Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 came out in cinemas a couple of weeks ago, and my face still morphs into the goofiest of grins every time I think about it.
I suppose my cheeks are going to hurt a bit after I’m done here.
And while people have been giving it a bit of flak for not being better than the first movie, I don’t think that’s very fair of a comparison. In fact, it’s one I’ve heard before, in relation to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Specifically on the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron and how that didn’t manage to exceed what had come before.
Which I mean, isn’t an incorrect statement, but the first Avengers movie was a hallmark moment for these interconnected shared universe movies.
That being said though, Age of Ultron is still a very good movie, which is in itself is comparable in quality to that which came before, and for my money there is no topping the skirmish in South Africa between The Hulk and Tony’s Hulk-Buster Armour.
But again, these same comments are cropping up around Guardians of the Galaxy, the first volume of which was also a hallmark of sorts, proving definitively that the MCU was capable of adapting even the insanity of Jack Kirby’s Drug Fuelled Outer Space.
And that carried over to Volume 2 as well, in fact I would say in terms of the sheer scale of things, Volume 2 did this even better than the first, giving us not only a Living Planet, but an entire species of test tube babies, Robo-Prostitution, Interdimensional Squids and Sylvester Stallone’s voice.
But I do admit that Vol.2 is not a perfect movie. Its flawed, just like every other piece of creative work out there. So, I’m going to take a couple hundred words out of my day to talk about 3 of these flaws, and about how I would change them.
EGO: THE LIVING PLANET
Kurt Russell’s Ego is a bit of a duality in terms of how he slides into the movie. On the one hand, he is a significant step up from the previous movie’s Ronin as a primary antagonist. On the other hand, because of that step up in terms of quality and his more intimate ties to our heroes, as expected as the heel turn was, it happens way too quickly for my own comfort.
As expected as Ego’s turn is here, I feel like it came in one movie too early. Peter has just come into learning who Ego is, this is his dad, right? So he should be safe here. Ego should not have turned full on villain here, that particular story beat should have remained for Vol.3, with Ego here throwing in on his Son’s side to batter away an assault by the Sovereign at the climax of the film.
As it is, Vol.2 feels a little full on the villain side, with the Sovereign, Yondu’s Mutinous Ravager faction and, temporarily, Nebula coming into play.
ADAM WARLOCK vs EGO THE LIVING PLANET
Throughout the showing of Vol.2, the secondary villains The Sovereign, don’t seem to offer much in the way of threat. They’re there to firstly, establish Ego and just how absurd the Celestial is and secondly, to make it so that the final confrontation between our Heroes and Ego isn’t over too quick or too easy.
Adam here is an artificially bred human, one who not only stands on the same kind of power level as Thanos but sometimes even exceeds that level himself. In one of the post credits stingers of Vol.2, it is revealed that the Sovereign High Priestess has begun developing the next step in their evolution, a being she designates as Adam.
If we were going to go this route, and in line of making Ego a hero for this instalment, why not just have Adam around already. As one of the leaders of the Sovereign, when the High Priestess fails to breach Ego’s defenses, Adam steps in, glowing bright gold, an Orange Stone mounted on a ring on his hand, vanishing out to Ego’s location to punch out a planet.
This not only shows off exactly where the final of our six Infinity Stones is, but it also gets to show off the spectacle of a man who is at the level of Thanos fighting off an entire Planet, wielding the power of a single Infinity Stone, creating intrigue for Thanos who is going to be throwing around the power of the entire set.
Somehow they wrest control of the Stone from Adam, Peter tapping into his control of Ego’s light, and trap him inside of it. (The Soul Gem being able to trap people’s souls within it being its main power) The Stone being hidden within Ego’s core.
But of course Ego being a bad guy, this also leads to the potential of him handing over the Stone to Thanos before the beginning of Infinity War, they both want to eradicate life across the Cosmos in their own particular way, right?
It also brings Adam into the Infinity War and gives us the chance to see him punch out Thanos a couple of times, and really, who doesn’t want to see that?
This fix, I feel, is pretty straight forward. Don’t have them in the movie.
Hear me out.
If you’re going to have Ego remain as a hero until Vol.3 (Or Infinity War at the earliest) you absolutely cannot have Yondu know that Peter is anywhere near Ego, let alone that they’re getting along so well. The first thing he’s going to do is hightail it out to Ego to fight him a planet, and that’s just not something we can have.
So instead you regulate Yondu to a post credits scene at the most. Adam is MIA, the Sovereign are PISSED, so, with no other options they come to Yondu.
“The Guardians of the Galaxy kidnapped our greatest hero, retrieve him, and carve our warning into their flesh.” So says the Sovereign Council to Yondu.
“Where are they?” Yondu shoots back, all cocksure and smug as he always is. And then they tell him exactly where they are, and the confident look slowly transforms into anger and fear.
“We will send you the co-ordinates.” The Sovereign begin, before Yondu intterupts them. “Don’t bother, I know where they are.”
And you cut back to credits.
Guardians of the Galaxy is now screening in a cinema near you.
It will be on DVD and Blu-Ray From September 27th 2017