Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

By Kersley Fitzgerald

Spoilers. Because I'm apparently incapable of analyzing a movie without them.

The latest addition to the Marvel universe begins with a fight. The team is commissioned by a gold-skinned race called The Sovereign to protect their batteries from a space-squid while baby Groot runs around the battle scene dancing and chasing bugs. Personally, I thought it was cute and well done.

Actually, I thought the entire movie was pretty well done (although Dev disagrees). The movie took itself even more lightly than the first, which was good since the characterizations often fell into cliché. There were some sexual innuendos, and Yondu visited a brothel staffed by androids, but nothing explicit was shown. Language was minimal.

There were some really good themes — namely, the importance of family and our responsibility to identify with the friends and family who hold to our values. How our birth-families can be taken from us or desert us, and how the family we grow up with has a profound effect on who we become. It also touched on how our inability or unwillingness to communicate what we mean to each other can leave lasting scars, but openly expressing how we feel can bring healing.

The movie had other good qualities. I appreciated how they added one female character and promoted another to a more prominent role. We learn that the Ravagers have a very strict code of conduct that absolutely prohibits child trafficking. And that Yondu is not only more noble than we thought (despite his constant threats to let his crew eat Quill), he also shows he's caring, as he helps Rocket come to terms with his past.

There was also an unintentional (I think) apologetic about the character of God. One of the figures in the movie is a demigod, a semi-immortal, celestial being. He has the ability to create and destroy, but after millions of years, the only purpose he can come up with is to spread his essence and power over all the planets of the universe. His plans are almost thwarted when he falls in love with an earth woman, but he intentionally sabotages that relationship to keep himself on task.

The point being, a god without love is a psychopathic tyrant. Power without love cares only about itself. This is in marked contrast to the God of the Bible who is both all-powerful and all-loving. Instead of trying to subjugate us, He gave us free will. Instead of using his son to destroy us and expand His own power, He sacrificed His Son so we could live with Him forever (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

Dev wasn't wild about the movie because of the soundtrack. I think any soundtrack with E.L.O. and Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" can't be all that bad. (And, come to think about it, he didn't grow up with rock music like I did, so he may not have been as familiar with the songs.) What I didn't appreciate was the gratuitous killing. I mean, I can watch Braveheart and We Were Soldiers Once, and I loved Logan and understood how the brutal violence was part of the plot — part of the character's life. GotG2's killing was over the top, cruel, and personal. I had the same reaction to the Las Vegas car chase scene in Jason Bourne. I just felt it was over the top when the ravager mutineers spaced half the crew and then were killed in revenge in return. And the only comment on the brutality was a secondary character saying, "They killed all my friends."

Which made me wonder if murderous revenge, celebrated and not regretted, is just the direction movies are going to go.

Those scenes could have been more smoothly integrated into the theme with a just a few words, and it would have made for a richer movie. Love for each other is important. It is the foundation of loyalty (Ephesians 4:2), self-sacrifice (John 15:13), and family (Colossians 3:14). Love is absolutely essential for the correct application of power. It covers sins (1 Peter 4:8), heals hearts (Proverbs 17:17), saves lives (1 John 3:16), drives out fear (1 John 4:18), and gives life purpose (John 13:34).

Even in space.

TagsBiblical-Truth  | God-Father  | Reviews-Critiques

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Published 5-9-17