We’ve had Thor the Dark world and we’ve had Iron Man 2 yet despite all this we haven’t had a bad Marvel movie. This trend remains; though we have had…………….
We start not long after the last movie to find that Starlord and Gamorra didn’t go and bone through the end credits but instead went into some weird Sam and Diane type thing. Rocket got freaked out by having a family, Groot gained a surprisingly strong internet following and Drax turned his autism up to eleven. Oh sure there are little things like Peter’s Dad, a giant planet, came looking for him after he heard his son won against Ronan via dance off and John Crichton isn’t home just yet and has instead been painted like a bond girl and tasked with heading up the army of perfect beings who are pissed with the Guardians for stealing some fuses. They will be joined by Mantis who is dreading when Marvel terminates her contract and she has to carry on her story over at the DC cinematic universe. Sylvester Stallone is out to find something to do after leaving ‘The Expendables’ and Kurt Russell is filling our quota of creepy cgi regressed, doll like, celebrities for the start of the movie.
Now a lot of people say the problem with the new movie is that it has lost that element of surprise and can never reclaim those low expectations you had when going in to see a movie about an Ent and a homicidal, furry in space. In a way that’s kind of true but for me there is the over whelming sense that even they are not sure what made the first movie such a hit and so after checking the memes and tweets have done all of that stuff stuff again but turned way the frak up. From opening dance numbers to a blink and you’ll miss it Cosmo and Howard cameo each. The tone rides the waves, just like how we don’t get any meh bits but a lot of good and a fair bit of bad, as we go from dancing Groot to spacing people and watching the life drain from their eyes as they try to reconcile the fact that they want them to be the edgy bad guys of the MCU with the fact that they are trying to sell the action figures in Tesco. This all over attack on what made the first Guardians work is also levelled at what has held Marvel back, from the over abundance of continuity to their rather dull nature.
See Marvel movies have had the complaint levelled against them for a while that they’re a little washed out and dull and so we open with a fight against a creature that vomits rainbows before heading to a world apparently designed as a sensory garden for Drax before ending in a firework display. This feels like a Marvel already most of the way through phase three and unsure what to do next. Though if they’re so stuck that we might get more like this I will gladly put myself up for consultation, for their usual fee of course.
Now I try to keep these reviews spoiler free, especially for the movies that are at least half decent but in a way all of this can be summed up by the end credits of which the film has five. Two are here to set up sequels and possible spin offs and two more are one and done gags and the third crosses over the line by being here more or less solely to tell us that we’re done with baby Groot; who will be other wise with you for the entirety of the movie. That might sound good for those of you who have bought the dolls and teddies, Lego figures and bobble heads but believe me he starts to wear thin, especially when you reach the Family guy esque joke at the end as the Guardians embark on their greatest quest yet, ‘The Hunt for Tape’, continuing the tradition of the trailers limitations making a joke better than the movies as Rocket and Groot literally stop and stand there while Peter flies around personally asking everyone if they have some spare tape in their pockets.
The whole movie has a sense of too many cooks and this rides throughout, tying it down in ways it shouldn’t be considering how unconnected to the MCU we are in this film. Thanos is mentioned only in the sense of back story for Nebula and Gamorra and that’s kind of it and thus the whole thing feels like it has to invent baggage for itself. Which brings me nicely back around to Mantis who is there for a plot related ability that will come in slightly handy toward the end and then presumably hang around to clutter up the third, and by the sounds of it final, film in the series. Which is a shame because she is quite good as is everyone else in the film. Everyone is given something to do and handles their part nicely it just feels like a bit too much was thrown at the wall to see what stuck.
The first act of the movie feels like it’s filled with exposition instead of dialogue as people say things that you would hope had already been covered by this point. The second act is filled with people doing stupid and out of character stuff in order to advance the plot and the final act is the fight scene. Now the end fight scene is kind of cool looking though a bit underwhelming when you consider that Kurt Russell is an elder god and that’s a good metaphor for the movie though a better one can be found all the way back in the opening credits. The Guardians are on a mission to face an extra dimensional being and baby Groot plugs in the walkman for them and proceeds to dance for our “amusement”. We focus on this cute dancing cgi puppet at the expense of the rest of the characters and the fight scene itself. There is a heart to this movie, good actors and a decent story with a decent moral but instead we’re going to focus on something flashy and cute that the internet said it wanted.