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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.)
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