Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017) – Ace Mini-Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Kurt Russell
Written & Directed by: James Gunn
Canada/New Zealand/U.S.A., 2017

How good is this movie?

The second Guardians of the Galaxy movie has the same problems as the first one: I don’t really care about the characters, the jokes aren’t that funny, and it descends into corniness at the end. There are a few good developments: Baby Groot is really cute, and the team has gelled a bit. On the other hand, some of the novelty has worn off, and the characters still spend more time fighting than getting along.

How ace is this movie?

The movie continues to drop hints of sexual tension between Peter and Gamora, but, apart from that, there’s no romance. I’d enjoy these interactions more if I was sure Gamora’s refusal of Peter was sincere, but I can’t help suspecting that this is a “hard-to-get” situation, and that her “no” will end up meaning “yes”. The most aggressively sexual character in the movie is actually the villain, Ego, who has travelled the galaxy seducing and abandoning females for his own egotistical purposes. His toxic masculinity and sexual entitlement seem calculated to make Peter look good by comparison. They also lead Peter to reject their “natural” family bond in favour of the Guardians. The Guardians have come to see themselves as a family, and even take on family-like responsibilities in the parenting of Baby Groot, but they are held together by friendship and loyalty rather than sex or blood ties. Theoretically, I like this celebration of a family of choice, but the film seems to exploit the word “family” in much the same way as the first one exploited the word “friendship”, without really giving much evidence for the relationship or considering what it actually means.

2.5 Stars; 4 Aces

4 thoughts on “Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017) – Ace Mini-Review

  1. sildarmillion says:

    Hmmm, Lindsay Ellis’ take on the Peter-Gamora relationship was that even though Gamora liked Peter, she didn’t say “yes” because Peter hadn’t matured enough. Something about James Gunn not giving him the traditional reward of “getting the girl” because he wasn’t there yet in terms of personal growth.

    Let me see if I can find the link:

    (Pretty sure it’s this one)

    Of course, in Infinity War, this all changes. Possible explanations are that James Gunn is not the director, there is a huge time jump so stuff could’ve happened, or Gamora rushed things because she had a feeling she was not going to live to the end. This take on their relationship made me like it more in retrospect. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blue Ice-Tea says:

      I saw that Ellis video, though not until after I’d reviewed the movie. I remember finding her explanation rather surprising – or rather, her framing of it. She sets it up as though her audience are all wondering why Peter and Gamora haven’t gotten together yet, whereas I was wondering why they would get together. From my perspective, there was no reason to expect them to end up together except for a very shallow, “Well, he’s the hero, so of course he’s going to ‘get the girl’!” rationale.

      Maybe they’re together in the comic books? If they are, then I can see why some fans would see their relationship as a foregone conclusion. And if you are expecting a romance between them, then Ellis’s explanation that even if Gamora likes Peter she would need him to mature a bit before getting into a relationship with him makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sildarmillion says:

        I like your analysis of the framing!

        I’ve experienced this several times when I’m confused why one character likes another (usually why a female character likes a male character). But I’ve come to expect they will get together because Hollywood.

        So, when I see movies like Guardians of the Galaxy (or heck, even the first Iron Man) where that doesn’t happen at the end of the first movie, I’m pleasantly surprised. In the case of Guardians of the Galaxy, when it didn’t happen even at the end of the second movie, I was even more pleasantly surprised and hoped it would continue in that direction. If for no other reason that to subvert the expectation. But also because I was sick of the trope of two people having one adventure together and getting together because of it.

        (But it’s also very possible others’ expectations were shaped by the comics, which I don’t know enough about.)

        Liked by 1 person

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