I don’t swear often, but I f**king hate Marvel movies.
I rated the first two Avengers movies, and Captain America: Civil War as the worst movies of their respective years. Don’t even get me started on the first X-Men series. I grew up reading the many titles of the Marvel universe, but I concede that DC has been making superior movies to Marvel – some of which are epics that will be hailed for generations to come.
Meanwhile, Marvel Studios continues to approve wafer-thin plotlines and illogical conclusions for its Avengers vein of movies, both of which the viewer would already anticipate before entering the cinema. I’m sure many film buffs and Marvel Comics fans would agree.
Guardians of the Galaxy, however, was the game-changer for Marvel Studios. While the Avengers franchise promotes steroid abuse, the Guardians encourage us to not take ourselves too seriously. Amusing audiences with a refreshing spin on Marvel’s idea of superheroes when it was released in 2014, blockbuster action juxtaposed by classic rock and yesteryear pop was its order of the day, as the space-faring swashbucklers Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket left a lasting impression on audiences through their side-splitting antics, especially certain audiences who would otherwise fall asleep during long action sequences.
Self-proclaimed protectors of the whole universe, this odd assembly of outlaws who lie, cheat and steal whenever and wherever opportunities arise, were unarguably the antithesis of Marvel’s Avengers.
Undoubtedly the ultimate springboard for Chris Pratt’s career, who would next go on to act in the USD1.67b-grossing Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy raked in USD773.3m and its sequel’s takings are likely to soar beyond the first film’s revenue.
The word ‘sequel’ has always been one of those things that make you go hmmm. While Terminator 2, Aliens, The Empire Strikes Back and The Dark Knight outdid their predecessors, duds like The Exorcist 2, Jaws 2, Star Wars Episode 1 and Batman & Robin (see above for unnecessary nipples) are the second children who should have never been conceived. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 though will surely win the hearts of almost all moviegoers.
Although the Guardians were created as a B-team for readers who had finished their monthly issues of Captain America and Spider-Man and wanted more, the 2014 box office trailblazer veritably cemented the ragtag quintet a place among history’s best comics and movies.
Just like comedies like Red Dwarf, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues to tinker with the innumerable possibilities of technology, time and space, to the raucous amusement of its viewers. Despite being works of fiction, space-themed movies are of paramount importance in society, as proven by many of our modern inventions and discoveries whose research and development was spurred on by the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises – technologies like lasers and space travel actually premiered in science-fiction long before man managed to harness them.
I haven’t given away any spoilers, but if you would like to have a semblance of what the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie will be about, just watch the third episode of Rick and Morty’s second season. Just a heads-up: it’s not the best idea to bring a date with daddy issues to this movie about Peter Quill finding his father. Vol. 2’s trailer reveals Kurt Russell as Peter’s father, from which the intelligent moviegoer can already guess how this heart-wrenching action comedy will pan out.
Guardians of the Galaxy’s resounding success prompted director James Gunn to post a teaser photo on Twitter in October 2016 to herald episode 2. The photo was captioned “obviously”, as in “the film did so well that we obviously had to make a sequel.” Pratt was not the only prominent beneficiary of the first movie’s success.
While the success of Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 propelled Drax, the team’s brand, into popularity and subsequently his own comic book series written by the prolific pro-wrestling-legend-and-UFC-fighter-on-hiatus CM Punk, this sequel, more importantly, legitimises retired WWE superstar Dave Bautista (physique as natural as the Avengers) as an adept actor, who plays Drax and showcases the depth of his talent in this film.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 concludes with four to five (debatable, but nevertheless bladder-testing) post-credit sequences, which basically introduce the final protagonists for the great battle between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, which will hit cinemas in May 2018.
Josh Brolin will portray the conqueror Thanos, who wants to make the universe no country for old men, young men and all forms of life in general. Brolin has also signed a contract to play Cable, leader of the X-Force and Scott Summers and Jean Grey’s son, for four movies. He joins the likes of Chris Evans and Ryan Reynolds, who each play more than one character in the Marvel Universe. (C’mon, give someone else a chance already.)
With the first Guardians of the Galaxy film and its villain Ronan, life was a rollercoaster. In Vol. 2, this exhilarating thrill-ride takes audiences through a 360° corkscrew, where they are barraged by a litany of cameos by A-lister celebrities and the celestial beings created during Marvel’s space-obsessed 1960s heyday, boosted by the best of modern cinema’s CGI artistry and post-production touch-up.
Besides saving the universe in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the lovable Quill & Co. just might save Avengers 3 next year too.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Directed by James Gunn
Genre: Action, Comedy
Running time: 136 minutes
Rating: 4/5 stars