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