The first Guardians of the Galaxy (GOG) was such a unique superhero film. Like its protagonists it was an underdog that became a star. I absolutely loved it! So I was really keen on the sequel. Especially after that trailer that Marvel India released with a 80s Hindi Disco hit (which is the best blending of hindi music in an international trailer) I couldn’t wait to watch the movie!!
The movie opens with a brilliant sequence. The guardians are fighting a massive alien beast while Baby Groot dances away (ELO’s Mr Blue Sky). This is the essence of a GOG film – amazing visual effects, cool fight sequences, witty humour , a strong family-like team and the perfect retro soundtrack. I would have been much happier if the rest of the film had been as good as the opening credits.
The GOG are being chased by a race of golden people called the Sovereign, led by Ayesha, a high priestess. They are rescued by Peter’s father Ego who turns out to be a celestial being/living planet. The group splits up and has separate adventures and reunites in the end to save the universe yet again.
The first half of the film is paced well and keeps you interested and curious. Unfortunately I felt the second half was a bit too drawn out and the emotional quotient was too high. The group is split up into pairs and every single pair has a long drawn out emotional storyline. Surely there is a better way to flesh out your characters than to beat us on the head with obvious emotions and conflicts.
The twist in the film – the revelation that papa Quill has plans of universal domination, is so obvious that when it came along I didn’t believe that is all the story has to offer. In fact the only believable emotional drama in the film is between Gamora and Nebula, the adopted daughters of Thanos. Karen Gillan shines in the role of Nebula, portraying her struggle and anger amazingly well, despite being covered by such heavy makeup.
There is some brilliant acting from the other newcomers as well. Elizabeth Debicki portrays Ayesha’s descent into the dark side to perfection. She will make a much more menacing villian than Ego in the next film. Speaking of Kurt Russell, there could not be a more perfect fit into the GOG universe. Russell brings a retro, casual, sunshine vibe and his acting is effortless, if only he could be in more sequels. Russell’s is the strongest performance in the film. His portrayal of the complex Ego is what holds our attention despite the obvious plot twists. Ego seems like a physical embodiment of the word – which is in many ways the biggest hurdle that each of the Marvel heroes struggles to put aside in order to become a team. I think this is how great this film’s story looked on paper but somehow failed in execution.
The visual effects go up a notch in this film, building their own universe which seems to be psychedelic and pop art -ish, in line with the soundtrack. The visual effects bring to life the best part about the film – Baby Groot. Baby Groot is INCREDIBLY cute and his adorable scenes make him the best character in this film.
I’m going to round it up by saying it’s not as good as the first film but the movie’s emotional storyline does establish one thing going into future films – the Guardians of the Galaxy work much better as a team than the Avengers.
There are five after credits scenes so stay in your seats.
Marvel released a trailer with the 80s Hindi disco hit Jhoom Jhoom by Bappi Lahiri.
Couple of things I’m thinking about: **spoiler alert**
- I was really happy when Peter’s powers were revealed, I thought this is it! He’s going to be the strongest superhero in the Marvel universe! This is what he needs in the fight against Thanos. But when they are taken away at the end (I’m guessing? Since Ego says they are tied to the planet?) I felt exhausted having sat through the film.
- Or since Peter has the celestial gene, can he figure out a way to wield Ego’s powers?
- Why does Ego kill Peter’s mother? He indicates it’s because she becomes a distraction to his universe-conquering plans but as a celestial being, what’s another 50 years?
- Ego says his entire quest has been to not be alone in the universe, wouldn’t having true love and a son with the celestial gene eliminate that loneliness? Also if going to Earth is a distraction, why can’t he bring Peter and his mother to his planet?
- Why does Ego reveal to Peter that he killed his mother? In what way did he think that would help his cause? Apart from the fact that it is ridiculously obvious he’s up to no good but they take the entire film to get to that reveal!
- This is one of the reasons why I felt the film’s second half suddenly crumbles.
- I liked the Stallone cameo.
- Teenage Groot – LOL! Love it!