Reviews: Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 2; SPN 1.02

I think Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 2 might be even more fun than the first one--and that's a pretty high bar to clear.

  • Everyone already knows each other--so we get to see them actually functioning as a 'family'.

  • The Sovereign were the perfect blend of ridiculous and a credible threat.

  • Pretty much everyone in the movie had their own little arc of some kind, even if it was shallow and centered on 'practical jokes' that weren't really funny. :P

  • Everyone had a chance to be awesome. And also to screw up at least a little.

  • The bright, bouncing visuals allowed the CGI characters to blend in seemlessly (my dad thought Rocket was a top-end practical effect).

  • Pretty much every type of relationship was at least touched on--friendship, romantic m/f, platonic m/f, father/son in various forms, sisters, brothers (for all intents and purposes), captain-lieutenant ... even kinda mother-son. That's pretty dang rad.

  • The fight scenes were filmed so that you could clearly follow what was happening, and were a nice blend of 'visually interesting' and 'important to the plot'.

  • Baby Groot.

  • Most fun I've had during the credit sequences since I watched a Pixar movie.

Watching "Wendigo", on the other hand, was a trip and a half--I've been pretty deep in s11-12 the last few months, so it's weird to see the brothers a) so green and incapable of subterfuge and b) functioning almost at cross-purposes with each other. They're a very long way yet from functioning as a single unit. On the other hand, even though it's only episode 2, they're already rapidly becoming individuals as opposed to stock figures, and the cinematography is strong enough to mostly make up for all the endless tromping through forests. This episode does make pretty clear, though, why the show tends to focus on more human-type monsters instead of purely creature-types where there's no real mystery element to the case. There's not much to revisit from a story perspective--just bits and pieces of character development/further fleshing out of the show's premise.

Overall, though, it held up better than I'd anticipated.
I think I saw somewhere that Kripke hated Wendigo, I always liked it a lot. Haven't seen Guardians II yet, your review is making me think I should! :D
Really? I hadn't heard that. Or no--I think I remember seeing that he wished they'd done the actual wendigo itself a little differently. But for a second episode, it definitely holds its own.

GotG2 is loads of fun--I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoyed the first one. The two fit together quite nicely story-wise, and it's a case of the sequel matching the original in both tone and quality.
I still can't get over how well crafted Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was, as a movie. Every character got their own character arc and a relationship arc with at least one other character (often more than one), and every arc related back to the central family theme. With 8 or 9 main characters, nobody got left out; every single character got a chance to be funny, to be brave/awesome, and to have at least one heartfelt moment. And the space scenes were so gorgeous. Some of the jokes fell flat, but that's really my only complaint.

I also felt like it was one of the only times I've ever seen what I guess you could call the fandom way of thinking shown in a positive kind of way. Peter uses his music, and 1980s Earth pop culture in general (like David Hasselhoff or Cheers), as an escape and a way of explaining the world to himself. And everyone around him, even the "cool" characters like Gamora, are supportive of this. Like a friend of mine pointed out, you have characters in TV/movies who are fans of "cool" stuff while also being cool action-type characters (like Dean with rock music), but you don't often have characters who are fans of "dorky" stuff and aren't also shown in a way that makes fun of them a little bit (like the stereotypical nerd characters on most shows.) But Peter gets to be a fan of things like Knight Rider and he's also a cool action hero type. I think this movie was much more affirming about being a fan than just about any media I've seen that tried to deal directly with fandom (conventions, fanfic, etc).
Hadn't really thought about that latter aspect, but there's probably something there. (Although I'd argue that one of the things that makes Dean fun is that he is _plenty_ dorky at times, without it making him any less competent.)

And yes--it's extremely well-constructed. (Which was a delight after a whole string of less-than-thrilling movies.)