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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Troma boy made good James Gunn (SUPER) returns as director and this time sole credited writer to bring us GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, the continuing adventures of Marvel’s literally-colorful team of intergalactic reprobates. Gunn doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, he just coasts on the charm and humor of the world and characters he set up in the first one. But this time they hit the ground running, already a team, and Groot (Vin Diesel, FIND ME GUILTY) is a baby tree man instead of a giant one, so they only have one big enforcer guy instead of two, and they have to take turns babysitting.

Think about it: wouldn’t it be weird if in one of the FAST AND FURIOUS movies all the sudden Tyrese was a 2-year-old and they still had to take him with them on their missions? It’s a pretty different dynamic.

The team is still earth-born manchild Peter “Star Lord” Quill (Chris Pratt, WANTED), green warrior woman Gamora (Zoe Saldana, THE TERMINAL), wiseass mercenary raccoon Rocket (Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper, THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN), and literal-minded berserker-with-a-heart-of-gold Drax (Dave Bautista, WRONG SIDE OF TOWN, HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN, THE SCORPION KING 3: BATTLE FOR REDEMPTION, THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS, RIDDICK, KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE). They fly around in a little space cruiser and battle with laser guns, swords, bombs and jumping and what not. This time they do a security job in exchange for Gamora’s evil cyborg sister Nebula (Karen Gillan, THE BIG SHORT), who becomes the dangerous-prisoner-who-maybe-they-should-free-as-an-ally character like Riddick, Napoleon Wilson or Desolation Williams.

One problem: Rocket stole some shit from The Sovereign, the kingdom of genetically engineered gold people that hired them, so now they’re being chased by an army of drones and the barbarian bounty hounters the Ravagers, including Quill’s space-stepdad-figure Yondu (Michael Rooker, UNDISPUTED, THE MARINE 2). But this adventure is primarily concerned with Quill meeting his biological father, Ego (Kurt Russell, THE THING), a cocky god-like being who is also a weird planet (?) where they come to stay for a while.

This will of course lead to some revelations and some fights and etc. But, even more than in the aforementioned FAST AND THE FURIOUS series, those sorts of things are a skeleton beneath the true meat of the movie, which is the time we get to spend with these characters, enjoying their friendship and bonding and teasing each other and what not. Even more than in the first one, Drax seems to get the most laughs, many of them from talking to Ego’s antennaed empath assistant Mantis (Pom Kementieff, OLDBOY remake). Neither of them understand social interaction, so he calls her a “gross bug lady” not meaning to insult her, and she timidly accepts it.

Movies are often accused of being “like a video game,” but this is one that brings to mind the psychedelic artistic interpretations of crude early game graphics painted on cartridge packaging and the sides of arcade machines. There’s also a pretty great Pac-Man reference, and the rigs where the Sovereign control the drone ships make classic arcade sound effects when they fire and when they “die.” In fact, between the gold Sovereign, green Gamora and bright blue Yondu (at one point shown strikingly with a glowing red cyber-mohawk), it’s the garish aesthetic of a glorious pinball machine.

I like this new fad of bright colors in movies. Keep it up.

Dancing continues to be an important theme. Drax assesses compatibility by categorizing people as dancers or non-dancers, and Gamora’s secret willingness to dance is a sign of her understanding of Quill. “Baby Groot” won the world’s heart by dancing on the end credits of Vol. 1, and I also interpreted that as a sign of Peter’s influence on the crew (just like this one’s detail that Rocket likes to listen to Peter’s tapes during their battles).

If you do the math, this takes place right after Volume 1. It starts with a 1980 flashback, then skips to 34 years later, confirming that it’s still 2014. That’s why Groot is still a born-again baby, and also why they’re happy enough to dance: they don’t know about Trump yet. Even if they kept tabs on earth, he would just be an ex game show host. Actually, Quill was abducted too early to have seen HOME ALONE 2, so he might not know who Trump is, unless he remembers his episode of The Jeffersons. (I haven’t seen it but he’s playing himself so I assume it’s about him settling a lawsuit over housing discrimination.)

So throughout the opening credits, still-a-baby Groot joyously expresses himself to music as the other Guardians struggle to slay a giant blob monster, mostly just out of focus in the background. (A favorite moment: when Groot waves at Gamora and she stops shooting to say “Hi.”) There are also some shots of other characters dancing during the end credits, floating inside frames that recall t-shirt iron-ons.

Quill and his mom’s musical tastes continue to drive the tone of the film – this is still the only space adventure you’d expect to hear E.L.O., Fleetwood Mac and Cheap Trick. Quill has a little soul, too, so he introduces Gamora to Sam Cooke and the end credits use “Flashlight” by Parliament. It’s weird to think that some kids will hear it here for the first time and always associate it with this movie, but it makes a certain kinda sense to pair the Guardians of the Galaxy with the funky afronauts of the Mothership, and an album about using a laser gun to force an uptight dude to dance.

The end credits have a musical treat in addition to the five different tags (which are mostly little gags, but one features two actors we regard highly around here, so I hope it’s setting up future movie happenings). Like DOCTOR STRANGE it has a playful retro version of its own theme song. In this case it’s called “Guardians Inferno” and it’s a Meco Monardo style disco version.

One of the genius moves of Vol. 1 was tying its ’70s rock soundtrack to its emotional core. The songs have a nostalgic power (“Hey, I remember this – hey, I like this now!”) but more importantly, since they’re from the “Awesome Mix” tape that Quill remembers his late mother by, they are his childhood, and her personality, and her gift to him, which he now shares with the Guardians crew. They are his heritage.

So music is our mother, but Volume 2 uses an additional technique of tying pop culture figures to our fathers. It’s a reoccurring gag that Quill growing up told other kids David Hasselhoff (NICK FURY: AGENT OF SHIELD) was his dad. He still speaks of him with reverence, and his stories of Knight Rider have been received as wise allegory by Gamora. This is all paid off in a glorious moment when Ego transforms into Michael Knight – full costume on a digitally de-aged Hasselhoff – as he discusses Peter’s ideal image of a father.

Gunn uses the same damn trick on the audience by casting Russell as Quill’s dad and, in a few scenes, Sylvester Stallone (CREED) as Stakar, who Yondu was mentored by and so desperately wants to win the approval of. On a meta level the sight of these actors instantly stokes our nostalgia and our instincts to seek male role models. They’ve long been our ideals of masculinity, the Tangos and Cashes we want to live up to. We want them to be proud of us too.

You gotta respect Gunn for making a gigantic summer tentpole that feels more like a breezy hangout comedy, and for giving the juiciest roles to ex-WWE DTV star Bautista and abrasive character actor Rooker. Honorable mention goes to Russell, who gets to unleash Jack Burton x Stuntman Mike levels of self regard, revisit his hunkiest age via CGI and transform into a giant floating head (among other things).

Since it’s a continuation of part 1, it doesn’t feel brand new. It’s more of a remix. But they got it just right, this blend of jokes and aliens and feelings.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 at 11:44 am and is filed under Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

55 Responses to “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

  1. I loved this one. Yondu’s arc was one of my favorite things in any Marvel movie to date, and between this and Merle, Rooker has shown great skill at playing complicated asshole anti-heroes in big budget comic deals

  2. I like that Yondu followed through on the foreshadowed face turn at the end of Vol. 1

  3. GUARDIANS VOL 1, is my favorite of the MCU films, and vol 2 doesn’t disappoint. It is a little more heavy then Vol 1, so it has a different tone and is not quit as fun as Vol 1. However, that is not a critique just an observation. It also doesn’t feel as fresh and new as the original as Vern mentioned but it is a great sequel, and it is fun spending more time with these characters. Drax is even better in this one!

    Vern, (mild spoilers) Sly (Starhawk) and crew are the original Guardians from the comics.

  4. I really dug this. Loved the humour, the retro appeal, fucking Michael Knight (I wish he’d been my Dad too), and the whole Father triangle dynamic thing with Pratt/Rucker/Russell. It was probably obvious to a lot more people earlier, but I really had a “lightbulb” moment later in the film when I realized that Yondu never pursued or punished Quill simply because he loved him like a son. Really nice. It made his *SPOILER* sacrifice predictable but emotionally weighty.

    Didn’t realize Sly was in it, but more than pleased to see him pop up. And Baby Groot was totally lovable. I imagine plush versions are selling out of Disney stores world wide.

    Overall, Vol 2 feels a lot more separate to the Marvel universe than the first film, and perhaps that is for the best. Coupled with the first, it easily places the Guardians films as the best MCU movies overall, whereas the other heroes have all had their hits and misses.

    Roll on the 3rd film.

  5. I liked it, but not as much as the first one. The Russell/Pratt scenes didn’t work for me and I thought the action scenes were a step down from the first one. The best moments belonged to Rocket, Yondu, and especially DRAX. Batista is the MVP of the film. I like how he’s become the clueless Don Rickles of the team. “Out of the way, smaller, dumber Groot!”

    I’ll also take Grown Groot over Baby Groot, but they did a good job of not overexposing Baby Groot. The dancing at the beginning was cute and so was the ‘find my fin’ sequence.

    Also, I’m pretty sure they didn’t de-age Hasselhoff at all? My eyes saw old Hasselhoff in a black leather jacket and red shirt.

  6. (MILD SPOILERS)…………………….My favorite Starlord & dad moment is when Ego teaches him to use his celestial powers to make a ball of energy they pass back and forth before it evolves into a father and son playing catch with celestial energy. It was funny and kind of touching.

  7. I liked this one. Not as much as the first one and I can’t really say why, but I still liked it. Everyone is saying Drax was their favorite, but Baby Groot was mine. When Rocket had to take time out of the battle at the beginning to fish the bug out of his mouth I could not stop laughing.

    Vern, when you say, “revisit his hunkiest age” about young Russell, I have to say, amen to that, brother. But, I think Wadew is right about Hasselhoff. I think he was at his current age.

    It was all fun and games until the end *SPOILERS* when fucking Cat Stevens and Baby Groot had to turn on my waterworks. I was able to get through Yondu’s sacrifice, but then Cat and Baby Groot got me.

  8. I will never watch this but it fills me up with glee that:

    1) One of the geniuses behind TROMEO & JULIET is THAT dude in Hollywood right now.

    2) New generations of movie goers will feel compelled to witness the power of CLIFFHANGER and TANGO & CASH for themselves by revisiting those forgotten gems because of said genius.

  9. 1-900-MIXALOT

    May 9th, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Loved how colourful the visuals for this one were and there were a few cute and interesting moments here and there but nothing else worked for me at all and the sheer amount of death and murder set to pop tunes left a bad taste in my mouth (can someone smarter than me please explore how flippantly and setup-for-or-punchline-to-a-joke 99% of all death and murder is treated in the GotG films except for when it is treated like the most serious thing in the whole fucking universe?) And yes, I know Gunn fucked with the same tonal shifts in SUPER but that film was always one beat away from completely upending its own rules and expectations. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY SEQUEL: VOL. 1 takes a more “Everyones’ death is hilarious unless it directly relates to a main character, and then it is important and sad, but also sometimes slightly hilarious, but only in the way that you would make light of a loved one’s passing to deal with the overwhelming pain and heartbreak of their demise, but way more shallow than anything anyone could actually genuinely relate to in real life” approach. If you wanna argue about the Hasselhoff speech and how many knots Gunn had to tie himself into to force that fucking setup and payoff into the movie and how nothing about it fucking worked AT all come at me in the comments.

    All of the humour was forced and flat, any sense of pacing or narrative escalation was basically nonexistent. Plot points and character details were just withheld and/or obfuscated until they didn’t need to be anymore in the most mechanical way imaginable. I actually tuned out so much during the final action scene that I had no idea what the fuck was going on nor did I care (granted that was probably my fault not the film’s or more likely a combination of the two factors). Either way I was not into this one at all even though it had many pleasing colours in it which is a step in the right direction for these things.

    On paper the shit with Yondu and Nebula should have been great but in the film it just felt laboured and clunky. In fact the only moment that really hooked me (Nebula’s monologue about her relationship with her sister and father and why she’s so fucked up about it) was immediately undercut with a dumb joke that completely undermined the impact of the scene and not in a way that I think improved or subverted it. Rooker was great in his role. Russell was okay in his role as a museum tour guide. Everyone else was serviceable to meh to actually pretty awful (Pratt cannot play rakish without coming across as a hollow, posey, unconvincing douchebag and yet here we are in pretty much every role he now gets). Also if you want to argue that Star Lord’s flippant persona is just a front to mask his decency and vulnerability then Pratt’s performance in the role is doubly unconvincing.

    And the extended “Taser Face” run was just unbearable. I cringed throughout the entire bit and especially at the callback just before his character (SPOILER) died in one of those flippant punchline-to-a-joke moments I already whined about. Shit was fucking painful.

    The reason I mention all of this is because SUPER is one of my all time faves and for me that movie is an example of Gunn pouring all of his quirks and interests and idiosyncrasies into something designed specifically to support them in very carefully measured doses. It feels like the SAMSUNG: GALAXIES franchise and fictional superhero team should be the perfect fit for him but when I watch this shit it just doesn’t feel like it works at all. The action, the emotion, the character development, the humour. Nothing. It just feels troublingly hollow with clumsy splashes of personality and substance messily dumped around its empty core. It’s like he’s over-directing these movies rather than mega-directing them, if that makes sense.

    To balance out my unpopular opinion here I will do my utmost to give ALIEN: COVENANT a rave review when I see it tomorrow.

  10. Loved it. I look forward to seeing Quill/Stark interactions in Avengers next year.

  11. I’ve found myself humming or singing ‘Come a Little Bit Closer’ by Jay and the Americans every day since Friday.

  12. Leave it to Vern to be the one to point out that this movie is technically a Tango and Cash reunion. I really loved this movie, probably more than the first one. I think it helped to have a writer/director with a unique voice, and it definitely helped that they didn’t feel the need to spend large chunks of the movie setting up future films. Also, I think this is one of the strongest villians in the Marvel movies so far (not just saying that because he’s my avatar and namesake). Definitely up there with Loki. Second maybe only to Killgrave from the Jessica Jones show.

  13. I can’t believe this was approved and released by Disney…

  14. Totally agree Tawdry. This was like 80s PG. And I mean that as the highest possible compliment.

  15. Loved it. Really loved the wild colors. And weird sci-fi stuff like sentient planets was the main reason I read comics as a kid.

    Kurt Russell gives a performance of a lifetime. I have always liked him (who doesn’t), but this was something…else. Hit on so many levels at once!

    I didn’t know Stalone was in it, but seeing him with his weird alien gang playing it completely straight really hit the nail on the head. I hope he is back for GOTG 3, Avengers 3 and Captain Marvel (I think those are all the space based ones coming up!) Sly and the other celebrities are definitely building up to SOMETHING!

    (Spolier of a fun moment) Stan Lee’s cameo giving truth to one of the more popular fan theories in recent years was amazing!

    Can’t decide which I like better 1 or 2, they are the same, but the emphasis is different. The first is about how these true underdogs find each other. The second is how they find themselves. Bonus to the second for being filled with REALLY WEIRD SHIT!!! Both probably tie as my favorite MCU movie!

    As a true film fan, I often wish they would be done with the whole comic book thing and just move on to something else. But every time I see one I am reminded…they are just really darn GOOD. And seem to be getting better. Trailblazers like LOGAN and DEADPOOL and this one are incredible, original movies with true vision. I personally feel Batman V Superman is an underrated gem. And all the others recently…Cap 3, x-Men Apocalypse, Ant-Man, etc. are at very entertaining and offer cool action sequences and effects.

    Even Suicide Squad was at least…different!

    Bring on the really wacky looking THOR 3!!! And while they say GOTG 3 is the last of its respective series…personally I hope it goes forever like James Bond, or at least becomes a once a decade catch up like Rocky.

  16. I liked it but not as much as the first one. Some of the bantering and wise-cracking felt a little over-the-Top and grating this time around. Also, it felt a little smaller than the first. They don’t really Galaxy hop so much. They basically spend all their time on two planets: the dull forest-y one where they crash land and Rocket works on the ship, and Ego’s pretty CGI world (minus the brief time they spend on The Sovereign in the first ten minutes). The first one definitely felt more like a free-wheeling adventure across a galactic civilization.

    This wasn’t bad, but I enjoyed the first more. I’d probably throw this in the lower middle of the MCU movies — better than some other MCU sequels, but not as good as most MCU originals.

  17. Grimgrinningchris

    May 10th, 2017 at 5:14 am

    I think it’s a better movie.

    The soundtrack, though there are definitely 5 or 6 standouts, is not as across the board great as the original. And I agree with everyone that it lacks (cuz it can’t help it) the “holy Shit, not only does this work, but it’s really fucking good!” surprise of the original.
    But in nearly every other respect, it’s better.
    The Soverign work far better and far more uniquely as standins for both the Nova Corp AND the Kree. This particular method of “how can we have our heroes destroy legions of warriors while retaining a PG-13 and it not being a total bloodbath?” is a great antidote to the now cliche hordes of generic Kree/robots/zombies/eyeballfaced monsters we’ve all gotten used to.
    Ego is a far more interesting villain than Ronan. And totally fresh and insane and unique not just in the MCU but in mainstream sci-fi/fantasy as a whole.
    Baby Groot > Regular Groot.
    The new characters are pretty much across the board great and add humor AND emotional resonance AND texture to the story and aren’t just new action figure-fodder and t-shirt (though of course there’ll be plenty of that).
    The beauty and originality of the production design both continue to amaze as well.
    And god damn is it ever funny. And not just from recycled jokes and call backs like most sequels anymore.

    Yeah, I really loved this movie.

    And not just cuz in the time since the first, I’ve spent some time with Rooker AND one of the main inspirations for the look of Ego’s ship sits 10 minutes from my house and has been a fascination of mine since I was a child.
    Though those certainly help too.

  18. Grimgrinningchris

    May 10th, 2017 at 7:06 am

    And MIXALOT… it’s okay. There’s a ton of literature, medications and support groups that can help with your condition.

    We’re here for you, man.

  19. “wouldn’t it be weird if in one of the FAST AND FURIOUS movies all the sudden Tyrese was a 2-year-old and they still had to take him with them on their missions?” But isn´that what he is and what they actually do?. They even make a joke about him wearing diapers in part seven.

  20. This one’s a phenomenon that continues to bewillder the heck outta me. It’s this mildy amusing, stakeless, weightless rice-cake of a franchise with shallow characterizations and storytelling, and totally *meh* action, and yet my geek fam can’t get enough of it. I mean it’s just so transparently obvious that Gunn put a heck of alot more craft into the soundtrack than lending the slightest ounce of verisimilitude into the characters or their world.

  21. It’s a colorful and fast-paced world with crowd-pleasing sound and visuals and unique, likable characters played by extremely charismatic performers who aren’t afraid to go to Bollywood extremes of sitcom humor and shameless melodrama. It’s not rocket science why people enjoy it.

  22. Ya got any tape? And how awesome is Bautista in this? (that’s rhetorical of course) I’m actually looking forward to seeing the Bladerunner sequel now that i’ve seen him in the trailer.

  23. Grimgrinningchris

    May 10th, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    And once again Rogue4 is completely off base.

    If anything this franchise and its characterizations are the exact opposite of those statements. Sheesh.

  24. Bright lights colors and sounds and stuff. Got it. And this is our intro to *Cosmic Marvel*. Our on-ramp to “Infinity War”. Can’t wait to see team Avengers flash-mob “Thriller” to bring down Thanos.

  25. After reading Mixalot’s comment, Ifeel like Mr. Orange in the diner in Reservoir Dogs after hearing Mr. Pink’s speech. “He convinced me. Give me my dollar back!”

  26. Grimgrinningchris

    May 10th, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Yep. That’s all it is, Rogue4.

    If you have no emotional connection to these characters, nobody can change that.

    But the resonance of these characters for literally MILLIONS of other people can’t be ignored or discounted.

    If bright colors and sounds and funny looking aliens was all it took to engage audiences, then Jupiter Ascending should have been a massive hit.

    You’re fucking nuts if you don’t think people love these characters and their world.

  27. I certainly wouldn’t put Jupiter Ascending on any top 10 list, but it definately put more of an effort toward, and actually acheived that bare minimum degree of the afore mentioned verisimilitde. That bare minimum of authenticity to it’s characters and their world. Mildly amusing tho it is, GOTG can’t be bothered with all that.

  28. Either a movie works for you or it doesn’t. For me, it worked like gangbusters. As huge a fan of GOTG1 as I was, this one was even better – I thought the performances were great, the directing and cinematogrophying rocked, the humor had me (and everybody around me) rolling, Russell was A Boss, and I saw a grown ass man 2 rows down wiping his eyes with an empty bucket of popcorn at the end. And I might’ve had some dust in my eyes a couple of times.

    Before the movie, right after the TRANSFORMERS trailer, I said “BOOOR-ING” and got a round of applause. And then everybody was totally on-board through the entire movie. So maybe I was just affected by a crowd in a great mood. If you watched this movie during a funeral, it probably wouldn’t play as well, I’m sure.

    What I’m saying is that setting, mind-set, and dose is key to what kind of experience you end up having. Don’t do drugs, kids.

  29. Watched part one last night and was not really won over by it until the Baby Groot dance at the end. I´d been giggling at some of the more clever jokes and banter between the characters but was completey underwhelmed by the childish and simple plot and the boring video game setpieces. The characters and the witty dialgue goes a long way, but boy was the plot uninspired and as by-the-numbers generic as space opera adventures goes.

  30. I sort of agree with Rogue4. I can see what he’s saying. This kind of Guardians of the Galaxy shit would have had no place in the 80’s/90’s. But we’ve had our time of dark anti-heroes being so overtly serious and dramatic. It’s been done. If you want that level of “immersion”, I’d suggest the drab, bleak, washed out Batman vs. Superman.

    GotG is colourful, popcorn cheese. But it’s fun. For once I could take my girlfriend to the cinema to watch a sci-fi action movie. And she didn’t object. She actually laughed. As are millions of other people who normally wouldn’t be down for that sort of funk.

  31. Well now that’s exactly the rub that keeps my head shakin, Film Illegitimare. I think the too grim and gritty accusations that are thrown at the DC movies are unwarranted, but it would seem to me that those who can appreciate the potential narrative failings of that presumed extreme could likewise appreciate the narrative failings of the weightless, bright lights and colors and stuff, vapid cheese whafer extreme. Tho GOGT is of course the worst example of it, this stakeless, weightless vibe seems to me to be gradually eroding the MCU formula. It certainly turned Doc Strange into a not bad but nevertheless pretty forgettable affair. It more thoroughly ruined Avengers 2. And it appears to be on full display in the next Thor offering (tho the prior 2 were easy-watching mediocrities).

  32. I agree Rogue4. DC and Marvel movies are both shallow in terms of character development and actual “meaning” so to speak. But I don’t think anyone is arguing that.

    It’s the stylistics that are starkly different. However, I think it’s DC’s insistence on being overly serious is what turns people off. It’s almost like it’s trying to be something it isn’t – like it’s trying to inject meaning, pathos and resonance in it’s cardboard characters. GotG isn’t trying to be anything but a silly popcorn movie, which a wider range of people are more likely to be pleased by.

  33. The Marvel movies have all sorts of character development.

  34. Well, actually we dont so much agree friendo. I think Man of Steel and BvS are flawed but overall good movies. And I take absolutely no issue with “funny-book” movies swingin for the Shakespearean fences. As far as I’m concerned, the level of depth that can be brought to any “silly” material, is limited only by the complacency of the film-maker. That said, I never really bought into the whole tongue in cheek logic of “it’s vapid cheese whiz, but it *knows* it’s vapid cheese whiz and isn’t trying to be anything other than vapid cheese whiz, so that magically makes it cool!” Yeahh no, it’s vapid cheese whiz.

  35. Just when you thought there was a chance Rogue4 could express himself on any topic without being a condescending, passive-aggressive prick about it, he trots out “friendo” in a mild disagreement about a movie starring a cartoon raccoon whose best friends is a baby tree.

  36. Yeah, it’s an open film discussion forum Maj. Try to cope with the *open* and/or *discussion* thing with a bit of maturity, friendo. Now see, that was condescending snark. But just for you Maj.

  37. I looked up the word “friendo” in an online urban dictionary. here is what it says: “An intimidating word you use when you want to shake down or scare someone who isn´t actually your friend”.

    In other words it seems to be lingo used by mobsters. You don´t happen to be a debt collector by trade, Rogue4?

  38. Wow, that’s a very weird description for a word that is basically just a Coen Brothers quote.

  39. I think Marvel movies all try to tell good stories about flawed heroes which is why almost all their villains aren’t great.

  40. Yeah I saw that flick when it came out, and was just amused as heck by that weird line. So I started using it. Just find it weirdly amusing. No derogatory implication or subtext.

  41. RJ_MacReady – what’s funny is a lot of GOTGv2 is basically set up for #3 from the Sovereign to Sly’s character to Nebula to hell, that brief-blink-and-miss shot of Star-Lord’s grandfather back on Earth and of course that post-credits scene regarding Adam Warlock that baffled my crowd. I think the best MCU set-up is done when it doesn’t feel like set-up or a chore at all, to the point that you go “oh right” when its pointed out.

    I think unlike the other MCU sequels (with CIVIL WAR perhaps being an exception) where you could theoretically enjoy them without having to see the preceding movie, I don’t know if one can enjoy GOTGv2 without already being emotionally attached in some form with those core characters after the first one. For all the talk about this having no plot (even though people like to complain about MCU movies having the same plot whether it be magic rocks or characters-killed-but-fake-out or whatever), you get characters development ESPECIALLY with supporting players. Sean Gunn went from “oh hey the director got his brother a gig in front of the camera besides standing in for a CGI character” to “hey I actually remember his character’s name now and he kinda find him endearing.” Him and Nebula and Yondu had the whole redemption angle that MCU films love to do.

    Honestly a good comparison is JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2. Hear me out. First WICK was embraced for among other things, its tight simplicity. That’s sacrificed in the sequel in favor of going deeper into the mythos/world building (in GOTG v2, its characterization/character development) and a story that’s setpiece-dominating while trying to give folks the basic checklist of things they wanted more of in a follow-up (for WICK, it would be Keanu being a badass, the world building, and great action scenes) and yet there is a critical moment in the 3rd act that absolutely pays off because after 2 movies, you understand why that moment fucking matters. And like JWC2, the sequel isn’t as good as the first one but only by a pubic. Still very good shit.

    The Movie Bastard – the weird thing is I have a feeling (even weirder, one I’ve seen DC fans bring up lately online) that starting with SUICIDE SQUAD (and its fucked up post-production) and early word on WONDER WOMAN being compared to the first Cap movie to JUSTICE LEAGUE going joke-heavier because WB shit themselves after BVS didn’t make the big bucks they expected/needed (and new boss AT&T wants DC movies to make big bucks and now)….the “too dark” or “too serious” grimdark DCEU reputation might be going out the door in favor of “Marvelization.” (I just made it up, but it sounds good. I should trademark it.) Doesn’t mean those films will be bad, hell they might potentially be better than some of the MCU efforts.

    If my theory pans out, you’ll have people re-examine BVS and worship it just because it’s not like anything else put out by the company the next few years. Even if I think it was rubbish.

  42. Sternshein – Basically their shit (origin stories anyway) is designed to use humor and their angst backgrounds to endear those protagonists to audiences, and as a consequence their villains tend to be merely plot devices with legs and a mouth. It’s why a lot of times they tend to be evil mirror/alternate versions of the hero in some form or another. (Personally my favorite kind of that was ANT-MAN where you had that retro-throwback design of that character’s costume that’s friendly and kinda analog whimsy, then Yellowjacket with that sinister digital-powered design. Its nice whenever movies of this ilk remember that comic books are/were a visual medium.*)

    Its funny I thought the villain in GOTGv2 was one of MCU’s better ones so far. Won’t spoil it for those who haven’t caught the movie already, but subversive subtext with him and another character that one is surprised hasn’t pissed off the religious right wing yet. (Or if it had, I missed it.) Funny too since both actors are right wingers. Its the sort of subtext Zack Snyder would be into, except I think Gunn makes it work simply because he found an emotional core to it.

    *=One complaint MCU movies have, and a video that went viral last year complained about it, is that they’re shot for TV-looking. And yet I see these GOTG films plus DR STRANGE the last few years that are visual blasts to behold. Hell THOR RAGNAROK later this year for all we know might join them. Let’s hope this becomes a trend in the MCU going forward.

  43. One last comment for now: I’m updating my MCU movie rankings with pretentious formatting.

    Iron Man (Favreau, 2008)
    The Avengers (Whedon, 2012)
    Captain America: Civil War (Russos, 2016)
    Guardians of the Galaxy (Gunn, 2014)
    Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Russos, 2014)
    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Gunn, 2017)
    Iron Man 3 (Black, 2013)
    Captain America: The First Avenger (Johnston, 2011)
    Thor (Branagh, 2011)
    Ant-Man (Reed, 2015)
    Thor: The Dark World (Taylor, 2013)
    Doctor Strange (Derrickson, 2016)
    The Avengers: Age of Ultron (Whedon, 2015)
    Iron Man 2 (Favreau, 2010)
    The Incredible Hulk (Leterrier, 2008)

    Honestly the only one of this bunch I didn’t enjoy was INCREDIBLE HULK, and that rewatch a few years back didn’t improve it. Not seen IRON MAN 2 since it came out (which I gave a passing grade) but never had the urge to revisit it. Weird too how low on the list I have AOU, even though its kinda messy with SO MUCH GOOD SHIT in it. But that’s the problem with lists. Someone (or more) always gets fucked.

  44. “Marvelization” has been used in a derogatory manner by comic book fans for years now. It was the main point of contention by pre-crisis fan as to why they hated John Byrne’s Superman (“the Marvelization of Superman”). Ironic that now the movie fans will run with such notions. Nerds!

  45. “I don’t know if one can enjoy GOTGv2 without already being emotionally attached in some form with those core characters after the first one.”

    I can confirm that you can enjoy part two without having seen part 1. My in-laws saw the second one with my wife and I. They hadn’t seen part 1. They loved it. My mother in law was laughing throughout the movie and now she just wants a bunch of baby Groot toys. I think that since GOTG are also comedies that funny is funny and not all jokes were like “remember that one time haahah we referenced it this time” or whatever.

  46. CrustaceanLove

    May 14th, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Yeah, no surprises here, I loved this movie. Nice to see Gunn’s voice has yet to be crushed by the Disney juggernaut; his secret weapon is that despite all the craziness that surrounds them, he takes the characters and their relationships 100% seriously. Everybody, even minor characters, have an emotional arc. I mean this is a movie that ends with a closeup of a tear welling in an anthropomorphic raccoon’s eye as he mourns over the death of a blue space pirate who was the only person who ever understood him… and it works! I was more emotionally invested in this movie than most superhero movies of recent memory.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go put in my mandatory two hours of DCEU message board trolling and then collect my cheque from Disney.

  47. Sternshein – that’s good to hear.

    Broddie – time repeats itself

  48. RRA – Totally agree with the change in direction for DCU. They’ve smelled the way the wind is blowing, and are adjusting course to try and catch up to Marvel.

    Rogue4 – Friendo, we’re gonna have a falling out of this GotG and BvS thing.
    https://moviebastards.com/2016/07/05/review-batman-vs-superman-dawn-of-justice-ultimate-edition/

  49. Won’t here of it Bas. We’ll just civilly back away and scratch our respective heads over our respective super movie likes.

  50. There is still hope for mankind it seems.

  51. I saw this last night, and I thought it was better than the first in just about every way. I thought the first movie was okay, but I didn’t find it as amusing as everyone else. It also suffered from a really bland third act (which, granted, is true of most Marvel movies).

    I particularly liked how GotG 2 leaned into the cartoony visuals of comic books. I really loved the sequence when Yondu and Rocket make the 700 hyperspace jumps or whatever. There are just a lot of great visual gags in this sequence. Also, the plot was pretty similar to an episode of the original Star Trek, which is a plus in my book. I feel like GotG 2 actually deserves the praise that the first film got.

  52. I found this one underwhelming, personally. A lot of the humor fell flat for me, baby Groot pretty much came across to me as existing solely to sell toys, there was an abundance of stuff that seemed excessive and unnecessary(like, did the Sovereigns *really* need to keep showing up after the initial sequence?) except to pad the run time, and a lot of the fun character interplay from the first one was reduced by having the team split up for most of the movie. Some of the CGI was distracting, Nebula was terrible…there were just a lot of flaws that lessened my enjoyment of the movie. There was good stuff too(Rooker was great, the Batista/Mantis interactions could be pretty amusing, it’s always good to see Kurt and Sly), but unlike the first movie, there were several times when I was looking at my watch wondering how much longer the movie was gonna be.

  53. I too enjoyed the bright colours, but I do think it’s a shame that they feel the need to mute them with murky grading. As it is it’s a bit like looking at an eye-popping psychedelic fantasia through sunglasses.

    As for the film itself, I found it watchable enough while leaving no lasting impression whatsoever.

  54. I usually consider myself fairly in the loop regarding new action releases but I haven’t really seen this mentioned anywhere:

    Bushwick Trailer #1 (2017) | Movieclips Trailers

    Bushwick Trailer #1 (2017): Check out the new trailer starring Dave Bautista, Brittany Snow, and Christian Navarro! Be the first to watch, comment, and share...

    I just looked it up because there’s a positive review for it in the latest issue of Empire and the whole “ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK meets THE PURGE with the stylistic motor of CHILDREN OF MEN” thing they mention has me pretty intrigued. Sorry if you guys already knew about it – just thought I’d bring it up.

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