Love my mindless movies, so this was up my alley.
The first Guardians of the Galaxy was something I watched when I had downtime and just wanted to see stuff blow up. But I was pleasantly surprised. It had a good story, good acting, very good humor, and of course, the 70-80s nostalgia. To be honest, I wasn't seeing how they could replicate the uniqueness of the first movie now that the cat was out of the bag. So what did I think of this second installment? I enjoyed it. The humor was there. The characters were great (baby root deserves an Oscar). The storyline was decent, if a little weak. But by far, the most poignant aspect of the film were all the family dynamics.
So let's list 'em
The plot was that Star-Lord's Father, Ego, finds him. Ego is a celestial, i.e., god/immortal being. Turns out that the reunion is not quite what it seems, as Ego wants to turn Star-Lord into a co-domineering force and re-image the universe. So now the Guardians have to fight the god and work out all the family issues at the same time.
The dynamic and intensity that carried the movie was between Gamora and Nebula. All the bad guys in the movie are comical to some degree except for Nebula. She carries real malevolence that you can feel. You don't want to run into her in an alley. She has hatred toward her father Thanos and holds her sister, Gamora, responsible for all Thanos did to her. And all through the film, you're waiting for this dynamic to play out.
The other satisfying relationship was that of Yondou and Peter Quill. Here we find that the bad guy sacrificed a life of honor to save Peter. Even though he'd presented his actions as done out of purely selfish motives. As a smuggler, he realizes that Ego means to kill Peter and he thus never delivers him. At the end he gets his redemption and Peter gets to reconcile with, not just with his mentor, but his true "dad."
As a creator of content, I found the film fascinating in that, they had a thin storyline, but they exploited the humor and relationship tensions to great effect and that was enough to make it a fun watch. This film was an aggregate of all the correct buttons. It's amazing to see the application of a formula and watch it work. Humans are predictable. If you find the right formula, you'll get a predictable response from us.
Here's an interview I did with Nix Whitikker.
"If any of your books was to be made into a film...."
A poignant scene in The Chronicles of Riddick (one of the most awesomest films ever) has to do with the forced conversion of the people on Helion Prime. This is the scene (an extended scene with footage not seen in the film).
"We all began as something else." The Purifier says. Those words always stuck with me because it sounds like this is the human story of religion and culture. We all began as something else. So, is the statement an argument in favor of conservatism or progressivism? Should we fight to conserve and thus resist the command to shed the past so easily, or should we be willing to accept that our anchor is in the future and what we were is not what we are destined to be?
I love the fact that the Purifier answers this later in the film. Here's my blog on his atonement.
I'm excited to announce that the first two books in the Children of Clay series are now available on pre-order wherever ebooks are sold