OEDIPUS WRECKS or DADDY DEAREST: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2


First, a word from our sponsors: I wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign for 15 Conversations in 10 Minutes. We did very well due to you folks. For those who weren’t able to give, keep us in your thoughts. And if you are able to contribute in the future, contact me and I’ll tell you how. I will even honor the perks on the original campaign.
I am now offering a new consultation service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  FosCheck out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
Warning: SPOILERS
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is superior to the fun and frolicsome first entry in the franchise if, for no other reason, than the casting of Kurt Russell, former Disney waif turned cult actor, who has managed, somehow, to bridge the cinematic generation gap (previously by appearing in Furious 7, now by becoming a Marvel supervillain) and, like Donald Sutherland in The Hunger Games, become relevant again.
And Quentin Tarantino certainly hasn’t hurt his career any.
And it’s also interesting that it is happening just as his significant other seems to be doing the same by co-starring in the more successful than expected Amy Schumacher vehicle, Snatched.
I’m always ready to spread out the welcome mat for Russell and here he seems to be having the time of his life playing a maniacal psychopath with a God complex (appropriately named Ego no less) and the powers to back it up.

 

Guardians…2 is also more successful than the first because the plotting is smoother and less clunky (especially the climax) with the actors seeming even more relaxed in their roles as they play somewhat silly (in a good way) characters in a somewhat silly (in a good way), tongue in cheek spoof of space movies and superhero comic books.

 

For some reason I won’t delve into (because who really wants to delve into the psychological seesaw of screenwriters and their emotional issues), the whole plot is driven by daddy issues. Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), our hapless hero who, like Rodney Dangerfield, never gets the respect he thinks he deserves, has never met his. So when he does (the aforementioned Ego), it’s easy to believe he might be bamboozled by fatherly apologies and regrets, playing catch with power balls and promises of untold powers.

 

Meanwhile, Nebula (Karen Gillian) wants to kill her sister Gamora (Zoë Saldana) because they’re dear old dad would pit them against each other. Wanting them both to be equals, he would replace Nebula’s body parts with robotic ones to even the playing field. But Gamora would still come out on top until Nebula become essentially an AI.

 

These developments lead everyone on a wild ride across the universe filled with a multitude of action scenes filled with state of the art CGI backed by the comic timing of Bradley Cooper as a talking raccoon; Michael Rooker as a Thing-like humanoid who is incapable of dishonesty; Pom Klementieff as an insectisoid empath; and last, but not least, Vin Diesel as Baby Groot who’s main superpower seems to be the inability not to steal whatever scene he’s in.

 

Though Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a refreshing day in from the heat, I will make one observation that will probably be the most controversial.

 

Pratt is an engaging actor, but I’ve seen little yet to suggest he is a particularly strong one. He seems best when relegated to second tier, such as his role in the television series Parks and Recreation.

 

But as a leading man, even a role as here that seems particularly tailored to him, though he passes, he is outshined by all those around him and doesn’t seem to have that something extra for top billing, something that I think has been shown by his miscasting in Passengers and that new Jurassic Park entry.

 

In fact, all through the film, I kept wondering what it would have been like if Pratt and Cooper had switched roles.

 

But still, he certainly doesn’t hurt anything and he does have a charm, as well as nice comic timing. So perhaps it’s best not to grumble.

 

With Sylvester Stallone in a cameo as Staker Ogord.

 

The clever and witty screenplay is by the director James Gunn and eight other people whose exact role in the procedure I’m not always sure how to parse.

Advertisements

So tell me what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s