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We Are Still Groot

As I was organizing my thoughts for this review of  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,  I checked to see if I had written a review of the first one. I had but it was ridiculously short. (Those who know me probably remember I was less than a year out from a horrible month of seizures so my brain wasn't working great...)

The first question anyone asks is: Was it as good as the first? To be honest and fully accurate, yes and no.  The "Hey! This is new and different!" mystique is gone but Ego the Living Planet is definitely an improvement as the villain over Ronan the Accuser. Of course, this is partially due to making Ego the father of Peter "Starlord" Quill but this change was perhaps more necessary than  anyone first believed. If James Gunn had kept Quill's father J'Son of Spartax, he and his forces would have been too similar to Ayesha and The Sovereign. Add the Ravagers and it would have been a clusterfuck of alien armies. That's Babylon 5, not  Guardians of the Galaxy.   Anyway, in "Volume 1,"  Ronan was in the mold of a stereotypical religious terrorist one might find in a modern spy novel. Ego was the level of Emperor Palpatine or Ernst Blofeld which frankly is cooler in a space movie.

It's funny. As short as my review of the first was, I called out Drax as a disappointment. At that time, I mentioned I didn't like the change in his origin and backstory. Here, I just didn't find him as fun and likable. He originally was a literalist and that was funny but now he was just a plain tool bag. I loved him deciding to tackle the monster from the inside, the way Baby Groot wanted to take a nap on him and, while it could have been less messy, his developing relationship with new character Mantis but otherwise...

On the other side, I loved the apparent growth of character exhibited by Nebula and Yondu. Even Rocket did to some extent.  All can be contributed to "familial connections."

While the first film drew understandable connections to  Star Wars (I feel that's the "space movie" everybody knows...), there was several easter egg-type connections, wheter intnentional or coincidence, who knows?) to  Doctor Who.  The design of the Sovereign

reminded me  of the British sci-fi show's Axons

           
Also, in one of the many credits scenes we briefly meet other Ravagers including the AI named  Mainframe who reminds me of a severed Cyberman head. I'm hoping Nebula has a scene with her at some point...

Also now that it's "been confirmed" the Stan Lee cameos are connected to The Watchers, I hope that carries through to the upcoming  Inhumans  TV series...

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