Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I struggle to even come up with the words to talk about the Guardians films, because I have written so much about these films and how much they've connected with me and influenced my voice when it comes to storytelling since I've had a Letterboxd account. I have in a way grown up with these characters since I was 12 and picked up an issue of Guardians at my local comic shop and fell in love with it.

I actually haven't watched Guardians 2 in its entirety since theaters. I find this kinda baffling but I would sit down and watch large chunks of this movie on repeat, so I know it well. I decided to listen to James Gunn commentary this time and I do not regret that one bit.

James Gunn is such a visionary genius and you can see it all over this film. Something interesting he said about this film is how less complicated the color grading was here than the first film. The reason it stands out so much here is his use of much brighter and bolder colors. I feel like a lot of filmmakers should think about that when coming up with a pallet.

I think its stuff like that which lead me to have a deeper and more personal connection with the Guardians film and even Thor 3 over the other MCU movies. They feel like movies first and then set up second. As much as I enjoy The Avengers films they certainly feel like movies where things need to be set up that people with large YouTube channels can speculate about for the next year until the next one comes out. The refreshing thing about Guardians 2 is that it is more concerned about being a good movie then having to advance a 22 series arc and I find that so nice.

When reviews of this were first coming out 2 years ago I read some critics say that the storytelling was weak. It made me realize that a lot of "film" critics actually just shut themselves off from storytelling that wasn't just "set up" "set up" "dialogue".

We actually know the Guardians after watching the first film and this film is able to explore their inner workings as human beings. The entire first conflict of this film is over Rocket stealing batteries and I love that. This is just the everyday life of our team of misfits and how they struggle to adapt in their world.

As layers get revealed, we also see the really complex relationships these characters have. It's strange that with some of your favorite movies that you know well you can still look back and get something new out of it.

There's a part of this commentary where James Gunn discusses the song "Brandy" and how that song hit him in the gut one day because he was believed he was called for something and he was stuck in St. Louis Missouri but he needed to get out in the world. I got chills down my back when he said this because I got the same personal connection when I listened to the album Loveless from My Bloody Valentine recently. It's like I got a vision of something I wanted to do and create.

Another thing he explores is Rocket, who is a very damaged and cynical character who at the end of the film starts to believe in more of a purpose (as we see beautifully explored in my personal favorite scene in Infinity War with him and Thor). I'm not as cynical or damaged as Rocket, but I understand the constant sensation of feeling like you aren't enough. Lately, my life has been crazy busy and I've been making a whole lot of memories and learning a lot about myself. The reason I watched this is that I finally got a breath today (which I should have done schoolwork with) but I collapsed and needed something to relax and watch.

I really truly saw myself in James Gunn and his passion for making larger then life films that have more of an indie structure when it comes to character building and saying resonate themes. I think in the end, this film truly is about the weird groups of people we come across that we consider family. You won't always see yourself surrounded by conventional people and that's a good thing. I can see through my journey that I have no idea what the next year will bring, but I'm glad to take that because I know I can achieve a lot now. This isn't something I knew a year ago. Rocket didn't know before meeting the Guardians he was worth anything and now he has his own purpose as a friend and a father figure.

Anyways, the final shot of this being Rocket crying and realizing there is purpose to his life maybe describes how special this movie is. This movie doesn't exist to have an hour long video pointing out its continuity or whatever. I find that crap to be the least interesting part of a film. That is why Star Wars Expanded Universe stuff can be tedious to me as a massive Star Wars fan. I just want a good story with good characters that has something to say- which is why I love this film, (and The Last Jedi @ me).

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