firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: I'm mostly not sorry I saw it; I didn't dislike it as much as the first Guardians movie, but I don't recommend it.


"Ego has built his own planet, apparently after consulting the covers of Yes albums." (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/05/15/guardians-of-the-galaxy-vol-2-and-chuck-reviews)

As mentioned, I didn't like the first movie. I couldn't stand Star-Lord (he was annoying, had no redeeming qualities, and I didn't understand why others followed him), and except for Drax and Groot, the rest of the characters didn't stand out either.

In this movie, I still disliked Star-Lord—not as much, but only because there was someone even worse to contrast him with. I liked (Baby) Groot, and I also liked Rocket, Yondu, and a couple of other Ravagers. I was inclined to continue liking Drax, and Bautista did a good job of trying to portray the same character, but the writers wrote him wrong (see below). Nebula seemed like she could be an interesting character but they didn't do enough with her. Gamora has no personality whatsoever that I could discern. ("Saldana spends swaths of the film sitting down or trying to mitigate circumstances. If you thought her role as Uhura was wasteful, this is in the same vein." — https://www.theyoungfolks.com/film/102799/movie-review-guardians-of-the-galaxy-vol-2/) Mantis was a stereotypical "submissive Asian woman" character but Pom Klementieff did a really good job with her and made her more interesting than she might have been.

The thing that I REALLY HATED in this movie, which makes me not recommend it, were the many scenes where Drax calls Mantis ugly, hideous, too skinny, and weak (complete with barfing gestures). Maybe some people will find it fat-positive that Drax says "I like my women with meat on their bones" while putting down Mantis. But his saying that was meaningless because there weren't any such women in the movie for him to admire. The actress playing Mantis is part-Asian so he's putting down the appearance of a woman of color. EW.

Someone suggested to me that Drax didn't really think Mantis was ugly, it was just like boys who have crushes on girls and pull their hair to prove it. But I don't buy it because he also said that stuff when she wasn't around to hear it. Anyway, maybe some girls and women will like these scenes because they have a lot of memories of boys who harassed them but it meant the boys liked them, so it was OK. But the memories those scenes took me back to are of boys who harassed me because they didn't like me and wanted to make me feel bad. I don't like watching things that remind me of that shit.

In general, the writers changed Drax from a guy who is funny because he is very literal minded (compare this from the first movie: 'Metaphors are gonna go right over his head.' 'My reflexes are too fast. I would catch it.') to a guy who is supposed to be funny but he is just crude and lacking in social skills ('I have famously huge turds'). The way Bautista played him, he retained some charm, but I wanted him to still have actual charm, not cognitively dissonant charm.

Other things I liked:
—the opening scene
—the end credits

Other things I didn't like:
—too much of the soundtrack (I love a lot of 70s–80s music, but they managed to pick a lot of stuff I don't like)
—that they made a movie in which four women had fairly large parts and it still only barely passed the Bechdel Test. (For a while when Gamora and Nebula were having their big fight scene, I thought my question was gonna be "Does it count as passing the Bechdel test if two women have a wordless fight over something other than a man?" But then they went and made it about a man.)

Date: 10 May 2017 01:56 am (UTC)
graymalkin: (Default)
From: [personal profile] graymalkin
Good review!

I watched the first "Guardians" movie on TV when I started getting into the Marvel films, and was bored silly by it. Star-Lord was off-putting in every way. None of the other characters were memorable or likeable for me except Groot and (sometimes) Rocket (because he just doesn't give a shit).

I'm not interested in the second movie, but I know Gary will want to watch it when it hits the small screen, so I appreciate having an idea of what to expect.

The fight and the Bechdel Test -- heh.

Date: 11 May 2017 08:55 am (UTC)
graymalkin: (Default)
From: [personal profile] graymalkin
So true.

Date: 10 May 2017 02:10 am (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
The visuals were good! I ignored most of the dialog, and the plot was paper thin.

Date: 10 May 2017 11:42 am (UTC)
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
From: [personal profile] feuervogel
I, too, felt it was flat and generally disappointing. I thought the first movie was good enough, but not great (and definitely not worth the Hugo nom), and I still don't understand why half the people I know are so enamored by it.

Date: 12 May 2017 04:58 am (UTC)
baratron: (black)
From: [personal profile] baratron
It occurs to me that the kind of "fat-positivity" you are describing here is basically thin-bashing. It's a person telling another person that they don't find them attractive because of their body shape. This is almost as offensive as fat-bashing if we're talking about a person of average size, and just as offensive if we're talking about someone who is naturally very slim - especially a woman who would desperately like to be curvy and "more feminine" with big boobs, but genetics have decreed that she is instead "boyish".

Situations where a person is told that they are not attractive because their body shape does not fit another person's ideal are generally offensive. Even more so if this opinion is announced unsolicited. And it becomes both sexist and racist in the situation you're talking about.

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