Review — Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

I’m not quite sure what the general consensus for this movie has been, or if it’s one of those “love it or hate it” situations, but overall I would say this is probably the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s weakest movie to date. That said, I did enjoy it, I just think they could have done a lot better with it. Since this is a new movie, no plot-relevant spoilers ahead, though I will be talking about the first few scenes.

As far as “movie adaptations” go, I think as a general rule it’s okay for a movie to diverge from whatever the original story is, regardless of the medium it’s derived from. I’m not upset when things don’t happen in the movies the same way they happened in the comics, primarily because I’m not very familiar with the comics, but also, there will always be too many different factors at play. You can never translate anything perfectly to film, there will always be things that are different. This is indisputable by virtue of the fact that many of those mediums require imagination, and movies take that aspect away, and you can’t stay true to everyone’s imagination in any circumstance.

So I’m not upset when this movie is different from the comics. I don’t know the comics, this is the only time I’ve seen these characters. I am upset when the plot rides the back seat to let jokes steer the wheel, however. I think the first Guardians of the Galaxy had lots of humor in it, and everybody loved it, so this time around they made the movie about the humor. Now, I’m okay with comedy movies, but I wouldn’t have even put this movie and it’s predecessor in the same genre, and that’s what the problem is here. We’re sacrificing character development and story telling to let sex jokes and obscure references take the forefront, and that isn’t what I signed up for. I think anyone that is told this upfront before seeing the movie will enjoy it a lot more.

The part that I liked the most was the first scene. The team fighting that horrible beastie while Baby Groot dances to a song is I think holds true to the original movie, and I loved it (especially when Gamora yells at Groot, and then smiles and waves cause she’s talking to a baby). But when they finish that scene and get to Sovereign, we’re immediately thrown into an info dump that has no immediate relevance to the plot. We’re given a ton of backstory that didn’t even fit the conversation, let alone the scene, and that was really confusing. Any time you describe a process to your audience just to teach them how things works, you’re doing something wrong. You have to at least make it make sense with the scene!

I did enjoy seeing more of the less important characters from the first movie. We get more interaction from Yondu and Nebula, and I do like what they added to the development of things. Their character arcs were very predictable, but that’s not always a bad thing.

Overall, the thing that I hated the most were the jokes. It wasn’t that there were too many, it’s that the execution on several of them were so poor. There were lines that didn’t fit with their character and jokes that grabbed the low hanging fruit, as Howard Taylor might say. Much of the humor in this movie was pretty low brow, and I don’t think it was suited to the plot at all.

All that said, I would still give it an overall positive score. I’m still excited to see more of these characters, I just think this could have been a lot better than it was. I suppose Marvel proved that it wasn’t infallible with this movie. Okay, it already proved that with the Iron Man sequels and a few others, but I still thoroughly enjoyed those!

One thought on “Review — Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

  1. I enjoyed this movie in much the same fashion that I am able to enjoy anime. Some stuff in anime just hits this cultural barrier and I just brush past it. Granted, this is obviously not that, and shouldn’t have been my reaction. But I’ve had experience with the situation so even the grating bits just kinda glanced off me and didn’t ruin the movie for me.

    Could it have been better? Heck yeah. Just omitting some lines would have made a lot of things way stronger. Like the Nebula bit with the fruit, or Rocket translating Groot towards the end for Yondu.

    On the other hand, some of the lowbrow stuff I feel, from my very limited understanding of the characters, felt really spot on. Especially Drax. I really felt that Drax, having not understood *anything* that wasn’t just flat out plain vocalization in the first movie (“why are you dragging your finger across your neck?”) to picking up on it, and doing it very poorly in the second (“the idea of being with you is making me physically sick!”) and yet still very much being his inappropriate self – from the perspective of humans.

    The biggest gripe I have, though, was the entire character of Mantis. She had a few good scenes (I especially liked the one between her and Drax when Drax was thinking about his family) but overall, she felt just WAY over the top with the childlike mannerisms? On the otherhand, maybe she nailed it absolutely perfectly, but I just overall didn’t like the performance?

    Lastly though, and this touches a bit on that scene I liked between Drax and Mantis – the movie had a lot more emotional bits that I would have ever expected. I think I liked all of those bits, which is probably what keeps my opinion of the movie pretty high.

    Liked by 1 person

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