Monday, May 1, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

One of the things that I loved about the first Guardians movie—despite the lighthearted, popcorn way in which it was delivered—was the way it focused on relationships. The Guardians went from a bunch of unlikable loners isolated from the world (galaxy!) to a group of friends who accepted each other’s personality flaws to give each other support. A defacto family.

Vol. 2 carries that atmosphere even further. The plot-line is almost just a hazy background against which the relationships play out. So many relational lines are in focus, you sort of lose track of the fact that there is a story happening. The Guardians continue to battle with each other as they bond and deal with the vulnerability that comes from being close. Former relationships they have had with people who were antagonists in the last film and dealt with. And behind it all, Peter Quill deals with daddy issues.

The film is just as funny as the first, with one liners making up a huge percent of the dialogue. However, there are also deep moments of strong emotion—if you are capable of seeing the humanity in comic book raccoons, trees, and aliens.

The final shot of the film—before the mandatory scenes thrown in and around the credits—is a beautiful moment of bittersweet sadness. Nothing like what one would expect from a tent-pole, summer blockbuster.

The first film was my favorite of 2014, and it will be tough work for any film to topple this as the year’s most enjoyable, repeatable story.

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