Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
After watching an action/adventure movie you expect to have a few thoughts remaining bouncing within your mind. It I natural for this set of memories to encompass such things as a particularly exciting fight sequence or an especially imaginative use of cutting edge special effects. What you don’t expect to be infused with an ‘ear worm’. Everyone encounters this phenomenon where you hear just a few bars of a song with a catchy tune and lyrics and it remains borrowing into your mind insinuating itself obtrusively into you conscientious. After viewing the film under consideration here I found myself unable to stop the repetitive son, ‘Brandy (You’re a god girl). The song was a hit back in 1972 rising high on the top forty pop charts, performed by Looking Glass, it was not contained within the set of favorite songs for me, it was on the peripheral of my musical awareness. I hadn’t thought about it for several decades until I started watching the second film containing Marvel Cinematic Universe’s movie featuring the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. The leader of this motley cadre of heroes, Peter Quill (Chis Pratt) was abducted by extraterrestrials when he was about 10 years old. This tune, and several others of similar construction, were on his most treasured possession, a Mix Tape prepared by his late mother. It is a simple plot contrivance but the fashion it was deployed pervaded both films with a lighthearted panache that resides at the core of Marvel’s incredible success as a box office juggernaut. As part of the amazing blue print for this innovative implementation of a multi-film franchise. The basis story that will eventually culminate in the long awaited ‘Infinity War’ has been carefully pieced together for over a decade, initially with storied concerned with a single hero, gathering them into a team and introducing the ultimate plot device, the infinity stones. The Guardian movies brought the action beyond the little corner of the universe occupied by our home, Earth. Most of the significant enemies the heroes assembled so far have battled enemies from distant worlds but usually defending their own home turf. Now, the cosmos is open and the battle ground reaches beyond the stars.
After their victory in the first film, the Guardians have been working as soldiers of fortune. In exchange for suitable reimbursement the team will undertake noble, yet somewhat lucrative missions. Their latest assignment was to protect special batteries capable of storing unimaginable power. The race that hired the Guardians for this seemingly straightforward assignment were known as ‘the Sovereign race’. With golden skin, hair and eyes they consider themselves pinnacle of life in the galaxy. They were led by their queen, Ayesha (Elizabeth Dubicki). Their society is structured like the hive mind of bees with countless drones obeying the directives of their queen. The Guardian manage to perform their task and are remunerated accordingly but Rocket (voice/performance capture Bradley Cooper) cannot resist is intrinsic need to steal. Before handing over the prize he pockets several of the batteries. The client is obsessive particularly in keeping track of such powerful items quickly realizing the count is short. They launch a massive attach utilizing drones. These craft are individually guided by members of the hive each manning a control station. The scene does bare similarities to scenes in ‘last Star Fighter’ and ‘Bender’s Game’ has the ultimate use of video games.
What most would call a defeat, Ayesha, regards as a setback. She hires Peter’s former associates, Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker) and his band of Ravagers. Yondu was banished by the Assembled hierarchy of Ravengers, for breaking their most forbidden taboos. The infractions included one of the despicable offenses, kidnapping children from across the galaxy. Years ago, Peter Quill was one of those victims. Yondu is charged with tracking Quill down and retrieve the batteries. Faced with the revelation of Yondu’s involvement in child trafficking, a substantial portion of his crew mutiny. Ignited by Yondu refusing to hand Peter over, only a few members of the crew remain loyalists. The mutineers, led by a lieutenant, Taserface (Chris Sullivan), impressions Yondu while systematically executing the Loyalists by blasting them out the airlock. Yondu is imprisoned is with Rocket and Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) but stripped of his whistle controlled plasma arrow. Fortunately, one traitor was feigning his defection, Kraglin, portrayed once again by the director’s brother, Sean Gunn. He mangers to bring the controlling crest to Yondu to effect revenge and escape. This might be described as an extreme form of repeal and replace the article of mutiny.
While this is unfolding Peter, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Dax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), are rescued becoming the guests of a godlike celestial, Ego (Kurt Russel).his human form is an avatar for his true physical nature, a living planet. Ego discloses that although he has sired countless offspring, Peter is the only on alive thanks to his inheritance of celestial traits. This is what allowed him to hold an Infinity stone during the conclusion of the first film. Ego shows Peter how to begin using those creative abilities, albeit on a nascent level. Ego is accompanied by an attractive youthful female, Mantis (Pom Klementieff), a powerful empathy necessary to help Ego to relax sufficiently to slumber. Mantis becomes intrigued with Dax, who is unable to understand nuance in speech and metaphorical references. Peter is elated by finally meeting his father but as Gamora realizes, is blinded to the ulterior motives of Ego. Gamora has her own family reunion moment upon reuniting with her estranged sister, Nebula (Karen Gillian). Animosity has been building since their childhood but now they must discover some way to put that aside and united against a foe of unlimited power and billions of years of experience, Ego. Although Ego initially does everything he can to be a warm and kindly father figure. Peter has been wondering about his biological father for most of his life so when he finally meets him and discover he has godlike power, life, for once, seemed great. It turns out that the best thing in the Star Lord’s life is his steadfast, loyal friends that distrust this entity and are willing to unite against him to save Peter.
This film represents the epitome of why Marvel has been crushing DC in the Cineplex. There is a near perfect combination of action, adventure humor and poignant human drama. Each character is finely drawn gathering details from the entire MCU and, in this instance, the previous instalment. The one major personality traits that overlap most characters is family, particularly parentage. Peter lost his mother and just met his father. Gamora and her sister/nemesis Nebula always contended for the attention of their adopted father, the arch villain and ultimate Big Bad of the MCU, Thanos (Josh Brolin), a powerful Titan after the Infinity Stones. Dax is driven by the murder of his family by Thanos and underlying everything is a relationship that was always there but unspoken as far as it’s intensity. Growing up, Yondu superficially was Peter’s captor constantly threatening to devour the boy. During the film this relationship grows in importance pulling all the treads and subplots together.
The humor used to punctuate the action ideally offers the audience to catch their breath between amazingly well choreographed battles. The heart of the Guardians is undoubtedly the tree-like Groot. After sacrificing himself at the end of the first movie Groot has regenerated and is now an adorable baby. Still restricted to only saying "I am Groot", the antics between him and Rocket provide a solid emotional foundation. This is an achievement that has eluded DC in their comics, continuing to plague their movies few movies can provide such a complete measure of satisfaction and sheer entertainment as the MCU and this offering adds to that growing legacy. One unusual marketing decision demands noting. In Region ‘A’, North America, there are the usual formats; DVD, Blu/ray/DVD and 4K UHD. The film was made for Real 3D presentation in the theater and the use of the illusion of depth is exceptionally well executed. What is extremely unusual is the only home release of the film in 3D is for Region ‘B’, UK and Europe. This is happening with increasing frequency so I invested in a multi-region plater that supports 3D. for under $200 I purchased a Sony unit that plays everything, except, of course, 4K. it also supports DNLA and most popular streaming services including Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and Vudu. The later also plays there 3D streaming videos perfectly.