Justin’s Movie Reviews Episode VII: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

I know what I’m supposed to say about this movie. I’m expected to just wax poetic about how fantastic of a movie ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ was and rave about its ingeniousness on a grand scale. Yeah, that’s not going to happen here. Instead, I’m going to set some things straight and then go from there. Just deal with it. I figured there were enough “ZOMG BEST COMIC BOOK MOVIE SEQUEL EVER” pieces. I’m mad.

To be perfectly honest, my biggest gripe with the movie was one having to do with length. There was no reason for the movie to be 2 hours and 18 minutes. None whatsoever. There were several scenes that weren’t even needed from a construct standpoint. That one scene on Yondu’s ship where Nebula is standing against the wall as Yondu’s crew figures out what to do with Yondu and Rocket was such a pointless one. Nothing happened. At all. It was like five minutes of nothingness.

THE VILLAIN

Okay, let’s talk about this for a minute. A man in the movie is named Ego. If your first thought when seeing Kurt Russell in this movie wasn’t, “yeah he’s the total bad guy” then I dunno. The opening scene has to deal with him planting foreign shit on a planet so that it can go down to the roots. Come on! On the grand scale, it’s a pretty diabolical plot but still not up to the holy-shit-that-was-scummy level some attributed to it.

On a side note, how amazing is it that it’s 2017 and Kurt Russell is in two of the three highest-grossing movies of the year? Vin Diesel is in those same two, as well, but this is Kurt freaking Russell we’re talking about here! It’s a total mind melter of a thing. But yeah, so he plays a villain named Ego. Real original. It’s like having Sinestro as an enemy for Green Lantern. Was the name “Baddy McBadderson” taken? Jesus.

Piece of trivia: this was the first time in history that Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone ever worked together on the same film. Wild, right? Been alive for a combined 136 years and never been in a movie together prior to this. I understand that it usually takes two to Tango and all that but I’m just finally glad that the two of them decided to Cash in and link up once before their careers were totally over.

DRAX AND MANTIS

It is not a good sign when the best character interaction in your entire movie takes place between two supporting characters that aren’t even truly major to the plot or anything. I love Drax. I honestly think Dave Bautista needs to be up for some kind of award because everything he has done in this franchise has been pure gold. His delivery, his lines, everything. Drax might actually be the best character from this entire movie, and we dearly owe Bautista all the props in the world for nailing this character nonstop.

And the fun part about that being true is that Mantis totally props him up even more because their back-and-forth scenes are just perfect. Every single time they were on the screen together, it was the personification of printing money. Their timing, their little quips, etc. It was all so god damn hilarious and was easily the best part of the film. If that was not in there, the movie is nowhere near as good as people think it is. But that also leads me to the most fatal flaw of that entire relationship.

It took Mantis so damn long to even tell Drax what was really going on. Why? Why wait that long before unveiling what Ego’s plan truly was? She obviously wasn’t trusting Ego much anymore and liked the Guardians a lot, so what the hell took so long? Sure, Gamora kept interrupting at the worst time ever but you still gotta say something. Do you know how much time could have been saved if Mantis spoke up? A shit ton. Movie could have been 15 minutes shorter and had the same result if Mantis spoke up sooner.

GAMORA AND NEBULA

Can I just say that I’m honestly over the whole Gamora and Nebula feud already? Yeah they have unresolved sibling issues because Gamora would never let Nebula win when they fought so that made Thanos turn Nebula into a metallic unbreakable death machine, but holy shit just get over it already. They wasted two-thirds of this movie just building up to this monstrous fight scene only to have them exchange apologies. So dumb. If all Gamora had to do was apologize then there was no real gripe to begin with.

And how fortuitous was their fight, by the way? They literally blew up the side of the planet that they needed to blow up and flew down in there while fighting which allowed them to see all the bodies of Ego’s children that he had sacrificed before he turned his attention to Peter. What a stroke of fucking fortune, huh?! Good thing that happened or else they’d still be clueless about Ego’s true plan while Mantis was too busy figuring out whether she wanted to bone Drax or just touch him to sleep.

Look, I’m not saying Gamora and Nebula aren’t cool characters. They are. Nebula is probably one of the top five coolest ones in the entire franchise. It’s just that they can be so boring when on screen together because there’s all this tension and then zero release of it. They fight, they apologize to each other, they move on, they fight, they apologize, they move on, they fight, etc. It’s a neverending cycle. For the love of shit, just go fight Thanos now. Thank you. Let me know when that starts.

THE ROCKET CONUNDRUM

I love Rocket Racoon to death. To me, he’s the best character in the entire film. It’s a close race between him and Drax. However, the problem is that there’s this cloud of weirdness throughout the entire movie anytime Rocket and Peter are joined together for a scene. I don’t know if it’s because Rocket wants to be the true leader and he feels that Peter isn’t the right man – err, creature – for the job, but it’s quite annoying to watch. In a way, it ruined large portions of the movie for me.

I’m not saying the tension between the two wasn’t warranted or shouldn’t have been displayed in the movie to drive an overall point home, but it got to be quite burdensome and overdone. The one scene where they’re crashed in the forest and Peter leaves Rocket in charge while he goes off with Ego was pretty strange. Rocket had this look like he was just fed up and wanted to turn on Peter but then they never expanded on it whatsoever. At least not between the two of them. Rocket did with Yondu in the cell, but nowhere else. I think that was a truly missed opportunity in the film. Could have done a lot of good with it.

As for how the future goes between them, no one knows. Everything looks smoothed over and all that, but the tension is still right there bubbling beneath the surface. It’s just waiting to be released and explode into this massive fight. I hope it happens. It’d be cool to see dividing lines drawn between the characters. The entire team would have to chose between one or the other. Anyways, their randomness on screen in this film was a curious dynamic. It was sort of resolved, but it really wasn’t.

LASTLY ..

.. everything I just said was bullshit, for the most part. The movie was fantastic. I didn’t find the evil plot to be massively diabolical or anything, outside of Ego literally putting a tumor inside Peter’s mom’s head and killing her. That was some sick twisted shit, but everything else was a ‘meh’ on the villain scale for me. Still, the movie was truly awesome and fun and a special kind of weird that you can embrace on more than one occasion. There’s just little things in each scene that are great.

The opening credit scene with Baby Groot running around while the team fought a monster was so damn perfect that it nearly brought tears to my eyes as I watched it unfold. It was so gloriously beautiful that I kissed my fingers in the movie theater like a chef tasting a great dish. I wish every movie had such an epic opening montage as that. The movie did seem too long, though. That was actually a thing I did find fault with. But whatever. You’ll live with an extra few minutes here or there if you get a movie that good.

If you stayed through the end of this entire review only to find out I was yanking your chain, then I’m not sorry. It’s the risk you took when you put your trust in the hands of someone who constantly thinks bad movies are good and will find fun in anything he watches. If you somehow feel vindicated by knowing I actually did like the film, I just want you to know that I love you too. You knew what you were getting yourself into and you still rode this out. If you were one of those who clicked out of here within the first minute of reading, then you probably made the right decision. I love you all, and I hope you all have a blessed Thursday wherever you may be.

Some of those post-credit scenes blew chunks, though. Go away, Stan Lee.