Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Series: Marvel Cinematic Universe: #15

Series: MCU Phase 3: #3

After the surprisingly awesome Guardians of the Galaxy, it was really a question of: could they do it again? The answer, a resounding… sort of?

Don’t get me wrong, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has some pretty awesome moments. The opening battle in particular is spectacular (I love the contrast of dancing Baby Groot against a big smack down in the background). And we get all piles of additional humor based around Drax’s literalness, Rocket being a racoon, …

Drax: The beast’s hide is too thick to be pierced from the outside. I must cut through it from the inside.

Gamora: Huh?… No, no! Drax, wait a minute! Drax!

[Drax charges at the monster, and leaps down its throat]

Peter Quill: [horrified] What is he doing?

Gamora: He said the skin is too thick to be pierced on the outside. So he…

Peter Quill: But, that doesn’t make any sense!

Gamora: I tried telling him that!

Peter Quill: Skin is the same level of thickness from the inside as from the outside!

Gamora: I realize that.

… and Groot being… whatever he is.

Gef: [about Baby Groot] What about this little plant? Can I smash it with a rock?

Taserface: No, Gef. It’s too adorable to kill. Take it to the tailor.

That being said, it’s in kind of a weird place. On one hand, they’re still scoundrels, but also heroes? And they’re helping people but also stealing things. It’s a contrast in general on what it means to be a Guardian of the Galaxy and I think it doesn’t quite work. When they all go their separate ways, you know it’s going to happen, but it doesn’t really feel earned. Let them be a team for a little bit longer…

Plotwise, it’s interesting to dig a little more into what makes Quill special (and able in the first movie to hold an Infinity Stone for even as long as he did). Turns out his dad is … a planet? And I thought a racoon/tree teamup was ridiculous. Anyways, Kurt Russell acts the heck out of his role. He’s a perfect super powerful, charismatic being with questionable intentions.

Ego: I created what I imagined biological life to be like… down to the most minute detail.

Drax: Did you make a penis?

Peter Quill: Dude!

Gamora: What is wrong with you?

Drax: If he’s a planet, how could he make a baby with your mother? He would smush her!

Peter Quill: I don’t need to hear how my parents…

Drax: Why? My father would tell the story of impregnating my mother every winter solstice.

Peter Quill: That’s disgusting.

Drax: It was beautiful. You earthers have hang-ups.

Ego: Yes, Drax, I got a penis.

Drax: Ha! Thank you!

Ego: It’s not half bad.

But it’s just a really weird plotline, even for the MCU.

Storywise though, it was really interesting to see the increasing emphasis on relationships. Quill and Gamora have a weird one, but it’s growing. Rocket and Quill fight all the time. Quill has some major daddy issues (with literal daddy-planet Ego, but also with adopted daddy Yondu). Etc. It feels like they’re trying to do a lot there–to the point of perhaps being too much even–but I really do like the idea they were going for, especially with Yondu. That…

[Yondu is floating in the air, hanging on his arrow]

Peter Quill: You look like Mary Poppins.

Yondu: Is he cool?

Peter Quill: Hell yeah, he’s cool.

Yondu: I’m Mary Poppins, y’all!

That was a satisfying plotline.

Overall, it’s an enjoyable enough movie, if a bit bigger than it could support. Towards the bottom of my lists for the MCU/year. It’s not a movie I would randomly pick out of the MCU to watch by itself, but definitely well above the level where I’d just skip it.

Random side note: After watching so much Stargate over the last few months, hearing Ben Browder as the Sovereign Admiral was amusing. He has a somewhat distinct voice.