Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2: The Epic Review


Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 was AMAZING.

I have some pretty high standards that I make movies have to hurdle over; the IMDB top 100 movies doesn’t exactly fit my choice of what makes a good flick for me.

I have to have four main things, and one overall to ensure that I get the most out of my viewing pleasure.
So what are these four + one things?

 

Substance, Detail, Likeability, and Style. And then whether it achieved what it claimed it was setting out to do.

A lot of times, the hype for a movie sadly diminishes the actual performance in the flick itself, and I heavily sigh and cart myself off to a place where I can gain solace in the fact that I think I’ve likely already seen the worst movies possible, so it has to be better tomorrow… right?

I’ll give you a [probable SHOTS FIRED kinda] example: Suicide Squad. Oh my freakin’ stars, I wanted that thing to be epically good. I purposely didn’t see BvS because I had heard so much… BS about that “flop”, and yet I was still hoping that DC would not crash this potential fantastic vehicle that it could officially open up its collective Universe vault and share other goodies with us. {{And yes, I realise that my faithful readers KNOW I am a Marvel Girl 4Lyfe! But I am still a geek at the core, and I wanted so desperately to fall in love with more than just Barry Allen and Poison Ivy!! #fangirlcrush}}

 

Suicide Squad was an abysmal disaster in my eyes. I absolutely HATE when they take all of the “good” stuff and put it in the damn trailers.

So when I started to see the trailers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, I bristled. How could it compete with how fantastic the first one was? Who is this James Gunn guy think he is, assuming so much that he can deliver as he said he would, at the end of the first one? Surely, cynicalpixie is going to rear her head and shout NO NO NO it is going to flop and I’ll be crushed and be even more sadderistical.

But unlike the critics and pre-watchers and naysayers of Suicide Squad, BvS, and others, there was no negative about GotG2. AT ALL.

Now, I should interject here, that I am not going to give any spoilers away, because it is so freaking amazing and I hope you find a way to go see it in the theatre. I didn’t expect to, yet happily, myself and 10 others (it was a matinee showing we went to) were in the 330pm Caribbean Cinemas Theatre Room #3.

IT WAS LATE STARTING. Well, give it to Antigua, the chairs are those awesome perfectly crafted rocking/reclining chairs that make you feel all happy and squishy. Since I was technically the first feet in the theatre, I got to call where I wanted to sit. And I choose dead centre, where the bars are, so you can recline and get your feet up.

Bonus: NO GIANT HEAD in front of me. AAAAAH

 

Previews finally started 10 minutes into when the movie was supposed to be on, and with the previous 28 minutes of popping sound from the speakers (it was a dubstep song that would play about 1-2sec at a time and then silence for about 2 minutes again… very odd) – I was apprehensive that there was going to be any sound quality to speak of… but rest assured, when the previews came on, I immediately brushed those minute fears aside – the visual and audial qualities were top notch.

I could honestly sit here and just write I AM GROOT a million times and still not convey the level of awesomeness this movie is. Seriously, they could have named it I AM GROOT and I would have loved it as much (or more; okay, this is it’s one failing mark.) Groot is the star of the show, and he is the most phenomenal virtual (I have to see if they made any actual stand in parts for the scenes) character who has ever been brought to life on the screen. Scene stealing adorable lil twig, and he is just squeezably fantastic. I need 800 Groots. Please?

I will say this: if you are thinking you know the story based off the trailers, HA HA HA. NO. Marvel has a very good way of circumventing an actual plotline discussion with regards to how it shows the trailers.

Sorry to do this, Suicide Squad lovers, but I’m gonna use the movie as an example. Well, more like the trailers. You can watch even just one trailer for Suicide Squad and not only have 90% of the plot, you have 98% of the jokes, the Easter Eggs, and the chronological order of the movie.

Now, I’m not saying that Marvel hasn’t dropped the ball in the past. WE DO NOT SPEAK OF SPIDERMAN: EMO for a reason. We don’t discuss Last Stand, because it was not the way that X-Men should have been taken proper care of (of this subject, I will battle to the death with someone, PROFESSOR X DOES NOT DIE LIKE THAT!) << if that’s a spoiler to you, YOU’RE WELCOME. I just saved you two freaking hours of your life you’d otherwise want to get back, while learning how to macramé using cat fur you’ve turned into wool.

So, what am I going to tell you all about this amazing movie?
Without spoilers, it is a bit hard to go into much detail, but James Gunn does Guardians justice. He remains true to the ethos of the storyline, while taking acceptable artistic license, to make characters a bit more three-dimensional in some aspects, and taking a bit of sandpaper to a couple others to make them a touch less potentially completely unpalatable to an audience, especially those who are walking into the theatre not knowing how or who or why they are the way they are from never having read a comic or story or wiki on these characters. Do not pity them, fellow geeks! Educate!

I will also add that yes, I cried. I mark a movie good if it can move me. I had a FULL range of emotion throughout this movie, and I’m not just talking about yay! Happy and boo! Sad.

I mean, I felt exactly what Mr. Gunn wanted us to emote. I was curious and delighted and angry (OH I WAS FURIOUS at one point, no lie!), I was sad, I was confused, smug, positive, energized, pensive, despondent, hopeful, and crushed. I laughed and I cried. I don’t honestly know the last time a movie has given me such a full range of emotions. I will likely sleep very well tonight, having had such a beautifully gifted cathartic experience.

Which is what movies were and are meant to do for us. They help us escape. They help us forget. They are better than a drug, and cheaper than a bottle to suck back. They can give us wings, and they can help us, for that beautiful moment, to dive into a world and know beauty and darkness and challenge our views. They are a unique and incredibly wonderful interactive experience, in that we aren’t participants, yet we are on a journey with those who would hold our attention.

When movies do that properly, you come away from the movie feeling like you’ve been in a sensory deprivation and overload at the same time. It’s surreal. Leaving the theatre feels… alien and foreign to you. When you watch one of these kinds of movies at home, and your next door neighbour knocks to borrow some sugar, it feels odd and somehow violating that they are invading your sacred space. Perhaps that’s just the mind of an extreme introvert talking, but when I leave a movie, be it in theatre or closing my laptop or shutting off a tv, I’m disoriented. How do feet work again? What is this thing called time?

**It’s ten times worse when I’ve read a book, and it is really hard to get back into a normal (<< ?? haha never!) flow and fit in life.**

So I’ve made you wander this far through my brain, might as well tell you what I specifically liked/loved about it without giving spoilers away.

The characters.
I will again state that Groot is hands-down the easily BEST character in this movie.

Peter Quill/Star Lord – Chris Pratt was borne to play Star Lord, as much as Ryan Reynolds was hatched to be Deadpool. He is both cheeky and innocent. Naïve and brave. Curiously hopeful. He’s the EVERYPERSON of the universe who just wants happiness and is not afraid to dance.

Gamora – Thank you, James Gunn, for keeping her as INCREDIBLE as she was in the comics, and thank you for doing her proper justice. Strong, passionate, devoted, brave, humble, and not afraid to be honest about her struggles, Gamora gives an entire generation to come a wonderful role model who isn’t just a set of tits. ((okay, one spoiler: I’m so glad she got the biggest gun to play with! I gave a happy lil squeal of delight when I saw her pick it up! YOU GO, GAMORA!!!!))

Rocket: I heart you. Bradley Cooper gives this TRASH PANDA so much life, I swear throughout this movie I was convinced they had shrunk Bradley down somehow and gave him a mask to wear. I LOVE ROCKET. He’s raw and unrefined and brilliant and vulnerable in his survivor status and if he’s not a symbol of how to rise above the abuse you’ve been forced to endure for the sake of others, I don’t know who would be.

Drax (the Destroyer) – I’m gonna take a bit of a different tact on him. And for those who have love of the actual storyline, I’m sticking with the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) take on him, instead of starting that huge debate about him actually being Arthur Douglas and yes, I realise that there is a lot we could discuss there alone, but I’m not going into that tonight.

I’ve read several amazing interviews and stories from parents of the Autism Spectrum community say that Drax has given their child a voice. Not trying to speak for all of them, but many (most if I could be so bold) autistic children perceive reality in its literal form. What I mean by that is they don’t “get” subtly, they don’t see innuendo, and they do not understand why those things are necessary. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Drax has given them a voice in a way very few other superheroes before have: Drax is their superhero. His race in the movies is unrevealed (yes, I realise the comics say HUMAN, we’re not talking about that right now), and that he comes from a race that are hopelessly naïve and take everything literally.

Why this lightly-defensive seeming stance for Drax’s benefit you might ask? Because under all that muscle is a very sweet, pure individual. He is unabashedly free within himself to emote as he sees fit. He’s the essence of everything a lot of people strive to be: content. He finds true joy out of moments where others would be paralysed with fear, and there is a level of compassion that he holds within himself that is genuine and missed by most. If you’ve ever had the privilege to hear someone truly laugh in real life the way that Drax does, you know you’ve heard true happiness. And that laugh, wow. I think my toes giggled with him a few times. I wish the word infectious didn’t carry such a negative stigma, as that’s exactly what his laughter is. I hope David Baustisa has as much fun playing that character as we do watching him.

I’m really wanting to go into details about other characters, but without spoiling it in some regard, I worry telling you of their characteristics will be too much of a tell.

 

So here goes with as much vagueness as possible:
There is one which is incredibly beautiful and shines purely, without expectation of admiration, kindness, or anything else for that matter.

There is one (or two) whom you never want to hate, and you realise you couldn’t have hated, even if you tried.
There is one you really want to love, and yet you know they will never meet your standards.
There are some who think so much of themselves… well, I’ll say there might have been a bit of smugness watching this interaction. (It’s like a race of stuck up high schoolers) << Yeah, that’s a spoiler, but pfft, they deserve it. *giggle*
And there are some who as soon as they come onto the screen, you’re begging for them to stay there the whole damn time, because they are just awesome. *cough* Groot *cough*

Now, if you’re gonna take your kiddos to see this, be prepared. There’s one scene (without spoilers) that will likely give some purehearts a sniffle or two. You can trust me when I say that they (the characters) are really wrong to pick on someone who isn’t their size, and though it is a very tough moment to watch for anyone who has ever been bullied and pushed around, the swell of unbelievable pride is… deeper than tree roots could ever grow.

I think that’s the only scene they might really have a tough moment about, even though there are other sad-ish kinds of moments.

So what do I give this epic piece of Marvel Cinematic Universe? On a scale of 1-10, with one being Spiderman 3: Spidey Goes Goth, and 10 being Deadpool: Pixie’s Lover, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 gets 42/10. Because a) that’s how old I am right now, b) it’s the meaning of life according to D.A. (hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy), and c) because I’m silly and should have just said it was OVER 9000. But I want to leave room for Volume 3.

I am Groot.
And yes, I did just swear, because it was that freakin’ awesome. And I didn’t say freakin’.

Sera Hicks on Blogger
Sera Hicks
Creative Journey Leader, Intern Supervisor, Admin, Writer at Geeks and Geeklets
Geeky Hobbit-loving Whovian. Lover of chocolate, cats, and crafty things. Writer, Creative Journey Leader. It has to be better tomorrow.