Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Marvel’s Best Is Kinda Bad (SPOILERS)

First Marvel movie and probably one of the biggest blockbusters of the year let's get right into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Two months after defeating Ronan the guardians are cavorting around the universe and incur the wrath of the Sovereignty

An uppity group of gold skins superior types who chase them around the galaxy The guardians are narrowly saved by the mysterious Ego, who turns out to be Peter's dad Everything else is sort of spoiler territory which will be clearly marked in the review which I will get into later It's not a terrible plot but it is sort of dull I don't really know even where to say spoilers about the plot because the thing is is that it's very clear right from the start that something is off with Ego

Not only that but the sovereignty are clearly just disc 1 mini-boss baddies, they don't really have the motivation to be a lead villain in a film That said Doctor Strange didn't really have any motivation for its villain and it made a fuckload of money so who am I to say The most striking thing for me was that the plot felt sort of unoriginal and I don't mean that in a vague way I mean specifically it felt like the Futurama episode 'A Bicyclops Built for Two' In that episode Leela discovers another Cyclops who invites her to their home planet She discovers a rich place of beauty and ornate buildings but Fry thinks it's too good to be true and it turns out it's a con So basically this Being original is kind of overrated as far as films are concerned, you don't really have to have an original plot to be a good film, after all Star Wars is basically just a pastiche of the Flash Gordon serials and that's something that you can see in great detail on my 'Ghost in the Shell', review there's a commenter called Claire Rousseau who has a really cool channel looking at books and graphic novels and stuff, she goes into depth on it there so it's worth having a look at

The problem with being unoriginal is your execution has to be flawless which it isn't really here and it makes it harder to engage with the characters because you feel like you've seen the scenarios they're in before that really feel fresh like they're happening right now, so an example of that there's two stock scenes in this film one of them is a friendly derivation on the whole we're not so different you and I seen where Yondu and Rocket kind of face off and realize they have really similar in our backgrounds That's a boring type of scene because it's basically the writer just lining up the themes for you and telling you what's going on and terms of the character arcs in the film, And there's a pretty much line for line why can't you be happy for me scene in the film as well between Gomorrah and Star Lord, when she's trying to tell him that there's something wrong with the planet and throughout all of this rocket basically spends almost the entirety of the film just hanging out with Yondu on the Ravager ship and that's a plot that although resolves doesn't really contribute to the action of the film overall That's almost as bad but not quite as frustrating as the Thor plot in 'Age of Ultron' which never really gets resolved and has nothing to do with the main part of the film So to recap we end up with a slightly derivative plot where about a quarter of the characters are just doing busy work to fill up the film's not inconsiderable 2hrs 15min runtime Not exactly top-flight, kind of a C+ for the plot I think

A big problem I had of with the original Guardians of the Galaxy was that I didn't really know the characters very well because they were running around so much that it was kind of hard to actually get any character development in there This film goes out of its way to address that which I think is great, the problem is is that they go too far and actually as a result a lot of these character development scenes feel sort of interminable and they just drag The thing about character development is you can't just have character sit in a room you sort of have to commit to them having an arc in the film so a good example of that in this movie is Yondu, I think he has a pretty full arc What this film really wants to do and a big problem the Marvel Cinematic Universe overall it's just put his characters in a sort of holding pattern where nothing really changes Case in point is a scene between Star Lord and Gamora where he asks her to explain what the whole unspoken thing they have between them is

That could bean interesting scene and it was a main part of the plot of first movie but ultimately that doesn't develop at all throughout the film, there is still an unspoken thing at the end of this movie and just because they referenced cheers and make fun about how the audiences would leave if that thing was resolved doesn't justify that thing not being resolved or at least developed You may recognize this as the problem that plagued 'Agents of Shield' in its first season which was instead of having a properly developing arc with Coulson they just went, "Ahh Tahiti, ooh it's a magical place", and they just said that once an episode and never really developed anything around it Just paying lip service to character development doesn't mean character development exists and this is where you start to see the cracks with the characters in the film Drax who I felt was one of the high points in the previous film is essentially a one-note comic relief character here his whole joke is just laughing too loud inappropriate moments it happens like seven times in the first 20 minutes of the movie Rocket and Yondu who were characters around which a lot of the emotional stuff in the film revolves are apparently just complete sociopaths, as evidenced by a scene when they murder a full ship of people, people who up until like the day before we Yondu's crew and they've been around him forever so he basically goes and murders a whole load of people who were previously his mates, granted they've done wrong to him since and just like cackles his whole way through it, as does Rocket

Star Lord, despite being the nominal main character, has very little to do in the movie, he spends most of it standing around passively listening to Kurt Russell Of the recurring characters Gamora and Nebula have the most complete and compelling arc, their relationship changes and grows as the film progresses and that's communicated through a really good action sequence and in kind of a latter third of the movie, as for the new characters it's a bit of a mixed bag, Ego is a really interesting villain he's got an interesting approach to what he's doing and it's a good performance from Kurt Russell, it's very charismatic and sort of like oily and slimy and nasty Unfortunately all that charisma really does is mask the fact that his motivations aren't very clear and his plan is kind of dumb, if you think about it he's trying to get star-lord involved in this genocidal plan that he's got and he wants to do that because Star Lords got these celestial powers that make him like really super powerful and also immortal, the reason in the end why Star Lord doesn't go along with it is because he loved his family and friends too much right so I don't understand why having waited for literally millennia to do this Ego couldn't just wait like an extra hundred years for all of Star Lord's friends and family to die, probably not that compelling a plot for a movie is it just then sitting around playing backgammon for a hundred years Mantis is a bit of an interesting one in the poster and trailer I thought that she looked goofy and kind of stupid but in the film I thought had performance was pretty good she was kind of compelling but then you've got the Ego problem all over again which is it's not exactly clear why she goes along with Ego's plan for so long except out of some sort of misplaced loyalty Is it just me or is she also complicit in the death of all those kids of Ego, like surely she's been aware of that and sort of just going along with it for however long she's been alive

How made is the film? How good it look? How well directed is it? James gun is a really good director I love Super I love Sliver, I think he's a good director and I think he's subversive and interesting a lot of the time One thing this movie does really well that Marvel has predominantly sucked at in the last couple of movies they've made is that it has a very consistent and concrete tone and approach throughout the film that's a sign of a really stable and happy director behind the camera Your first shot and Doctor Strange is just of a bell in a cloister it's not even ringing and then the camera just pans over to semi-wide of a courtyard and they cut to another wide over the top of it That's his first shot that's what he did this one has a big wide of American countryside of classic rock playing and it slowly pushes in the sports car like that's an opening to a movie, you've got a bit with Baby Groot kind of dancing his way from an action sequence while it goes on in the background set to ELO that's a statement of intent from the directors in the audience saying this is the kind of film you're gonna see

For me I think it leans on the nostalgia a little too heavily and it features this prominent jukebox soundtrack which really raids the classic rock treasure chest to more succinctly manipulate the audience's emotions I think it over uses that trick it uses a lot of music and that makes the film feel kind of jumbled sometimes like you're running from one track to another and they also use it weirdly to distance you from how nasty some of what's going on on-screen is When Yondu and Rocket are murdering like a hundred people but it's set to a pop song the audience can sort of tap their feet their fingers along and it feels soft and nice I think that's a weird choice I think that's a way for the audience to be distance from what's actually going on which is to the main characters taking glee in murdering a load people

They're murdering a group of like old friends basically and just laughing about it that's not cool I don't think Han Solo would do that does it make sense to me to have two heroes doing that in a movie and that's one thing I just really want to touch on don't let anyone make out this film is like fun and popy, it's it's grim, people die, there's like a million people plus die in the film on the course of what Ego does, as his kind of like evil plan and also you know just main characters murder a fuckload of people Rocket actually murders like 50 odd people on screen and then it's like gosh I wish I could have murdered more people and that's a joke, like they they're like hahaha you're always trying to kill people I think it's weird for a movie to be so so violent so openly and then also be like LOL it doesn't matter, this violence doesn't matter when we kill people it's fine and it sounds a bit weird because 'Super' and 'Sliver' like I said films I really like both by James Gunn both that features quite severe violence in certain ways but I think in those movie she does like more subversive with it 'Super' is a really complex film I think it's really clever and a lot of what it gets away with is because it pushes it so far and it really wants you to confront the meaning of what that guy is doing in that context This film doesn't want you to confront anything

This film wants you to just eat popcorn and kind of glaze over, and I think that's wrong, I think that's fundamentally wrong It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth But don't worry it's not grim it's funny it's a seventies-eighties pop, it's Fleetwood Mac, yay, it's murder it's Fleetwood Mac, it's soft, yay! So the biggest thing for me in a movie is does it make me feel? I think the movie wants to be funny and I think it predominantly fails to do that a lot of jokes fell flat and bear in mind I saw this in a midnight screening right so diehard fans on release night watching at midnight, very few belly laughs, they're about three big laughs in the whole movie and that's not really what you want for a film that has predominantly billed itself as being a comedic romp The movie tries to make you feel sad about Yondu's death at the end and that kind of fell flat for me as well, and I've got a couple of reasons why: One because it was so heavily telegraphed and foreshadowed that it just didn't surprise you and it showed up, Two because Mantis was basically guilty of the same crimes but she got off scot-free, Three because the guy is a frequent and unrepentant murderer, four because in the face of the rampant destruction and death that's just swept throughout the galaxy I find it hard to empathize with one single death that's affecting the main characters, but hey here's a CGI Raccoon crying I mean the Raccoon doesn't value life that's been established he doesn't he doesn't care about people in general he doesn't think life has any inherent value he throws away that gifted life on a regular basis he takes it from people callously while laughing

Just genuinely throughout the film but you know he's sad could his mate died and there's a little tear on the cartoon raccoon's face It's voiced by oscar-nominated Bradley Cooper there so feelings You know if everything has this constant flow of low quippy banter kind of running underneath it and every scene has to end on a little punch-line like someone getting hit in the face or something like that then if you imagine the film's action as being laid out on a graph like a line of interest you just end up with this completely flat tone throughout the entire film and it's just so polished and smooth that looks fantastic in some ways from the outside but it's completely impossible to actually engage with or hold on to, you just slip off it all the time You know Kurt Russell's super charismatic but his character doesn't have any motivation underneath you've got an awesome soundtrack and great visuals but they don't underlie any sort of threat You've got 2 hours and 15 minutes to tell a plot, half of which literally has no bearing on the rest of it

You're talking about a film that is glossy and fun on the outside but ultimately does not reward engagement fundamentally One final thought about this is that I always try to look up films in the context of the audience that I see them with so I gave a really nice review to faster Furious 8 recently because the audience loved it and because I could understand why the audience's that it was aimed at would like it My worry was that when I went to go see this I'd have a similar review or I'd have to grudgingly admit that this movie sort of worked for it audience The thing is the audience wasn't that enthusiastic it's a midnight screening, they're fans and they're supposed to be sitting there and like loving every moment of it When I saw the first guardians that was definitely true even though I didn't like that film at all

This movie, not so much It was a much quieter screening and with the exception of two people who kind of became my barometer for fan reaction to the film So the guy sitting next to me just snorted like he *snort* like he loved it every joke *Snort*, *snort* And then the woman behind me every time that Groot showed up on screen, little Baby Groot, she go "Aww, aww

Groot aww Small, big eyes, aww Groot" And if that was your audience you're aiming for then I think you're going to score regardless of how the film actually pans out I think if you're aiming for that then you've lost a lot of respect for your general audience and also for yourself I think fundamentally To each their won right? That's one star for James Gunn's direction (he did a good job even if I didn't like it), that's half a star for the plot, and that's half a star for the characters so that's 2 out of 5

"Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 out of 5 Hope you enjoyed my review or at least you can appreciate the effort of going to see this at midnight, getting home at like 3 am and then waking up six hours later to do this review Do let me know what you thought in the comments down below, I'm aware this will be a slightly more controversial one because a lot of people likes the original movie and a lot of people probably gonna like this too but I'd love to find out what you thought about it and in particular if you have like a real argument as to why you think that I am wrong and why I should appreciate the movies more than I do I'd love you to let me know about that and I'd like to have a read about it and engage with that with you in the comments Hope you enjoyed the video don't forget to click subscribe to get the next one when it comes out and I'll see you next time, have a good one bye for now