Warning: spoilers ahead. Please go here for my non-spoilery review of GotG Vol. 2.
Where to begin with this? I kept my previous review relatively neutral and broad to avoid spoiling anything at all for anybody but boy, do I have much to say.
The theme of family was pervasive throughout this entire movie and we saw many little family units made up of both blood relatives and non. Ego and Peter was an obvious one; Peter’s elation at finding his long lost father was evident. The scene where Peter shaped energy into a ball and started playing toss with Ego was probably depicting an activity that Peter probably didn’t get to do much as a kid, you know, his father not being around at all. In that moment, we saw Peter go back to being a little kid again, just happy to be bonding with this father. Of course we know that eventually goes to shit after it is revealed that Ego only needs him for The Expansion, and he is simply one of Ego’s many (now dead) children. Maybe Ego’s reveal to Peter as well as his turn to the Dark Side could be paralleled with Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in the future. Only Ego never saw the error of his ways. Talk about a Celestial-sized mistake.
Yondu, on the other hand, made a spectacular reappearance trying to use the Guardians to his own gain again. Long story short, Rocket and Groot helped him and his right hand man escape a tragically comical mutiny and they rejoined the Guardians. “He may have been your father, but he wasn’t your daddy” might have been the most emotionally charged line he’d spoken to Peter ever because we all know that Peter’s true father was Yondu. Yondu also played a small mentor role to Rocket, giving us a connection that we never expected to see.
Gamora and Nebula kissed and made up, figuratively, or rather in their case, punched and shot each other with cannons until they made up. We get an insight to Nebula’s deep-seated and complicated emotions towards Gamora, stemming from her resentment of Gamora’s prowess in battle, which led to Thanos turning more and more of Nebula into a machine rather than Luphomoid. Their tense but healing relationship didn’t stop her from sassing the Guardians every chance they got though. I was satisfied with Nebula’s character arc. It was different from Vol. 1 but it helped reshape our impression of her rather than give us a totally new one out of left field.
The Guardians as a whole was a pretty dysfunctional family, which is basically every family. Every family has their quirks and idiosyncrasies, and I’m not saying they’re all good, but they’re not all bad either. While they yell and push each other away, when it mattered, they came together to do what needed to be done. I’d like to think that the ending scene meant Mantis was added to their little family as well. Raised on her own by Ego, her first real friend was Drax, who arguably, didn’t teach her very accurate things about the world. But she had compassion, and her own unique personality, which endeared her to me almost immediately.
James Gunn mentioned that someone told him that there couldn’t be enough Groot in the film, which to be fair, was entirely true. Little Groot yelling, little Groot trying to fight people much bigger than him, little Groot puking, and little Groot in his little suit. It was all too cute. From being the Guardians’ muscle, he became the child to be protected, while still requiring anger management courses. His retaliation against the Ravager who had tormented him was shocking, yet the audiences still coo-ed when he returned to being cute two seconds later. Basically, everyone loved little Groot.
We must not forget Yondu’s sacrifice and funeral. Man, was it beautiful. I completely love the concept that your body returns to the stars in a magnificent cremation. Which makes sense, because nobody would want to keep a dead body for an indefinite period of time in a spaceship, never knowing when you might stop off home to bury him. It reminds me of a Viking funeral, where they would light the . Yondu was a space captain, and in the stars he will remain. His arc came to a close beautifully; he started out as a villain, became a hero at the end of GotG Vol. 1, and repeated the cycle again in GotG Vol. 2. I guess even the best and bravest of us are flawed, and make selfish choices sometimes. But what matters is your values in the end, and we saw that Yondu chose to protect Peter, at the expense of his own life, which says it all.
Action scenes were exciting and easy enough to follow that you roughly knew where each character was at any point in time. The humour was distributed evenly across characters and scenes, such that you never felt it was overtly trying to be funny, but rather balanced out the emotional gravitas and thrilling action evenly.
After all that, I guess what I’m trying to say is, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was great y’all. If I could, I’d sneak in a side job at the theatres trying my best to catch every single viewing of the movie. I laughed, I cried, and I had a great experience. I hope you do too.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Things to consider:
- The dude’s name is Ego the Living Planet. First off, if that is your name, that’s super pompous and I’m not surprised that you’re a supervillain. Secondly, YOUR NAME IS EGO. You’re entirely full of it! How could this dude not be evil?
- We have been truly blessed with 5 post-credit scenes. Stan Lee even references the Fed-Ex man he played at the end of Civil War. Kevin Feige has also mentioned that he okayed the showing of Ayesha creating Adam at the end of the movie to hint at Ayesha’s growing importance in the MCU and Adam’s future presence in the films.
- Has Peter learnt to understand Groot now? Seems like he was conversing pretty fine with teenage Groot in the post-credits. Also, TEENAGE GROOT \o/
- To be honest, Gamora and Nebula’s sisterly relationship is everybody’s sibling relationship.
Favourite scene: Ego trying to sway Peter to his side, both times, in an effort to stop Peter from destroying him. It paints such a stark contrast between Ego and Peter, whose absolute humanness is the only thing that helps him fight Ego’s psychic control over him. His love for his mother (Ego crushing his Walkman) and his friends (his flashbacks) is what gives him the strength to shake off Ego’s control and fight back. Ego desperately tries to remind Peter that if he is destroyed, he would only be human, and I love Peter’s response to him: “What’s so wrong with that?” Many of our superheroes are enhanced, experimented on, irradiated; but at the heart of it all, they are innately human and compassionate, and that is a quality they possess that gives them the strength to keep on fighting.
What I had wanted to see: More of Yondu’s relationship with young Peter. We saw a glimpse of it in the flashback, and we saw Yondu teaching Peter how to shoot, but I think it would be really interesting watching how Peter got used to space and all that, with Yondu guiding him along the way. Now that we know Yondu was protecting Peter, and not just for stealing either, this recollection might get sad, but also poignant. Also, does everybody know what an Infinity Stone is now or – ? When Ego mentioned it, I thought Peter or Gamora might ask what it was, seeing as I don’t recall Vol. 1 having an explanation for our heroes.
Random fact: Laura Haddock, who plays Meredith Quill, Peter Quill’s mother had another previous Marvel role in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), as a fan of Captain America who asks for a signature. Second fun fact, Chris Sullivan, who plays Taserface, also played Benny, our lovable diner owner in Stranger Things. Have fun reconciling that, I’m still having nightmares of Taserface and Eleven having a showdown.
Comments and discussions are welcomed by the writer.