2017.24: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 (Cinema)
I have to say, I found this sequel to be far superior to the original film. Other than the funky soundtrack of classic 70s songs and some of its quirky characters, I really didn’t understand all the fuss about the first film. The bad guy was generic at best, banal at worst, and confusingly undermined by having Thanos shoehorned in to ensure the ‘Marvel Universe’ continuity running through all these movies. In fact, the whole thing seemed confusing and unfocused, complete with its obligatory cgi-fest spectacle finale that had no real drama at all. I make it sound like a trainwreck. It really wasn’t, but neither was it the triumphant comicbook movie it seems universally touted to be. Fresher maybe, I’ll give you that, after so many ‘traditional’ Marvel movies…
So anyway, I was actually rather nonplussed about watching this at the cinema but finally did so. I’m so glad I did, as it was a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable experience. It was great. It had drama, emotion, focus, character arcs… yes it had spectacle and comedy and lots of rock songs, but… it was great fun. It had a surprising amount of darkness, too (the idea of Star Lord’s Celestial father impregnating hundreds/thousands of aliens with his seed only to destroy his ‘failed’ offspring every time is, well, pretty disturbing) which when I think back on it, just gets darker. I left the cinema with that buzz you only get when you’ve had a really good time with a great movie. I even stuck around to enjoy the end credits, admiring the 1970s graphics as much as the in-joke video segments and the usual added mid & post-credits scenes.
Yeah, it was a good time, and great fun. And so much better than the first film it really, really surprised me.
Indeed, the film may even manage that trick of informing its predecessor- there are a number of revelations and character points in Vol.2 that impact on moments in Vol.1 that have me reaching for that blu-ray. The two films are, in a clever way, a two-part origin story for Star Lord himself, reinforcing each other in a way that reminds me of Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie and Superman II (at least, how they should have turned out without producer interference).
We even get another Howard the Duck cameo. That guy really has to have his own movie someday. Meanwhile, I’m actually looking forward to the eventual Vol.3.