Marvel

Avengers Infinity War Review

Do you realize how hard it is to avoid any spoilers for the biggest blockbuster of the year, let alone the decade? After ten years of backstory, the Marvel-verse collided and created what is deemed the most ambitious crossover event in history, Avengers Infinity War. Being the Marvel fan that I am, I was dying to see this movie from its opening day. Purging myself of all social media and exiling myself from society, I waited five grueling days to see it and now I have a lot to say about the latest Avengers. Pour yourself a drink and break out the snacks because this is going to be a long, rambling, spoiler filled review.

Thanos has made quite the name for himself as the universe’s cruelest villain and yet he still isn’t satisfied. As our favorite heroes have gallivanted the universe saving the infinity stones from nefarious schemes, Thanos has been tracking them down for a plan of his own. Now that he’s decided to make his move, Avengers and Guardians alike will need to team up for the sake of half of the universe.

If you didn’t notice in my opening paragraph, I did mention that this review will contain spoilers. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, don’t ruin it for yourself now. Go see it and then come back and let me know what you thought of it. Alright, back to the review.

Infinity War starts off with a bang and just doesn’t stop. With nothing but back-to-back plot points, it really doesn’t give viewers the chance to digest what’s happening, let alone react to it. Normally, I’m all for relevant dialogue and action but I think the strictly-business writing of the screenplay really did a disservice to the overall story.

 

I attribute this to poor planning, not poor screenwriting. With ten years of back story and new characters being thrown in left and right, this movie simply had too much to fit in, as obviously shown by the length of the film and the chaotic poster. Cramming that much story into two hours and forty minutes resulted in limited character interactions and awkward introductions. I really felt like the only time the movie allowed for quality intermingling was during scenes with the Guardians.

Considering the ending of the film was planned far before its story was written, I just don’t think the plot holes are easy to overlook. With 14 million possible outcomes, how is it that destroying the time stone didn’t come up? How is it that Doctor Strange didn’t observe the outcomes before arriving to Titan? These huge holes have left me thinking that the inevitable ending was more important than the details to the creators of the movie. That mentality leaves a trail of gaping holes that will dominate the conversation for the film among fans.

That being said, this movie is really just a blast to watch. Any Marvel fan who sees Infinity War is going to have a great time watching it. We see all of our favorite characters on the big screen again. While I think character bonding should have been a larger part of this movie, what was included was great. Not everyone made logical decisions for their characters but I really can’t say that even negates how awesome and massive this movie is.

I think massive is the best way to sum up this movie. Even in other Marvel films, we’ve never seen quite this much world building this quickly. This Avengers really gives us a scope for the amount of possibilities available for future films. There are several story arcs that need resolving and now we aren’t solely limited to Earth for it. This movie also opens up the doors for future crossovers between the Guardians that aren’t just limited to the Avengers titles.

Now I know you’re wondering why I’m so optimistic about future movies and crossovers when a majority of our favorite heroes are gone. Well, I honestly don’t see this as the end. If it is, boy this is going to suck. But for now, I’m certain that by the newest Avengers in 2019, we’ll get some clarity and hopefully our heroes back.

Speaking of heroes, I absolutely loved seeing Robert Downy Jr. as Iron Man back on the screen and not as the villain that Civil War attempted (and failed) to make him out to be. Yet again he nails the role of everyone’s favorite rich, superhero jerk. I really got a kick out of seeing him and Tom Holland as Spider-Man. I think their relationship dynamic is interesting and I’m excited to see how it progresses in the future after this predicament gets sorted out.

As expected, I loved seeing the Guardians of the Galaxy since they are my favorite super morons. Chris Pratt still kills the role of Peter Quill as he shows even more that he can balance some emotionally heavy scenes with his hilarious charm. Bradley Cooper’s voice is always a delight to hear as Rocket, especially when giving Thor a hard time while fathering a teenage Groot. Speaking of which, this most recent stage for Groot was great to watch and I’m hopeful that we can see some more of the pubescent plant before he fully matures.

Now two characters that did have some unique character progression were Thor and Hulk. I am biased since I am still obsessed with Ragnarok but let’s face it, these two are a golden duo. Mark Ruffalo is back as Bruce Banner who’s having some performance issues. I’m loving seeing Ruffalo back as Bruce but I’m also enjoying seeing him try to communicate with the Hulk. He’s really doing well at showing that they’re two completely different parts of the same person. Hemsworth is back and this time with an ax. My biggest concern for Thor after Ragnarok was the hammer so I’m glad to see they’re setting him up for his next appearance and film.

There were two characters that I think were written out in quite a strange way. Tom Hiddleston is back as Loki with his newfound conscience in full swing. While his death was early on, I wish he had stuck around in the film. I think seeing Loki, the ultimate trickster, try to play nice would have been a great layer of intrigue to add to the story. That being said, I don’t think Loki is really dead and if he is then I’ll be both shocked and devastated. He has far too much potential to be killed in an underwhelming way (I mean, he’s survived the Hulk for Pete’s sake).

Then there’s Zoe Saldana as Gamora, daughter of Thanos. As usual, I think Saldana is perfect for the role of the universe’s fiercest woman with daddy issues. I really loved seeing her new relationship with her sister take flight as Gamora becomes more vocal about her emotions. While I loved her presence in the film, I hated her death. I think the situation was far too convenient to seem remotely realistic. I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to her character to be killed in this movie, but I realize this movie wasn’t exactly fair in the death department. While her fate truly does seem sealed, my fingers are crossed for some sort of ridiculous miracle for her.

We can’t discuss the many characters in this movie without talking about Josh Brolin’s Thanos. I think Brolin did a great job as the tyrant titan. I think he exuded cruel confidence and emotional depth that wouldn’t seem possible for a character like his. I am looking more forward to seeing him in the newest Deadpool movie but I think he makes a great Thanos. That being said, I do wish he had been written to seem a bit more unstable. A man who feels fulfilled by wiping out half the population at the cost of his daughter clearly isn’t sane. Yet, he was written as an extremely logical character. I think there are great ways to balance crazy with cunning and I wish we could have seen that take place.

Aiding the background worldbuilding, the CGI for this movie has somehow exceeded any of their other previous visual masterpieces. There were a few scenes with some awkward effects, like the introduction of Tony’s new suit and technology, but the general level of near-perfection only enhances their incredible new Marvel-verse.

I was also extremely impressed by how the filmmakers were able to combine all of the styling of each character’s solo movie. Character-specific details were carried throughout the entire movie so when you saw Thor on the Guardians’ ship, you felt like you were watching a Guardians movie. On the other hand, when you were watching Thor, Rocket, and Groot walking into the forge for the first time, you felt like you were watching a Thor movie. The extreme detailing that went into transitioning helped break the monotony that was in Ultron and Civil War while giving each character the chance to stand out in ways they’ve already proven they can.

Technically speaking, there’s only one complaint I have: the music. I know, it may seem like a small trivial complaint but music can really make or break a movie. Marvel has been rocking their scores lately so I wasn’t even considering it when I went into Infinity War. However, the music was so loud and overdramatic, it felt like it was trying to force an emotion on me rather than guiding me to that emotion. Now, I don’t think the music broke this movie, it just added a little too much power to an already overwhelming film.

Yes, I still have some major issues with the way the Avengers movies have become that were only reassured by this movie. I think there is a big conversation to be had about how overpowered these characters are and how that affects the stakes and urgencies of future films. I’m honestly still pretty pissed that this movie didn’t clear up the infuriating and nonsensical Captain America v Iron Man rift in the Avengers. Despite all of the issues that I have with the Avengers series after the original, I think this movie is far superior to Age of Ultron and will ultimately lead this series in a better direction.

What are your thoughts on Infinity War? How do you feel about the use of the time stone and the rumors that time travel will be the solution to this cliffhanger? Do you think it was too busy or did you love the non-stop action? As always, I’d love to check out any recommendations you may have for me. See you soon!

Banner from revengeofthefans.com

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Black Panther Review

As February comes to a close, a new chapter in cinematic history begins. That’s right, I’m talking about Marvel’s recent box office hit, Black Panther. It is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated movies of the year and with its huge promise of cultural significance, this movie had its work cut out for it.

This review will be spoiler free so if you’re still trying to decide to buy into the hype (what are you waiting for?) then read on.

As the civil war among Avengers ends, T’Challa returns home to claim his place on Wakanda’s throne. Unfortunately, the new king finds trouble early on in his reign. Klaw, one of Wakanda’s most hated enemies, has popped up on the radar. As the Black Panther, T’Challa tries to bring an end to Klaw’s mischief only to stumble across a new threat all together. When the mistakes of his father surface, it’s up to T’Challa to stop an era of war from plaguing his homeland.

As you might have gathered, Black Panther’s first solo movie started with a bang. Viewers were introduced to an entirely new country, political system, and culture all relevant to our world at present. We got a break from the American government, lifestyle, and settings with this movie and thank Bast (the panther goddess) we did. Marvel has been beating the patriotic bongos a bit too hard lately (*cough* Civil War *cough*) so even something as simple as an international setting can go far to break up the drama of the Avengers.

Not only does this give viewers a break, it gives Marvel’s writers and designers a chance to flex their creative muscles, and flex they did. From a story telling perspective, this movie dealt with both the internal and external dilemmas a country may face while focusing on a personal journey. It’s a huge fish to fry but Coogler, Kirby, and Cole seemed to handle it with ease. They balanced the drama and action well so we could fully appreciate the reality of the situation. They didn’t hide the story behind KAPLOWS and KABOOMS. They let topics like racism and foreign aid lead the story while action simply aided message. This means sometimes certain messages were exhausted, but the importance of the topics let that slide.

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Even more impressive than the story telling was the visuals. Black Panther is absolutely gorgeous. Wakanda itself combined African architecture with street art for a modernized African look (something that I think is important for Americans to see). The contrast of country and high tech society was just plain fun to look at. The ships and technology were incredible to ogle at. The costuming is something to study in itself. This movie clearly had a tremendous amount of passion and creativity put into every aspect of its design. Stylistically, it’s my favorite Marvel movie by a long shot.

From behind the camera, there were only two major things that bothered me in this movie. While I love the story, I do wish there were more of a resolution between characters. T’Challa had grown so much as a character by the end of the movie, I just wish there had been a stronger moment of peace between him and Killmonger. T’Challa was also written with some huge distance from everyday Wakandan culture. The only time we saw him interacting with civilians was in some awkward market scenes that seemed out of place.

The other issue I had was the CGI. While the movie is gorgeous, there were some fight scenes that graphically don’t hold up compared to some of Marvel’s other recent works. While it isn’t horrible by any means, it’s just not up to par, which is surprising. When paired with the fast moving camera shots, scenes became blurry and unpleasant to watch. I loved the artistry in the opening scene but I couldn’t fully enjoy it because of the fast moving camera.

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In front of the camera, however, I have no complains. Chadwick Boseman played the regal T’Challa with ease. His poised manners were at conflict with his passionate love for Wakanda and his family. He worked hard to find harmony between diplomacy and raw emotion and Boseman struck the perfect balance. Michael B. Jordan mastered the polar opposite as Erik Killmonger. His character was nothing but rampaging anger with moments of blatant insecurity. Jordan had the difficult task of validating the words of a radicalized man and somehow, he did it. As backwards as his solutions were, you couldn’t argue with the issues he brought up or the emotions he used to portray his rough upbringing.

The women of this movie really drove it home for me. Instead of women taking a backseat in action movies, Black Panther let them shine in roles they’ve never had before. Lupita Nyong’o played Nakia, the compassionate love interest. While most other films would end her character there, Nyong’o ‘s character is primarily a spy helping other countries where Wakanda wouldn’t. She chooses to help others above her love for T’Challa and that stubborn moral compass is prevalent in Nyong’o’s performance. Danai Gurira plays the powerful Okoye. She’s the primary protector of the king and has vowed to serve Wakanda forever. Gurira shows the value in both duty and defiance. I love the rigidity in her character and how she masterfully carries that from a dramatic moment to a comedic one.

 

Yet, if we’re going to discuss comedy in Black Panther, there are three people who deserve the credit for consistently making the audience laugh, the first of whom being Letitia Wright as Shuri, one of my new favorite Marvel characters. She gave some representation to the millennials of the audience with her modern sense of humor. She humanizes a super genius as a wise cracking lovable little sister. From super genius to super villain, Andy Serkis is back and not in CGI. He’s mastered yet another extreme character with his SoundCloud rapper role of Wakanda’s biggest nightmare. His expressive behavior was spot on and his willingness to go as overboard as always made him a joy to watch. Winston Duke was one character who shocked the audience with incredible timing and delivery as M’Baku. He put characters in their place while clearly having fun which only made his comedic moments even more enjoyable.

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I’m sure you were wondering when the moment in this review would come where I talked about the importance of this movie. Well here it is. As a woman watching this movie, I felt incredibly empowered. I felt that rushing sensation to kick people who litter or become a vigilante who punches people that are mean to animals like I did after seeing Wonder Woman. I can’t even begin to imagine what this movie must have felt like to a person of color after a lifetime of sidekick roles. If we want Hollywood to wake up and smell the reality of what consumers want, we need to support movies that actually represent us as consumers. We need to demand representation and support it when it is done well. Hopefully movies like Black Panther and Wonder Woman pave the way for a new and better chapter in our entertainment.

I think it’s pretty obvious that I love this movie. It doesn’t rank as my favorite Marvel movie, but it’s pretty high on my list. I’m stoked to see more of the Black Panther cast in Infinity Wars and hopefully in some more soon to come solo ventures.

What did you think of Black Panther? Did you like the movie or think it’s over-hyped? Did you find it as refreshing of a Marvel film as I did? Do you like it enough to claim it as your favorite? If you have any recommendations for me, let me know. I’d love to check them out. See you soon!

Thor: Ragnarok Review

With one of the most exciting trailers of the year, Thor: Ragnarok was one of the most highly anticipated movies for superhero fans everywhere. Well, opening weekend is here and the fans won’t be disappointed. Marvel is back and better than ever.

With all of the issues I’ve had recently with some Marvel movies, I went into the theatre for Ragnarok with nothing but excitement. I’m a big fan of the Thor movies and with the Hulk, I couldn’t see how this movie could fail. While I do have some minor nitpicks I noticed that I wasn’t crazy about, this movie has landed among the greats of the superhero genre.

The key aspect of this movie is comedy. Above all else, expect to laugh so hard your face hurts. Thor has always had major comedic potential and I’m glad Marvel is fully showcasing it. Hemsworth’s spot on timing and and incredible delivery shines again as he slays the funniest hero movie Marvel has released yet. Every character got the chance to get a laugh out of the audience as nearly every scene had laugh-out-loud moments. Of course one actor got the chance to prove their comedic chops as two different characters as Banner and Hulk got some one-on-one time with Thor.

Seeing Hulk again should be enough to get seats filled, but Marvel spoiled us with even more. Seeing multiple characters but in a less chaotic and overwhelming situation, compared to the likes of an Avengers movie was both refreshing and satisfying. We got to catch up on many aspects of the Marvel world in a more intimate way. Banner’s struggle with Hulk continues, Doctor Strange finally seems invested in the superhero universe yet is as selfish as ever, and Loki is still a mischievous mastermind with a soft spot buried deep for his brother.

Heroes and villains aside, this movie had a great cast. Cate Blanchett rocks the role of Hela. She nails being the psycho, entitled older sibling. With some previous experience being a highly powerful immortal being, the role fit wonderfully. Of course I couldn’t do this movie justice without discussing Jeff Goldblum. Like everything else in this movie, his Grandmaster was hilarious. He was predictably unpredictable and a quirky hypocrite. Any scene with him was set in stone as a good one.

While the movie could primarily be listed as a comedy, it still had plenty of heart. We’ve seen Thor take a back seat to the other Avengers in previous movies but now he gets his time to shine. He takes on the role of leadership and under his somewhat stupid and semi-arrogant nature, matures a lot throughout the movie. Loki and his brother share just as many tender moments as they do mischievous ones and we see their family dynamic in a way we never have before.

With its retro vibe, the poster for this movie is one of my new favorites, if not my favorite, from the Marvel catalog. It’s bold, it’s unique, and it’s not just a close up of the main hero. Not only does the poster have some major character, the soundtrack does as well. Following the retro theme, this soundtrack mixes some classic 60s and 70s sounds with an epic score. It’s interesting and exciting enough to listen to outside of the movie and jam out to.

Technically speaking, this movie was spectacular. There was never a noticeably awkward moment with Hulk’s CGI, which is no small feat. He looked nearly as realistic as every actor in the movie. Marvel loves to wow us with immersive worlds, beautiful stills and yet again they delivered. Asgard was breathtaking to see in a wide shot, the new worlds we saw were massive and unique, and every high speed scene made you want to slow down the movie to notice all the details.

There were only two scenes in the entire movie that I felt looked a bit fake. The scene on the cliffs overlooking the beach could have been filmed on location and was edited in a way that didn’t sit well with me but this was a minor scene that caught me off guard. The only other instance I could tell CGI was heavily used was during one of Hela’s earlier fight scenes. It’s understandable with such a huge scene to use CGI but it did take me out of the moment.

Neither of these scenes were bad in any way, it’s actually quite a feat that in such a huge movie there weren’t more. With so little CGI awkwardness and a few continuity errors with hair or minor details, Marvel again washes out the competition with such realistic fantastical worlds and characters.

If you had any doubts about this movie or were considering waiting for it to leave the theatres before watching it, just go. It’s beautiful enough to justify an overpriced ticket. With massive fight scenes, side splitting humor, and one of the best stories Marvel has put out recently, Thor: Ragnarok is a must see as a new superhero classic.

Let me know what you thought of the movie. Do you think Marvel outdid themselves? How do you like it compared to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spiderman Homecoming, their other recent releases? As always, if you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them and check them out. See you soon!

Spider-Man: Homecoming Review

By now you all know that these reviews have spoilers and this one is no different. Go check out Spider-Man: Homecoming and then come back to read this after.

There was no way I could wait the entire opening weekend to see the new Spider-Man reboot. When it comes to Marvel, I have some mixed feelings that you can read about here. I was worried this Spider-Man would just seem like another cog in the Avengers machine, especially since he’s my favorite Marvel hero. Fortunately, my fears were misplaced.

Spider-Man: Homecoming had everything a Spider-Man movie should. It was written with comedic intent, it had few but smart fight scenes, and it was filled with heart. No, this isn’t a sappy Spider-Man, it’s just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

We started off with some vlog footage from Peter himself during his time in Captain America: Civil War. Trying to keep busy when he wasn’t getting any missions, he stumbled on an underground weapons operation. After some rebellious mistakes and heroic moments, Spidey got grounded by Stark and had to choose between saving the day or enjoying homecoming like a normal teen. You can probably guess which one he chose.

Tom Holland’s Peter Parker acts like the kid who lives down the block that’s able to make friends with everyone. He is awkward and childish in a way that charms everyone, even criminals. He does well at balancing the rebellious side of Spider-Man and the responsible geek of Peter Parker. His comedic timing was spot on, which is important for anyone playing this role. He actually had me crying in the theatre from laughing so hard at his interrogation mode scene.

What really makes Holland’s Peter Parker stand out is the writing behind him. I feel most writers find the easiest way to make a teenage character relatable is through a bland romance. Romance sells but it doesn’t give much depth. This Peter was written to act in the way a normal high school nerd would. He handles bullying, crushes, friendships, and family issues while swinging through the city after his Spanish tests. He was loyal to his friend and aunt, not only his crush. He and Ned were hilarious while showing how good of a friend Peter is. Peter Parker is a complex character that requires more complex character development, and they delivered.

With so much of this movie being character driven with chosen involvement, there was less fighting than other hero movies. Less isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Spider-Man loves to fight smarter not harder so every fight was clever. Each fight was fun to watch to see what trick he would try next or which new part of his suit he would use. Of course there was plenty of action and some epic scenes, but not as much as some of the other Marvel movies we’ve seen.

Something I’ve been noticing and appreciating in the Marvel universe is seeing negative consequences of the Avengers or any superhero in this universe. In comics it’s easy to forget that there are other victims beyond the ones saved. Civil War did a great job at showing that heroes can make mistakes. While this is an interesting dynamic for the genre, I think it was a drastic jump for this movie. We go from Michael Keaton’s character focusing on hard work and providing for his family to being a thief and underground weapons dealer because Stark issues the Damage Control to step in. While his motive made sense, I couldn’t believably see the man excited to prove himself to his new employers becoming a villain on the drop of a dime because an advanced agency was brought in to clean up alien technology and wreckage.

I know what you’re really wondering though. Was this reboot worth it or was it a desperate money grab by marvel? For me, this movie was absolutely worth the reboot. There are two main things that set this movie apart from the others.

One big difference and reason I loved this movie was that it was played by believable teenagers. The actors looked young enough to be in high school, they acted like regular awkward high schoolers, and for the most part they dressed like actual high schoolers. I think the vlog footage in the beginning was a great way to connect with millennials while showing Peter’s excitement. It was a great way to integrate new media and show people who didn’t watch Civil War everything they needed to know.

The second major difference, and most important one at that, from the other Spider-Man movies was that this one was not an origin story. We had to see Peter lose his uncle and become Spider-Man twice before, could we really sit through the same basic plot again? By skipping that part of his story, we got to jump into a new plot at a different stage in Peter’s journey. While Uncle Ben wasn’t there to say it, the meaning in the phrase “with great power comes great responsibility” was still a major theme. They found new ways to integrate the key points that make Spider-Man so unique and relatable.

I love the way they involved Stark so heavily in the movie. It paints Tony in a good light again, something they needed to do after Civil War. Stark is becoming a father figure to Peter and I’m excited to see that relationship grow. We finally have a Spider-Man who can interact in a universe full of other heroes unlike the other ones we’ve seen. With a world full of potential, I don’t think we’ll be seeing another reboot any time soon.

While I was on the fence at first, I can say this is my favorite Spider-Man movie to date. I think Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were great which makes them tough acts to follow. Rebooting this series so soon again was a big risk but it paid off. This may have even won me over to fully loving the Marvel movies again. Maybe. While the movie wasn’t perfect, I sure did love it and can’t wait for more adventures with Spidey.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review

If you’re looking for a spoiler-free review, you’ve come to the wrong place. You may want to head over to iMDB or Rotten Tomatoes.

I have to say, when it comes to Marvel movies, I’m torn. Some of them are amazing, some are just boring, and some just try to copy the formula for a best selling action movie and end up completely empty. When Marvel flops, they flop. But when Marvel does well, they soar above expectations. The first Avengers movie was groundbreaking for the Marvel universe and I didn’t think anything could beat it, until Guardians of the Galaxy.

Guardians of the Galaxy has been my favorite little corner of the Marvel universe since Vol. 1 was released in 2014. Being a fan of action and space movies, Guardians was right up my alley. You can probably imagine my excitement for Vol. 2.

I didn’t go into the theatre with any skepticism or pessimism, I just wanted to sit back and enjoy a fun movie. That’s exactly what I did with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It was heartfelt, hilarious, and action-packed. What more can you ask for? There is one thing about this movie that might be bothersome to viewers, the lack of straightforward plot. I would relate this movie to the character building episode any great adventure television series needs. This movie stood still to let its characters develop into people we care about.

As boring as I realize that sounds, this is a big deal for Marvel. The first Guardians movie was very plot driven. Heroes meet, heroes fight bad guy, heroes win and become “friends” in the process. A basic structure for super hero movies. This sequel seemed to just have events happening and we watched the characters react. You just had to sit back and watch these different paths eventually combine to fight against a villain that’s only purpose was to resolve conflict within Peter. We watched every character have realizations and personal growth. To me, this was an important stepping stone in hero movies. They’ve separated themselves from the Avengers. They didn’t just create this movie to throw them into a massive Avengers movie like Ant-Man, Guardians exists on their own and won’t depend on an Avengers movie for a purpose.

Learning about Peter’s dad fills in an important plot point for the series that can give writers some new direction. Now that Peter knows more about himself, is he likely to become more reckless or be at peace and consider a less risky life? Will he regain control over those powers his father had? Star-Lord seemed to have isolated growth where as the other characters were mainly paired off, Groot being the exception. I really enjoyed the Gamora and Nebula pairing. Seeing Gamora apologize and watching Nebula learn to forgive was so powerful since these are extremely headstrong characters. Mantis was a hilarious addition to this movie and her connection with Drax is both comedic and heart-warming.

That being said, if we’re going to call any duo in this movie heart-warming (which they all were to some degree), that title has to go to Rocket and Yondu. In my opinion, Rocket had even more development than Peter. Watching Rocket struggle with his identity in the group and waiting for his best friend to grow up again, Rocket was thrown into this movie in an awkward position. Yondu was the perfect character to help him through his transition. Yondu became someone Rocket had complete respect for, which is rare for his character. Rocket now shows traits of both Peter and Yondu, making him a potentially good leader if the writers choose that path. Yondu’s death was truly heart breaking. Having all of the other ravagers accept him again really drove home the theme of this movie: family. We saw several storylines dealing with related family, some with the loss of family, and some coming to find a new family. After this movie, the Guardians are not just a team, but are a family.

As you can probably tell, I’ve overanalyzed this movie a bit. I would like to say that while I appreciate this movie, this style may not be for everyone. Several times during the movie I felt underwhelmed by a lack of stakes presented. While this one didn’t have an intense and massive plot like the first one, its story is important and the overarching theme is what makes the Guardians so special in the Marvel universe. Even if this character development isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll have a blast watching it. I don’t think there was a single person in the theatre who wasn’t laughing. The action is thrilling, the writing is witty, the special effects are incredible, the story is heartfelt, and baby Groot is absolutely adorable.

I really can’t recommend this movie enough. I can’t even think of a single thing I didn’t enjoy about it, or maybe I just don’t want to. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a huge success in my opinion and I can’t wait to see it again. Let me know what you thought about the movie, I’d love to hear if anyone else liked or disliked the structure or if you didn’t really notice a difference.