Guardians of the Galaxy 2
The movie “Guardians of the Galaxy” is every bit as pompous and outrageous as its title suggests. Without pretense, it is a wild fantasy adventure in which a motley crew of ordinary super-heroes struggles to foil the ambitions of hapless monsters and wannabe interstellar conquerors.
But for all that, the core group of assorted aliens and human misfits display surprising human dimensions. Between fantastic action sequences, everyone seems to obsess on a relentless if somewhat desultory search for meaning, purpose, and companionship in about equal proportions. The plot begins to resemble nothing so much as sequential episodes of “True Confessions”.
Nevertheless the story line is well crafted and the adventure moves seamlessly along in a manner which never fails to be engrossing. Individual cast members are imbued with distinct personalities which are attractive, sympathetic, and even believable. Group cohesion is fostered as much by shared experience as by mutual, if sometimes well worn, respect. The friends are all their own people but have become more than just an office group and more like an extended family.
This latter feature is all the more evidenced in the smallest member, a holdover from the original episode, namely, the tree-like “Groot”, whose childish naivety provides welcome comic relief and whose welfare is the concern of all. Even the toughest crew members display a paternalistic affection that is heartwarming.
What is also striking is the uncomplicated innocence of
every character to include heroes and villains alike. Even the systematic
execution of captives is more akin to unsupervised adolescent fraternity pranks
than to any evil or sadistic personality flaws. Indeed, the chief villain, an
immortal “Celestial”, is portrayed as nothing more than an amiable and caring
father whose only desire is for a son’s help to effectively eat the entire
universe. In his defense, since this involves a colossal slaughter of innocents,
he has the good grace to see this is as an unfortunately painful, if ultimately
The wonderful and interminable action scenes must have consumed the vast majority of the budget. They are replete with over-the-top , death-defying, un-survivable situations that are masterfully choreographed to allow everyone to escape unscathed time after time but in a manner never found boring.
As befits a sequel, new characters true to the original genre are added and one main character is dispatched but in a truly touching manner that serves only to advance and enrich the franchise.
If your preference is for serious drama, or intelligent dialogue, or if your personality is adverse to “Western” movies with cowboys from outer space, then this offering is not for you. But for the rest of us kids, the straight-shooting innocence of good people albeit in strange sizes and shapes and colors but on a American-like frontier of new planets spread across the galaxy is a wonderfully silly story of family-valued adventure I can easily recommend.