Potty Mouth Perils in Passage
‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2’ was more of an introspective movie than the first one. We get further back story and context in regards to the relationship of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Yondu (Michael Rooker), and Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russell). This is a majority Peter Quill storyline, a development on his character and backstory residual from the previous movie. Granted, this gives the other characters less time to develop as the movie goes on, but what was lacking in screen time was made up in the amount of levity and emotion concerning the scenes of the other Guardians (although Rocket does get a considerable amount of screen time with Yondu, but more on that later). Also the movie felt less cluttered given the absence of the Federation and space politics that can bog down a movie like this with exposition dumps if used improperly. The one gleaming example of this practice was when Ego was explaining his origins and the overall drive of the narrative, bringing light to what Peter’s true potential holds as a hybrid being. Granted, this was all set up at the end of the first movie with Yondu giving a closing quip regarding Ego, but there had to be a way to present the information outside of an expository dump and a flashback to when Peter’s mom and Ego were driving across Missouri.
Speaking of set ups, there were several instances where characters and groups were introduced and not given the light of day to fully develop. The Sovereign and Stakar (Sylvester Stallone) are too big of entities in this movie to be relegated as plot devices. They come in at the precise points to cause friction for the Guardians and immediately leave when business is done. They will for sure make a return in the third movie, and be a part of the overall plot, but we as the audience are given little regarding their place in the universe outside of the dealings they have had with Yondu and the Guardians. Aside from that it was sweet experiencing the Easter eggs in the background of specific scenes. Examples being Howard the Duck in the space city and Stan Lee conversing with the Watchers, the audience does not need backstory on these instances, they are more like fun surprises that happen to be within the universe and may pop up at any given point during the Guardians’ adventures; like a wandering thread that is omnipresent.
One aspect of the movie that resonated with me was the amount of emotional growth and expansion upon the characters. Drax for example, despite not having as much screen time as the other Guardians might have, made great strides when conversing with Mantis (Pom Klementieff). Rocket and Yondu have moments where they reveal their true nature to one another and bond over the fact that in their lives they were screwed and squandered opportunities which would have led to deeper meaning. Yondu relates to Rocket, he sees the actions and emotions Rocket goes through when confronted on how he holds himself. Gomorrah (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) reach a point of reconciliation regarding their upbringing and the chaos Thanos wrecked upon their lives. Peter comes to his own conclusion in reference to his lineage and not scrapping the entire universe on the whim of Ego, who, in all seriousness will never be satisfied.
Baby Groot, was not as bad and overused as I thought he would be in comparison to other movie franchise characters *cough cough* minions *cough*. Sure, the baby-fication of characters is a cheap ploy to reinvest audience interest in a character or set of characters, however in the narrative thread it makes sense that Groot would go through a death and rebirth stage at some point in time of the Guardians’ adventures. Plus, it is not as if Baby Groot was helpless and super annoying at any specific point in the movie or used to the point where it would have ruined the entire experience.
All in all, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2’ is the quintessential sequel the first movie deserved, it is more of a personal journey for the gang, they tackle one of the biggest entities in the universe whilst discovering where Peter and by proxy the rest of the crew fits in the universe. Plus, we get more potty humor, the scene that had me cracking up the hardest was when Rocket, Yondu, and Baby Groot were going through all the wormholes and getting warped in the best of psychedelic experiences shot on film with Baby Groot puking in a way that reminded me of something out of a Judd Apatow movie. That part in particular built upon the weird of the world that was shown in past movies like ‘Ant Man’ and ‘Dr. Strange’.