Spoilers abound in this post, so if you haven’t seen GOTG2 yet, stop reading now. You have been warned.
Of all the comics-turned-films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Guardians Of The Galaxy was the one that I was least aware of, by which I mean I had never heard of it. And so going into it I had no expectations, which is probably one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much. Having watched it several times since its release in 2014 I got to know the characters fairly well and so my hopes were raised for Vol. 2, and like my favourite sequel The Empire Strikes Back, it has surpassed the original.
That’s not the only similarity: daddy issues feature heavily in this one (and not just for Peter Quill…), our heroes are split up for a large part of the story, Peter comes close to turning to “the dark side”, and each character is developed and given more depth than before. The relationships are explored and deepened, particularly between Gamora and Nebula, Peter and Gamora, and Peter and Yondu, these last two having one particularly emotional moment (I got popcorn in my eye, OK..?).
Kurt Russell is note-perfect as Peter’s god father Ego, who more than lives up to his name. His presence answers a lot of questions for Peter and for the audience, and his revelation about Peter’s mother’s illness prompted more than a few gasps from the cinema I was in. Also, Marvel’s de-aging CGI has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years (remember the Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen cartoons in X-Men: The Last Stand? Ugh.). I wonder if they can lend it to LucasFilm for Indiana Jones V….?
I can’t talk about this film without mentioning Rocket the
Raccoon Trashpanda and Drax. Both of these two are absolutely hilarious here. Rocket’s frustration with trying to make Baby Groot understand the simplest instruction was priceless, and I can honestly say that I have never laughed so hard at the word “nipples”. Dave Bautista’s performance just shows how wasted he was in Spectre.
So, aside from asking myself where in my MCU Top 10 this film will go (easily in the top 5), other questions from GOTG2:
What impact will Stallone have on Guardians Vol. 3, and possibly the wider MCU? I can’t believe he got such prominent billing for just three scenes…
Will Peter and Gamora speak of the unspoken thing and risk letting the ratings slide?
Will Drax keep playing hard to get with Mantis?
And perhaps the most important question of all: is Stan Lee an intergalactic agent of Thanos sent to keep tabs on the Infinity Stones and all who come into contact with them?
I would love that last one to be true…..