Okay, just let me say really quick: I am absolutely obsessed with of Baby Groot! While he was amazing at the end of the first movie, now he has legs for rocking, defining him as the pop culture king for an entire generation!
Now onto the rest of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which I should call absolutely freaking awesome! We all thought James Gunn outdid himself with the refreshing ball of excitement in a period full of blockbusters trying to be all edgy and stuff. Yet he outdid himself again with a funnier, sadder version of the original, guaranteeing howls of laughter from all ages. Yes, I said sadder, because the production crew did not shy away from an upsetting plot twist, only to segue into the quiet, touching final moments. U-huh, touching, as in, something unexpected happens that leaves a rather reflective note about all that you just saw.
Gunn has made the most emotional feature to come out of Marvel Studios thus far, as well as the funniest by a mile. The jokes are bigger in saturation than Volume 1, setting off the most memorable opening credits sequence since Deadpool, thanks to everyone’s favorite talking tree! He could have benefited if he were written to be more than just a comic sidekick, but whenever you laugh, perhaps half those moments will be because of him.
Everyone else in the cast also delivers their fair share of belly-laugh moments, especially when Drax gets his own chance for romance with a bug-eyed mistress named Mantis, who can feel another’s feelings with a touch. These two create the most moving romance, as well as the most quotable!
Yet it exists not just for laughs, between their snappy arguments, the encompassing theme of family actively affects almost the whole cast in some way. It answers a question never consciously asked about Peter’s backstory: where did his parents come from? In addition, Gamora and Nebula confront their open-ended sisterly conflict from before. However, the conclusion to Star-Lord’s father’s story feels rather dissatisfying, I mean, it is not dark or depressing, just not fully realized enough.
To top it off, the laughs get a bit too consistent, giving no real time to breathe during some of the moments of drama; but it still managed to jump back on its feet and reconnect us back to the characters.
Speaking of characters, the fivesome explore more territory of their galaxy in a very down-to-earth sort of approach. New places are seen such as a snow planet filled with robot hookers, a vivid planet built by man himself, remote-controlled battleships run by gold people, and the woods behind a Dairy Queen in 1980 Missouri, where an alien plant thrives. One minor complaint though; I can’t quite buy into Star-Lord’s space environment as a world that could inspire future storytellers, since everyone speaks English, unlike more carefully plotted out alien worlds including District 9 or Avatar.
One last complaint: aside from all the old songs, the original soundtrack resembles the soundtracks of all other films under a similar genre these days. Although a flaw as minor as this one may not even be easily noticed; too many great qualities outnumber the bad ones. I also ought to highlight the phenomenal standout performances that display the best of Marvel Studios, particularly by Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, and Michael Rooker.
What else can I say? Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 outdoes Marvel’s branding, letting go of the offensive dehumanizing stereotypes from all the previous Cinematic Universe endeavors. This franchise appeals to more than just the youth market and their parents; anybody can have a blast! The older folk will love the nostalgic soundtrack as well as some surprise cameos by familiar faces; the teens will love the wild action balanced with some smart humor; the kids, if parents oblige to the PG-13 rating, will want to dance with Baby Groot; and everybody, no matter how young or how old, will love the timeless bonds about family.
Can’t wait for spidey to come out in July!
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Anderton, Ethan. “James Gunn: Baby Groot Isn’t In ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Just To Sell Toys.” Digital image. /Film. Pro Blog Design, 11 Dec 2016. Web. <http://www.slashfilm.com/baby-groot-in-guardians-of-the-galaxy-2-marketing-ploy/>.
Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel. Web. <https://marvel.com/guardians>.