Time to trade in and trade up.
Hands down, when I was a kid, if you would have asked me to name my favorite Marvel character I’d have told you without hesitation the Hulk. There was just something about that green guy.
I got up early every Saturday to watch Bill Bixby turn from a calm, easy going scientist who’d get lured into a fight with bad men then fall behind a table or a couch and emerge as a paint-slathered, angst-ridden Lou Ferrigno playing the…wait for it…HULK!
No one could have donned that green and worn those torn jeans to save the day any better than he did.
Not so sorry to say that I’ve traded up. I’ve traded one Hulk for five Guardians. Peter Quill, an 80s’-culture saturated man-child played by Chris Pratt is their leader. Gamora, a dry witted, life-hardened alien played by Zoe Saldana keeps everyone in check. Of course, every group has to have a lovable meathead, and this crew has found theirs in warrior Drax the Destroyer, played by Dave Bautista. Never without a snarky comment and a device to kill dozens of adversaries in one fell swoop is the genetically modified raccoon Rocket, whose voice is that of Bradley Cooper. Last but certainly never least, is the cuter than cute tiny plant guy Baby Groot.
No questions asked. From the first few minutes of the very first Guardians film I knew I’d seen the last of my once beloved Hulk. The second Guardians film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, has only fortified my trade. In the first scene, Groot dances in the forefront as the rest of the gang fights a huge galactic monster in the background. You’re on the edge of your seat, yet also dancing in it. The hits and the action keep coming as does the visual spectacle of CGI effects.
Though some of Marvel’s latest offerings such as Suicide Squad, had audiences walking out wondering what the heck it was about, this sequel’s plot doesn’t have any gaping holes, or even small ones. Once Rocket gets the Guardians in a world of trouble with the Sovereign, an elite alien group who hired them initially to protect their prized batteries from evil forces, Kurt Russell playing Quill’s long lost father, Ego, swoops in to save them.
This brings about an out-of-the-way reunion for Quill, and though Quill’s overjoyed to find out about his past, as events unfold he comes to find out, as we often do with family, that all may not be what it seems with his old man.
You also have the paralleling tale of what’s happening to Baby Groot and Rocket who’ve been left behind to mend their crashed ship and babysit Gamora’s psychotic sister Nebula while Quill, Gamora, and Drax go off to see Ego’s planet . Of course, Quill’s surrogate father, Yondu, played by Michael Rooker, gets back in the mix and all the story lines collide into one exhilarating package by the end.
Yes, with its massive collection of music from the 70s’ and 80s’, star power of Pratt, Cooper and Saldana, well-crafted plot, and visual eye candy of special effects, the trade-in is a no brainer.
I don’t care if you’ve been a die-hard Iron Man loyalist, or you’ve pitched your tent in the Captain America camp, once you see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, you’ll be crossing over and suiting up for team Guardian—don’t worry, there’s always room for one more.