So let me start by saying this: Guardians 2 is better than the first one. In fact, my knee-jerk reaction is to say it's way, WAY better, but that could be those low expectations talking. I also haven't read a single review yet, so maybe after everyone points out all the bad stuff I'll feel differently. Heh.
For now, though, here are my initial, spoiler-free thoughts on why I think you'll like it:
- Possibly the most entertaining opening sequence ever
Seriously, I watched those opening credits laughing and gasping and generally whooping it up. Perfect blend of action, humor, and a lot of things happening at once, so you immediately want to see it again.
- A much-needed dose of heart
Even avoiding reviews, I've seen some ominous headlines and tweets about "too much emotion" in Guardians 2. After being burned so badly with Rogue One, I literally considered leaving the theater 3/4 of the way through, dreading what was to come.
Happily, my fears were unfounded.
Yes, G2 absolutely packs more of a punch to the feelz, but given that the first one had the emotional complexity of a cereal box, that's not a high bar to beat. Plus, Guardians *needed* these emotions. They are integral to a (rather beautiful) story arc, not tacked-on as a seeming afterthought, or for no other reason than to make us feel bad. These had purpose and meaning. Rocket, Gamora, Drax, and of course Starlord - they all reveal some private pains, and trust me, you're gonna love them more for it.
To get a better perspective, John and I came home from the movie and immediately watched the first Guardians again. Nope, I didn't imagine it: Guardians 2 is better. In huge part, I think, due to that added depth to the characters.
- But it's still hysterical
So funny. 'Nuff said.
- And baby Groot!
So cute. 'Nuff said.
- Love beyond the romantic
Guardians was already about friendship and forming your own family, but G2 takes those themes further, and does it well. It's always refreshing to see something beyond sex on screen, so kudos to the writers for resisting some of the obvious romantic angles (arguably moreso than the first), and focusing instead on themes of family, friendship, and loyalty.
I don't have much to offer by way of negatives, though I could definitely see an argument being made for better, stronger female characters. While Gamora still kicks butt and has a significant role, she's just not... likeable? Relatable? Maybe it's just me. I'm glad to see more of Nebula this time, though, and how they developed her and Gamora's relationship.
There's also a quick scene in an android brothel that deserves a little side-eye, since it was only lady androids, no males. I can't believe I'm about to type this, but c'mon, Guardians. Would a token android gigolo have killed you? AI did it!
(Quick, someone name their band Token Android Gigolo. I need that t-shirt.)
And on that ridiculous note: happy weekend, everyone!
UPDATE: Dreams do come true, y'all:
By Missy Meyer Design, who's a dear friend. And since several of you have asked, she's made this available on both Red Bubble and Zazzle. Be warned: if you wear one around me, you WILL see me freak out. :D