I have to be honest with you that I did not like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1, but I did not hate it either. I went into the theater with high hopes, sadly I came out with disappointment. I know I know. You will argue about how the music is great and the stunning visuals. Yes it is! However, I never feel connected with the film (the same with Thor) nor I found it stood out from any Science Fiction films such as Star Wars and Star Trek.
Now I can totally hear you grunting on the other side of the Internet and ask me “then why did you even bother to watch the second one? “ Well. I just want to give it a second try. Because it is so popular, and I want to know why have I never love it ? I see its appeal, but is there anything else that can make the Vol 2 even more interesting than Vol 1 ? My answer is yes and no, but I do like the second one slightly better and here are my reasons.
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!
The parts that I said yessssss to….
Baby Groot stole the show for his cuter than ever personality and the dance moves. I was sad when he sacrifices himself and saved the whole team for the first movie, and I am even more glad of how he came back as a teeny tiny tree that still can only said three word “I am Groot”. The opening credit is actually one of the best I have seen, because it is fun to compare and contrast Baby Groot’s care free personality while other team members are struggling and trying to kill the huge monster.
The visuals and the colors are stunning in this film. I actually paid more attention to the coloring this time compare to Vol 1, mainly because of the gold lady that is constantly angry and seem really uptight. I also like the very short bar scene in the beginning when YonDu first appears in the film , and the bar design seems to be heavily influence by Blade Runner. Of course you could argue that Blade Runner influences and revolutionizes a lot of the Si-fi films, but the color contrast between the heavy amount of snow with the neon lights bar is what really stood out for me visually.
Family as the main theme
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Family is always the most common theme in Disney films, and it is actually pretty interesting to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 made this as the central topic. The fight between the sisters, Starlord finding his real dad, and Yondu’s relationship with Starlord are what the movie have been focusing on. Adding these elements in a entertaining movie bought more complexity and also highlight the relationships and connections between the characters.
This is actually one of the very few times that I finally feel like the villain is scary. Of course it still ties with the theme of “destroying the world”, but it became a twist when I found out the Ego “planted” all his potential hybrid to rule the world together. It just sounds more evil to me, and how they built up for this villain Ego is way subtle than the other villains from the marvel universe usually be introduced by a BANG or a BOOM!
Parts that I gave them a “meh”…
The Redemption of Yondu
I really apperciate how Vol 2 actually further developed almost every characters in the film especially Yondu, but it really makes me feel like if you want to build a character please build it in a way that is persuasive and solid. I do not like the buildup background story of the redemption of Yondu. It startes off when he met Sylvester Stallone character, and the scene just gave us a short background through a very short dialogue of how Yondu disappointed a group of clan. Yondu later on sacrifices himself to save Starlord , because he do loved him. The whole thing is just too weak when Sylvester Stallone only shows up at the beginning of the movie and the end. It does not impacted me in any way nor does when Yondu died. I do feel sad, but the feelings do not linger.
Jokes and Asian Character
The corny jokes….it still leaves me with all these questions marks in my mind and “why are those jokes funny ? ” Some of them are very cringe-worthy, and the only joke that I really laughed out loud is when Starlord said Yondu looks like Merry Poppins. The thing I dislike the most is the Asian character Mantis. Mantis not only does not really serve a purpose in the whole film except the part she sort of stop Ego when he was attacking people, and she also kept attacking by Drax and how he jokes about her being ugly. Maybe I am overly sensitive, but this is a part when Asian character is bluntly called ugly ( even though Drax said it is just because they are two different species so he does not understand her beauty as a physical appearance) where none of the galaxy movies such as Star Trek or Star Wars ever have jokes on that. I also feel kind of upset when they portray her as this very submissive character, and it reinforces the stereotypes of submissive Asian women.
Above are my reasons why I both like and hate this movie. I like it that it is trying to have character development, but I also do not like that it contains a lot of cringe worthy moment . I would said this movie for me is just for entertainment even though I do see there are something more in depth , but it is still not enough. However, if you want to watch it, you should ! It is visually stunning and it is just great to swing your body with baby groot. I AM GROOT!