I was gone for a minute, but I’m back now.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 came out this week, and it’s wonderful. Personally for me, I liked it more than Guardian Vol. 1, which is saying something. I liked so many things about this movie that it’s very difficult for me to rank a top 10, but I’m going to do it!
So let’s look at my top 10 favorite things of Guardians Vol. 2.
#10: Original Guardians
When Sylvester Stallone was cast in an unknown role for Guardians Vol. 2, there was really no telling who he’d be. To our delight though, in the end he’s revealed to be Starhawk, and we see him with fellow Ravager captains that are actually all members of the original Guardians of the ’70s!
There’s no telling if they’ll just appear in Vol. 3 or if they’ll have their own spinoff movie, but with us already seeing Cosmo in Vol. 1, along with the catalyst of Yondu’s death (who was also an original member of the Guardians), there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing the original team again.
Plus, when you have the power team of the Italian Stallion, Miley Cyrus, Ving Rhames, Michelle Yeoh, and Michael Rosenbaum together in a team, you can’t let that go to waste.
Never being afraid to pull very minor characters from the comics and make them more important (#taserface), the MCU did this with Kraglin, Yondu’s first mate. Played by Sean Gunn, who also is the on-set Rocket plus the younger brother of Director James Gunn, you probably know him as the lovably annoying side character, Kirk, from Gilmore Girls.
Kraglin is a delight to this movie, and offers a character of great comedic moments, along with a character representing unfaltering loyalty. Plus it’s fun to see the little brother of the director that we’ve all known for years get to play a character that isn’t a raccoon.
#8: The Development of Thanos
Ever since you pretended to know who the post-credits villain of The Avengers was, Thanos has been looming over the MCU as an upcoming threat like herpes at Coachella.
However, this movie is the first time we’ve really gotten to see glimpses of the true monstrosity that is Thanos, and that’s via the character development of learning more of Nebula’s tragic backstory.
While it may just seem like growing Nebula as a character we can sympathize and start to root for, it also accomplishes of second purpose for starting to give us a reason to hate Thanos, even if we’ve just been told we’re supposed to.
I have a guess, a 100% guess, that we’ll get more of this in Thor: Ragnarok, if they follow the comics and Death hosts the tournament with the Grandmaster. Since Thanos pretty much kills the universe because he loves Death, her character will be a major part leading in to Infinity War. That being said, there’s been no word if the character will even appear so we’ll see.
#7: Post-Credits Scenes
Post-Credit scenes have become a staple of the MCU, and they did not shy away from them in this movie with five, and they’re all fantastic! The great thing about Guardians is that it’ll take cliches and moments and really just go wild with it.
In this movie, we get a comical sequence with Kraglin, confirmation that Stan Lee is indeed a Watcher that nerds like me theorized (those big baby looking things), that teenage Groot is as much of a dick as the rest of us as teenagers, the original Guardians that we already touched on, and one more that’s definitely the most important: Ayesha creating Adam Warlock.
I legitimately have no idea what they’re going to do with Him. First appearing in the ’60s, he’s the only reason I had any idea who Thanos was before the MCU, because his character is crazy.
Considering he is a major part of the Infinity War, the Soul Gem, Thanos, etc, and he won’t show up until after Infinity War, I really have no idea how he’ll be a villain unless they just embrace Magus from the get-go. But he’s an awesome character, and will be Loki-level good as a villain if they get it right.
#6: Yondu’s Death
This is specific for just his death, but Yondu actually dying is much more significant to the MCU than people may realize. Up to this point, no one significant has really died that has stayed dead. Agent Coulson came back, Bucky came back, Loki came back, Nick Fury came back, etc. And let’s be real, Quicksilver was in the movie about 30 minutes total of screentime and no one really misses him because he wasn’t there long enough for us to care.
Yondu is the first character to die and will stay dead that we actually cared about. It took a major step for the franchise in killing a beloved character permanently, and gives us a taste of what Infinity War will feel like, because trust me, a bunch of people you love will die in that. For good.
#5: Opening Credits
Opening credits are iconic parts of films, and haven’t played a big part of the MCU so far. The opening credits to this movie are brilliant, as we see the team fightings a giant Slither and Baby Groot doesn’t give a damn and just starts dancing being adorable. But it accomplishes more than meets the eye, by establishing the atmosphere perfectly.
From the goofy opening credits, we know that this will be visually beautiful, colorful, action-packed, hilarious, and the fact that we would all give our own lives for Baby Groot because he’s so damn cute.
#4: Kurt Russell
When it was revealed that Ego the Living Planet would be Peter Quill’s dad, everyone was just kind of like… huh. Interesting. Then they cast Kurt Russell and everyone was like, ‘don’t know, don’t care, give us Snake.’
Kurt Russell was, as usual, fantastic in this, and is one of the strongest Marvel villains in a franchise that is notoriously terrible at villains. He’s the second main source of emotion that caught us off guard and pulled our heart strings, and James Gunn managed to take a crazy comic book character, and translate him in a way that worked in this movie.
#3: Baby Groot
Never have a felt a love in a movie as strong as I did for Baby Groot. I just genuinely loved him, as if I was watching home videos of a family member growing up, except this family member is a baby tree.
From a filmmaking standpoint, it’s a lot harder than you would think to make us love a tree and have a baby in general that we didn’t find annoying as hell. But Baby Groot never got to be too much, never got annoying, and pulled our heart strings and made us genuinely happy in a way that characters in any movie can never do.
#2: Michael Rooker
Here’s something no one saw coming: Michael Rooker stealing the show. Yondu has one of the best character arcs of any character in the MCU up to this point, and it was beautifully done and performed.
Before he became Yondu, I could always rely on Rooker playing a character that genuinely made me fear for my life over a span of roles of 30 years. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer made me feel a level of uneasiness I didn’t know was possible from a movie when I saw it all those years ago, and that was just his first movie.
He’s one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood and television, and Yondu may be the shining point of his career, as he took a character that began as a scumbag pirate, and developed into a deep, loving character that is as equally loyal as he is broken.
While we’ve already discussed how his death is one of the most powerful moments of the MCU, his performance throughout the film and how we learn who he truly is, stole the show, and he was amazing.
#1: The Character Development
How James Gunn managed to develop all of these characters in a way that didn’t get too expositional and too boring goes to show how brilliant he is as a director and writer.
From learning of Peter’s upbringing, to Yondu’s painful story, to Gamora and Nebula’s tragic childhood, Rocket’s powerful character development, Drax’s homelife, Mantis’ innocence, and so on, the way these character’s develop is what makes this movie so special.
This film is obviously an ensemble movie, but it’s because we learn how painful the backstories of all of these characters are, that when we see them all get together and heal as a group, it’s truly special and creates a powerful product.
Disagree with anything on this list or hate that I didn’t add Howard the Duck? Let me know in the comments, and like, share, and subscribe!
And if you are upset I didn’t add Howard the Duck, you’re what’s wrong with America.