New Marvel movie! Always excited about a new Marvel movie am I right?
Okay so you know how sometimes you go on a first date with someone and it’s just… f*ckin’ perfect, and they’re polite and are TOTALLY cool with splitting the check and don’t get all weird about it and you’re not sure if the second date could ever live up to the glory of the first but you go on that second date anyway and it ends up being just as fun but a little less magical but it shows you that your date can be a bit mature too? That exact situation is how Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 felt.
The first Guardians of the Galaxy was fun, weird, unashamedly silly and had a whole lot of heart. Volume 2 has just as much silly and while the heart is a little more uneven in spots, it’s still there in spades. I still strongly recommend seeing it and suggest a double feature type deal where you watch the first one at home without pants, and then put ON pants and go watch the second. I in fact would encourage remaining pants-less for the sequel as well, but that’s illegal.
This chapter of the Guardian’s story explores the relationships in a way the first movie couldn’t. Instead of starting with a ragtag group reluctantly coming together and bonding over their struggles, we start with a dysfunctional, but established family. As someone with a family it was nice to see the comfort these characters now show around each other; Quill changing his shirt in the middle of a public area, the passing around of tiny Groot, and the easy frustration that takes on a nice “not the first time we’ve done this” kind of tone. I want to snuggle them all up in a giant “our getting along shirt” and make them tea or have a Mass Effect: Andromeda style movie night.
Each character gets a little more personal attention in this one which I love. Drax gets to explore his emotions a bit more and makes a new friend. Gamora gets a nice little arc with Nebula. Quill gets all his stuff with magic dad, and Rocket and Yondu get to save the f*ckin’ movie. I’m saying that having already mentioned I liked the entire thing but Rocket and Yondu each get such lovely explorations of their characters and their motivations. It makes the mini arcs the other characters get seem shallow and simple, or at least not as completely thought out. I mean there’s one part where Nebula is literally just standing in one spot delivering a string of exposition about her childhood to a single other character that does not interact with her in ANY OTHER SCENE. I guess she is just very open for an evil mastermind character? I wouldn’t expect her to be such an open book! I feel like her and Gamora’s arc is the weakest but I’ll be honest, I’m not sure why I feel that way. I’m glad they get to do something other than just stand around and be a love interest, but it felt too easily resolved? This blood has been bad for YEARS and one heart felt confession in a cave and a hug resolves the entire thing? I don’t think so! And, side note, what is Gamora’s job on the ship?! Rocket and Quill are the pilots. Rocket is also the engineer and gunner. Drax seems to just be extra muscle and doesn’t have a job ON the ship, but Gamora had a seat and a panel she was playing around with there. Is she the navigator? Can I somehow do a Galaxy Quest and men plus directions joke here? Maybe, but I’m tired and I don’t want to think that hard.
One place where this movie shines with no criticism at ALL is the not surprising anyone perfect soundtrack. Every song was something my mother or father had played and we had sung along to in a car to somewhere. I had to be shushed in the theater for singing Fleetwood Mac under my breath. It’s just fun. There are no other words to describe it. That’s not true, I could also use good, or amazing, or nostalgic, or magical. Okay so there are a lot of other words to describe it but they’re all good words. The soundtrack is already available on Spotify and you bet your taut, well formed ass I’ve already been listening to it. (There’s even a great ad you get sometimes that lets you know the soundtrack is available and if it pops up while you’re listening to it, it puts “Obviously” at the bottom. Freakin brilliant.) The beginning of that movie is now all I can see every time I hear Mr. Blue Sky and I’m very okay with that.
Overall the movie is what I thought and hoped it’d be. It was fun, odd, plenty of dancing Groot, and had some real emotional high points. It’s not as consistently solid as the last one, but it’s still a good 2 hours and you bet your ass I’m going to buy the f*ck out of the blu-ray when it comes out.