Galaxy, you’re gonna love the way the team has been working together while we’ve been away. They are a unit and working in cohesion. They are taking jobs, battling giant space monsters and, of course, letting it all fall apart again. Classic Guardians! Don’t worry…the team may still have a lot to learn about actually being part of team, but they have what it takes to save the Galaxy again and may add a few new members to their team in the meantime.
Family is an overarching theme in Guardians 2, as it was in the first Guardians. In response to Nebula questioning why they all seem to stick their necks out for one another given that they’re always fighting with each other, Drax reminds them that they aren’t friends at all…they’re family.
Speaking of family. An unlikely character from the first movie has a much more important role this time around. I’m talking about Yondu…the blue faced baddie from the first Guardians…no, not Ronan, the other one…no, not Nebula…the other one. Yeah, the one played by Michael Rooker. He comes swooping in with a deeper role, an unexpected role, a heart-wrenching role! And there are things about Yondu that we never knew before!! Sure, Peter’s father, Ego, is here in full force and trying to rule the galaxy with his son. But it’s not Ego that raised Peter. It’s not Ego that loves Peter. Well, I don’t want to give away the beauty of Yondu’s journey in GOTG 2, you’ll have to see for yourself! But be warned…you may want to have some tissues on hand! It gets emotional!
And finally Nebula. Daughter of Thanos. Sister of Gamora. Angry girl with an axe to grind. She and Gamora pick up where they left off in Guardians 1, as enemies. But after saving each other’s lives, delving into a tender heart to heart and yep, saving the galaxy together…they emerge as true sisters. Heart sufficiently warmed!
The lesson we walk away with is that you may not get to choose who you’re related to (i.e. Peter and Ego, Nebula and Thanos) but you can choose who you call your family. A message that will surely stand the test of time!
As always, there are plenty of easter eggs to spot in the film, if you know what to look for. And I will I admit, I don’t always know what all of them mean. I have to go home and do homework to get excited about all the comic book threads that Marvel manages to weave in for super fans. I happen to be someone who didn’t grow up reading Marvel comics and I have a hard time keeping up with weekly serials. But I love to delve into the backgrounds of the MCU by reading the whole story on Wiki or watching a fan made recap of all the comic book threads I missed. It’s one of my favorite parts. So after you’ve seen the movie and have to ask yourself who that other team of super people was…do your homework. Don’t worry, you can copy off mine…
Ya’ll…Michelle Yeoh just landed in the MCU as Aleta Ogord. As did Vingh Rhames (Charlie-27), Michael Rosenbaum (Martinex), Miley Cyrus (voice of Mainframe) and the one and only Sylvester Stallone playing the role of Stakar Ogord aka Starhawk. Very interested in seeing how they are gonna set up Phase 4 with members of the original comic book team of Guardians in the mix now!
I was really surprised that they didn’t weave more of the greater MCU storyline into the film. Especially since we’re entering Infinity War territory. Leads me to wonder what the Guardians will be up to in the lead up to the big Avengers/ Guardians crossover in Infinity War. Thanos comes up in reference to Gamora’s sister, Nebula, and her revenge mission to kill him. And while there’s mention of infinity stones, it’s only as a means to point Ego in Peter’s direction as his one true Celestial son. But given where we know the future of the MCU to be headed, a one way collision course to the wonderful world of Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet, in the aftermath of watching this movie I couldn’t help but wonder how they’ll be tying it all together.
None of those wonderings kept me from enjoying this movie. They’re just the nerdy ramblings of a super fan. This movie was a Marvel slam dunk…which is something that has been happening far more often than not lately.
I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as I did, nerds!!
Let me know in the comments below!!