Editor In Chief
The lights in the theater have been completely dimmed, the pre-film credits have finally come to a close and the moment we have all been waiting for since August 2, 2014 has arrived. On the massive movie screen the greatest opening scene the comic book universe has ever seen begins to roll. The adorable sapling Baby Groot twirls and slides to the musical stylings of “Mr. Blue Sky” all the while the Guardians of the Galaxy fight a grotesquely large alien.
In its initial release, Guardians of the Galaxy stood on a completely different plane in regards to character design, actors who played the characters, and cinematography than other Marvel movies. James Gunn, the director of both Guardians of the Galaxy films, had to not only set up a whole universe, but also develop an eclectic cast of characters and set up the tone of the movies. The first Guardians of the Galaxy laid down a foundation for everything in Vol. 2. The first film did not have a whole lot of room to develop crucial plot points like Peter’s father and the villain Thanos. With the whole tone of the franchise created by the first movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 could finally expand into specific character arcs while maintaining a relatively interesting plot.
Though it had a pretty legendary opening scene, the film had a sputtering start. About a third into the movie, the plot took a turn for the interesting, but until then a lot of it was random conflicts that did not make sense. Those opening scenes came together as the film unfolded, but it took way more progress of the story than what really should have been necessary.
As character development goes, Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 blew it out of the water. Because the team had already come together in the first movie, there was space for the characters to grow as a team, developing that familial element that every good superhero squad needs, and in their own specific character arcs. We got to see more of Yondu and Nebula, characters that were more one sided in the first movie that became more dynamic characters in Vol. 2. Despite the poor development of the villains, Mantus, Ego’s servant, was sophisticatedly weaved into the character arc of Drax. Even though the film fell behind on a lot of conflict development, it was extremely character driven. With big Marvel movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the plot is generally formulaic, and though it is not horrible, it gets old. So many of these movies need to have interesting characters to keep the audience from nodding off.
Despite the great development of the characters, the story around the villains was a little pathetic. Ego, Peter Quill’s father, was interesting. The whole father-son conflict really powered the story along. However, his development as a villain was lackluster at best. One moment, Ego deserved the father of the year award and the next he was explaining how his procreation will lead to the domination of the galaxy. As an audience member, I got whiplash from the dramatic shift. As for Ayesha, the leader of the golden people, she is a disaster of a villain. She is introduced early on in the movie, but the brief scene seems irrelevant and plays no role in moving the plot forward. When her and her people returned for revenge on the guardians for something they did, they didn’t stand as a real obstacle. It seemed as though the only reason Ayesha and her people were in the movie was to set up a conflict for the next movie, which is important in a franchise like this however so is plot development, and their presence totally threw a wrench into the plot of this movie.
Despite it’s many flaws, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a hit. Top critics gave the movie a 69% on rotten tomatoes where audiences gave it a 90%. There were some hiccups in plot and villain development, but despite that it is definitely a movie worth seeing. As Marvel movies go, it is one of the better ones
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