This review is part of our 20 Days of Infinity War. Click here to for more WOBAM awesome.
The first Guardians of the Galaxy came out of Knowhere (Someday I will stop recycling that line, but that day isn’t today). Had you heard of the Guardians before the movie was announced? I sure hadn’t. I bet most movie goers hadn’t. But now here we are, on the cusp of their third theatrical outing in Avengers: Infinity War. Dang.
Vol. 2 picks up shortly after the first film, with the Guardians on a mission and tensions riding high. Writer/Director James Gunn takes this and uses it to mine some profound character work, digging deep to flesh out everyone in the cast.
The definite standout is the development of Yondu as a scruffy criminal, a poor leader, a bad Daddy. This better Yondu gave us a better movie, and a better Guardians too.
The other two standouts for me are Peter x Gamora and the Thanos Sisterhood. Peter and Gamora are the couple you root for; they don’t feel gimmicky or fake, they feel true to life. In like fashion, Gamora and Nebula have perhaps the deepest arc in the movie; Thanos robbed them of their their self-determination: slowly but surely, they’re getting it back on their own terms. This arc is the one I look forward to the most in Infinity War.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how great Drax is. What a hoot.
The core of this movie though is Peter’s relationship with his father, Ego. Ego lends himself to MCU Phase 3’s villain hot streak, and a lot of the reason he works at all is because he’s not evil in a traditional sense. What makes Ego evil isn’t who he is, but what he’s become. Choices make the man, and Ego made choices that neglected morality and good. In his selfishness, he became a murder. In his arrogance, he saw that as a virtue.
What ties all of this gobbledygook together is the sheer brilliance of Awesome Mix Vol. 2. Being a snapshot of Meredith Quill, the soundtrack pierces to the very heart of the cast. Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” is used to maximum effect. “Father & Son” will get your eyes watering. “Bring It On Home To Me” does so much to advance Peter and Gamora. “Brandy” carries the strongest parts of the movie.
All in all, I like Guardians 2 a lot. It did something new with something old, and the end result feels like a bonkers mashup of Star Trek V and Treasure Planet.
In these times of hardship, just remember Zardu Hasselfrau and his cool boat.
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