sholio: Starlord with raccoon on shoulder (Avengers-GotG-Starlord with raccoon)
Sholio ([personal profile] sholio) wrote2017-05-13 11:26 pm

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

So the fact that I now have a GotG icon probably tells you all you need to know about how I reacted to the movie. I did not go in expecting to love it. I actually was lukewarm on the first one (which, by the way, I am totally buying so I can rewatch it now, because Netflix does not have it streaming, the jerks).



I also think the trailer for this movie (the first teaser trailer, the Fox on the Run one) might be one of the best trailers I've ever seen, because it a) took me from "meh" to really wanting to see this movie, and b) did not actually spoil ANYTHING! I went into this completely unspoiled -- in fact, far less spoiled than I thought I was after seeing the trailer -- and I'm really glad. If watching things nonspoiled is your thing, I think you will enjoy having that experience.

Which means you will not want to click on the cut tag, because ALL THE SPOILERS are here.

Okay, so first of all, the thing about this movie is that it managed to hit a TON of my favorite trope buttons in completely unexpected ways. Obviously the "found family" thing is a gimme (though I was surprised by how sold I was on it by the end of the movie given that I wasn't completely sold on it in the previous one).

But there was a bunch of other stuff too! First of all, I absolutely adore the trope of choosing the imperfect, painful world over the perfect fantasy built on top of a chasm of horror, and everything with Peter's dad nailed that so hard: being offered not just a perfect fantasy of a happy family, but genuine godhood, and noping out hard once he realizes what accepting that godhood actually means for the galaxy and for him personally. And I love the way the movie develops the theme of "everything you wanted was there all along" -- a bickering family that was nothing like he imagined (but he loves these stupid assholes anyway), and a flawed father figure who loves him enough to die for him.

... Everything with Peter and Yondu. OH MY GODDDDDD. THE FEEEEEEELZ. I have to remind myself that Yondu is VERY FAR from "parent of the year", and he knows it, which makes it worse in a way ... and yet, in the end, he was there when Peter needed him, and they got to have their moment, and ... just FEEEEEELS, ENDLESS FEELS, help.

I also have way more feels than I was expecting about Peter, in general. I was kind of indifferent to Peter in the first movie, which I guess was one of the main things that made it hard for me to get into it. But I keep thinking about a piece of movie meta that someone (I think it was [personal profile] recessional?) posted afterwards about how Peter's entire persona is basically "peacemaker" and "caretaker" -- he's basically the team mom, and watching this movie just impressed on me really hard about how much of Peter is wrapped up in loving people, and wanting them to love him, and just trying to make the people that he loves be safe and happy. And now I have about a billion Peter feels (though I think Yondu edged him out as my favorite, because I am such a total sucker for someone who has done terrible things and doesn't think they are a good person but manages to hero it up anyway).

So there was that! But I also loved how this movie wasn't JUST Peter's daddy issues (though I enjoyed those) or even Peter and the Guardians' found-family thing. Every character had at least one important platonic relationship that got story development and its own little mini-arc: Yondu and Rocket, Gamora and Nebula, Drax and Mantis. I particularly loved that Drax and Mantis were explicitly platonic (in this movie, anyway - I guess it's possible future movies might go a different direction), because it started off hitting some unpleasant buttons -- childlike female character as potential object of sexual interest (there is a really great Youtube video on this trope which I cannot find because I can't remember what it's called -- FANDOM, HELP! - ETA: Born Sexy Yesterday - thank you, [personal profile] xparrot and [personal profile] yalumesse!), but then it didn't go that way at all! And yet, despite the fact that the movie makes it very obvious he is not sexually into her, he still makes friends with her, and is willing to die to save her at the end. Ultimately, in this movie, the one and only romance (Peter/Gamora - well, if you don't count Ego/Meredith) is actually an incredibly minor part of the movie; the fulcrum on which the movie's emotional heart rests is friendship, found family, and adoptive parenthood. The movie's ultimate message is that your birth family may be total irredeemable dicks and there's nothing you can do about it, but you can still build a whole world with people who love you enough to die for you, and I just spent the last half of the movie wallowing in that so hard.

(Extra bit of awesome: that Mantis and the Ravager first-mate guy, whose name apparently is Kraglin -- I had to look it up for the fic I wrote -- and even Yondu, posthumously, ended up becoming part of the Guardians, part of their new ship's crew. I love that it's not just the 5 of them; I love that others can be drawn into their family. Same thing I'm loving in S3 of Flash, actually -- that the "family" metaphor is explicitly drawn wide enough to include the "new" members of the family as well as the founding members.)

And then there's all the '80s nostalgia stuff, which the movie cranked up to pure camp AND IT WAS AWESOME. The music! The cameos! (Best David Hasselhoff cameo EVER.) The whole aesthetic of Ego's planet, and Ego himself, which was total '70s/'80s stoner sci-fi (Rodney Matthews/Boston album covers/every paperback fantasy novel of the era) at its most psychedelic. THEY DIGITALLY RECREATED 1980s KURT RUSSELL FOR THE EGO FLASHBACKS. I CAN'T EVEN.

Not all of the humor worked for me, but I loved that the movie was funny and entertaining and then it made those sudden left turns into massively serious stuff (the charnel house of dead children's bones; "I won't leave him behind - I won't leave you behind"; "He may be your father, but he wasn't your daddy") punch all the harder because it was such a sharp turn away from the humorous tone.

Also, because it was willing to be funny instead of dead serious all the time, it came across feeling more human that a lot of epic sci-fi does -- even stuff like the video game warriors on the planet of the gold people (I don't think I ever caught what they were called), who react to winning and losing in life-and-death space battle just like teenagers playing a game, because that is essentially what they ARE.

And this movie even ended up doing better than Marvel movies typically do with female characters, admittedly with an extremely low bar to clear, but out of 8 main characters (as I count them?) 3 of them were female, none of the three were "just" there as a love interest, and all of them got cool plot stuff to do and at least one important platonic relationship, including one lady-lady relationship that was a running thread throughout the movie. Low bar? Sure. But if you'd told me that GotG2 would actually be one of the best movies in the entire MCU franchise for female characters, I would not have believed you. And yet it was!

Finally, let me leave you with the one original song on the movie's soundtrack, in all its campy glory ...

xparrot: (gintama cuteness)

[personal profile] xparrot 2017-05-14 08:52 am (UTC)(link)
HEEEEE I saw this last week, opening weekend, because I enjoyed the first one quite a bit (it's better the second time) and heard good things about this one, and then I've been meaning to write a post because YES LOVED IT <33333333333333

The found family trope hit so ridiculously hard. Including having a baby on board because OMG baby Groot -- it wasn't just that he was adorable, it was the crew with him, so annoyed and frustrated and also completely protective and tossing him around to safe arms during crashes and just. A crazy badass-loser mercenary family with a little baby, come on, just kill me now.

Gamora & Nebula pushed all my sibling buttons, I could do with so much more of that but loved all we got. And actually in part because of that I was able to enjoy Peter/Gamora quite a bit, because it didn't feel so token, and also for both of them it really felt like the romantic love is just the tip of the iceberg of the family love between them.

Peter is so very lovable in his wanting to love, even if, having been a big Parks & Rec fan, I am still vaguely wigged out by finding Chris Pratt attractive? And the scene that Ego tells him what he did to his mother and Peter just unloads his entire clip ahahahah that was amazing, hilariously terrible and badass and just, beautiful.

And Mantis and Drax were actually quite sweet (the vid you're talking about, was it this one? I've been meaning to watch it...)

Also they used my favorite Fleetwood Mac song in the climax, which earned many bonus points for me right there.

...and that was featuring Hasselhoff OF COURSE IT WAS (I kind of loved how both Hasselhoff and Kurt Russell are believable as Chris Pratt's dad...)

...also also, I know I've mentioned it before (did I show you some of it, even?) really owe it to yourself to watch Gintama. Because I was going on about how I loved the movie for how it could go between not passing up any opportunity for a stupid joke and then the next minute invoke genuine hardcore feels, and the siblings just rolled their eyes and said DUH and you also love Gintama. Because nothing does that trope like Gintama does. (and found family and adoptive parenthood is the central Gintama relationship; Gintoki and his two teen kids are the heart and soul of the series.)
ratcreature: RatCreature is enthusiastic: Yay! (yay!)

[personal profile] ratcreature 2017-05-14 10:43 am (UTC)(link)
The golden video game people are apparently called "Sovereign", not just their queen but in general.
saphirablue: (Default)

[personal profile] saphirablue 2017-05-14 12:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh yes, the feels in this one. The whole found family thing - be it the Guardians in general or Peter & Yondu or Drax & Mantis or Gamora & Nebula? - I had to work hard to not squee out loud in the cinema. :)

Also, yes, yes, yes to everything else you said. :)
brightknightie: Nick on his couch, smiling. (Nick Amused)

[personal profile] brightknightie 2017-05-14 02:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Not reading the spoilers -- just commenting off the intro! --

Thank you for sharing. With all the harsh professional reviews of the sequel, I'd been vaguely thinking of skipping the sequel, at least in the theaters, as I'd enjoyed the original and didn't want to ruin its pleasant memory.
020104isme: (Default)

[personal profile] 020104isme 2017-05-14 03:04 pm (UTC)(link)
I liked Yondu in the first movie, I was not expecting him to be in my top 5 movie Daddy's by the end of movie #2.

Emily Blunt is now Mary Poppins #3, that is all.

Also, whoever came up with the facial expressions of ickle Groot deserves multiple awards.

nonniemous: (fangirl)

[personal profile] nonniemous 2017-05-14 03:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, so hard YES to everything you've written here! I was incoherent and flailing when I wrote my reactions--not to mention that I'm out of practice for really writing any kind of meta about anything.

Now I want to go see this again. And I'm hitting the 70s/80s nostalgia hard on this. I guess I'm officially old now?

Also, did you make your icon, or have I just not found the icon communities here on DW? I'm having a hard time finding icons at all now! *whines*
Edited 2017-05-14 15:20 (UTC)
chomiji: An image of a classic spiral galaxy (galaxy)

[personal profile] chomiji 2017-05-14 04:45 pm (UTC)(link)


I love it for pretty much all the reasons you do, and I loved it that Gamora and Nebula got to whale away full-on with Dangerous Hardware, and no one made a peep about it. When Gamora picks up that effin' ship's cannon that Nebula knocked off her ship when she tried to pursue her sister into the cavern, I squealed with sheer delight. Because male characters do this shit all the time in these movies, and she just *did* it, no big explanations or anything.

And Yondu, yes! The daddy quote, and then Peter with the Cat Stevens tune as he mourns both his father figures. And the found family: like Lilo and Stitch's family — broken (not so much with the little) but good.

I enjoyed the snot out of it, from Baby Groot dancing to ELO at the start to the silly codas. When Gunn does these things, it's like he's making fan-comics of his own works.

Edited 2017-05-14 16:46 (UTC)
sherylyn: (Default)

[personal profile] sherylyn 2017-05-14 08:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh my gosh, YES on all of this and the comments,too!! LOL!! I *loved* the 1st one, and I loved it even more after watching it more than once, but this one is just beyond exquisite in allll these ways.

And also, teeny little tidbit, but I am now SO expecting that Nebula going "I'll do it myself" is going to be the lead-in to how GotG will come into "Infinity Wars."

I haven't read much of the "professional" critics' reviews or whatever, but everyone in our theater was laughing and clapping and quietly cheering all the way through. I firmly believe that sometimes, critics aren't looking at what makes films *enjoyable* and if that's the case, then they clearly missed the boat on this one!! <3
winter_elf: Sherlock Holmes (BBC) with orange soft focus (Default)

[personal profile] winter_elf 2017-05-15 03:12 am (UTC)(link)
I really liked the first movie. And I really liked this one. I've already seen it twice. It's hard to say which I like more. In the first movie, I was cringing at the thought of CGI characters and was VERY surprised that my favorite characters in #1 were Rocket and Groot. (and I really loved them this time too!)

The tropes are different, slightly, but I did grow to like Yondu more in this one. In the first, there were hints that they really expanded in the 2nd movie.

And on that - I usually really, really, really hate the 'kill the character at the end' thing. So much hate. But I didn't this time - maybe because they spent the movie SHOWING how Yondu thought of Peter and what he thought of his mistakes and what happened to his crew. And Then they spent time with the AFTER, the funeral, the talking, the making sense of it all, the redemption. Usually it's death, whooops, end of movie.

I also really liked that during Ego's supervillian 'tell all the plans', when he lets slip the bit about killing Peters mom... There's NO HESITATION in Peter shooting his ass IMMEDIATELY. No thought, no, wait, asking why. Just pulled his guns and shot. I cheered.
Edited (posted too soon) 2017-05-15 03:14 (UTC)
alessandriana: (Default)

[personal profile] alessandriana 2017-05-15 03:17 am (UTC)(link)
I finally saw this today, and dear god I was straight up bawling during the entire last ten minutes, from the moment when Yondu puts the spacesuit on Peter all the way up through the funeral (when the Ravagers show up ;___;). Dads being dads is one of my big time tropes, so wow, this was a seriously effective storyline.

Also this movie was SO GOOD at being an ensemble movie, and using every single moment to build out the personality of each character. There wasn't a lot of time to spend on everyone but it didn't matter because there was no wasted narrative space. Like that bit in the beginning where Nebula really, really wants that fruit thing but no one will give it to her because it's not ripe yet-- and then she gets it, takes a bite and has to spit it out because yep, it really isn't ripe. It's barely there but it says so much! Or Taserface! Or like thirty other things! I really just need to sit back down and watch it again with my writing hat on so I can take notes or something.
sgatazmy: Jeannie and her daughter baking. (Default)

[personal profile] sgatazmy 2017-05-15 04:50 am (UTC)(link)
I still haven't gotten to go see it! Ack! I so terribly want to as well. I'm glad to hear it is worth the watch!
sgamadison: (Default)

[personal profile] sgamadison 2017-05-15 11:30 pm (UTC)(link)
I love your whole assessment here--yes! Especially on the found families (one of my MAJOR tropes) and the side arcs, like Yondu's piercing assessment of Rocket. In fact, I grinned throughout reading your whole assessment here because I thought it was dead on.

But, and this is a very big 'but' for me, I had problems with the combination of humor and violence, which is always an uneasy mix for me. In particular, I had issues with the prolonged whistling arrow scene coming after all this previous storyline.

We know Yondu isn't a good guy--that's been established. And yes, I think needed a reminder, especially after the mutiny and the killing of loyal members of his crew. I think we needed to see a crew member getting spaced so we'd know exactly what was happening to Yondu when he chose that act to save Peter. But the scene where he kills the mutinous crew members went on far too long for me, especially in light of the fact that they ejected from the ship and blew it up. He didn't have to kill them individually (and we didn't need to see it)--they just needed to escape. I have no issues with him deciding to kill the mutinous crew by blowing up the ship, mind you. From a storytelling perspective, however, the whistling arrow scene jarred with me because it felt out of place in the movie.

Likewise, during the big battle with Ego, same thing. Seeing the planet with Kurt Russell's face wasn't scary to me, it felt like a throwback to one of KR's old Disney hijinks movies, like The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes. Maybe it was meant to be a nod to that, but it kind of took me out of the tension of the scene. Ditto when Ego and Peter are fighting and Peter turns into a giant Pacman. I told myself he'd mentioned it earlier, and it might have been the only thing he had the skill to generate on the fly, but it jarred.

I was conscious of feeling out of sync with the movie while watching it, when it redeemed itself with all the feels in the end. And I truly came away enjoying it a lot. But that earlier feeling of dissatisfaction sits with me, so I suspect I will have to watch it again to see if it was just me at that moment in time or what.

And now I feel as though I'm harshing your squee, which I don't mean to be. I did enjoy this movie a lot, will see it again, will probably buy the soundtrack. I just adored the first one, so it was a tough act to follow for me. And I'm only pointing out the things I had issues with instead of gleefully clapping my hands at everything you and the others have said because I'd have to copy and paste large sections of text just to go "THIS!" or "YES!" after it. :-)

Oh, but icons?? Must go look now...