Sunday, August 27, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 Marches To Their Own Beat

Gaze upon me, geeks. I am the guy they drew those cartoons about. After seeing the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, I was perplexed as to why the entire planet was going insane for it. I didn't hate it..I just didn't like it very much. It's not like I wanted to take the joy away from those that did love it or be king of the obnoxious peoples by asking them to explain to me what parts were "good". I just had issues with the film, and for once, my life-long-love of Marvel Comics was not forcing any pre-conceived notions about what the movie was supposed to be, as I'd not really read anything with any of the characters in it. My gripes were few, but echoed throughout the film:

1. Nearly everyone was funny, and when they would tell a particularly funny joke, the film seemed to pause and "wait for laughs".

2. The bad guy was one of those villains where you just had to take his word for it. His actions were overly exaggerated, his voice billowy and his look was far from menacing...and a fair bit shorter than his comic counterpart. When the good guys say how bad the bad guy is you just kind of say ok ok..we get it..he's the bad guy. Go fight him..I guess.

After some repeat viewings, I came to a level of acceptance with the film, though I still could not see the James Gunnyness shining through in there. As someone who loves the movie Slither, Dawn of the Dead (running zombies and all) and Super, I'd come to expect a certain perfect level of odd humor to the overall tone of his films. While Guardians was more like Slither in that the jokes came fast and often, they just seemed misplaced coming out of absolutely everyone's mouth.

FLASH FORWARD to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 and it almost feels like the film did its time on the open mic comedy circuit, got used to playing to crowds, had its fair share of success and hecklers and was now confident enough to own the silliness of it all, boldly throwing joke after joke at the crowd, but also playing the light alongside the sadness of feeling like the outcast at all times, coming to grips with a horrible upbringing, and the revelation that the life you've been looking for may have been yours for years and you just didn't realize it. It's about being alone and sisters and fathers and holding onto whatever family we can. Under all the one-liners, there was a very human heart, full of angst and triumph and love and all of it very believable, painted against a landscape so damn beautiful it often left me speechless. Many great comedians go on to become world class actors because they can own the sadness along with the joy. Guardians Vol.2 is a great comedian.

If you nab the Blu-ray - DVD - Digital 3 pack, you've got some excellent bonus features to blaze through. You'll learn about the fine art of choosing songs to spin a mood in certain scenes, the effects behind the ridiculously adorable Baby Groot, Rocket and more, the mad genius of James Gunn, a number of deleted scenes that were best left on the cutting room floor, a gag reel that I must have watched twice now and completely forgot, and the amazing.. incomparable.. Zardu Hasselfrau, reigniting a disco fever no one asked anyone to reignite. It's bodacious... its sparkly... it's immensely silly... and you can tell everyone involved had a really good time doing it. Maybe even Rooker!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 has infinite re-watch potential. It's already my go-to when i'm lost amid the Netflix pages looking for something decent to watch without the star system of rating to steer me clear of all the really horrible B movies. Why take a chance on a potentially crap movie i'm going to turn off in 20 minutes when I can just sit in awe at the beauty of each painstakingly prepared shot and laugh a bunch in between each of those moments. This movie is an instant good time and should immediately go on your "must buy" list! It's surely one of the best Marvel Studios films to date.

Thanks to Marvel Studios for sending Guardians Vol.2 over!

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