Marvelous Da7e: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Reveals Plot Details!
What a game of football! And those commercials! And the trailers! Of course, the trailer of most interest to little old me was Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, where we finally got a good look at Ayesha and a hero shot of the updated Guardians team. If that wasn’t enough excitement and Guardians news for the May installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, today saw the publication of the set visits from way back in April 2016 that let loose with a bit more information about the plot structure and characters at play in the sequel. That, a Wolverine tease about Logan, and a janky looking Justice League Cyborg: all ahead.
Even though the first movie contained Thanos and a white-haired Benecio Del Toro explaining the interlocking Infinity Stone macguffins of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy looks like the arm of the MCU that has the least to do with all the super-drama going on back on Earth. Much like how the first film managed to drop into an interconnected universe and not rely on Iron Man, Thor, or Captain America to tell it’s story, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 is going to pick up dealing with the consequences of the first movie more than the consequences of the MCU. Considering May 2015 gave us Age of Ultron and May 2016 tossed off Civil War, this is the first May MCU flick in three years we probably don’t have to remember the plots of a dozen other movies. We’ll only have to remember one…
“The first film is about becoming a family, and the second film is about being a family.” – James Gunn
The set visits released around the internet today use interviews with James Gunn and Kevin Feigie, plus a few scenes glimpsed down in Atlanta way back in April to form the outline of what Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 will be.
The movie is going to start with the action sequence against the multi-dimensional tentacle monster that we’ve seen in the trailers and in early concept art. Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 takes place a scant few months after the first film and the Guardians team as we know it have developed something of a reputation after defeating Ronan’s attack on Xandar (several outlets mention that James Gunn says the movie will also address why Star Lord was able to touch an Infinity Stone without being instantly destroyed).
All the set reports mention how important the Volume 2 soundtrack is going to be, with James Gunn repeating his practice of playing music from the Awesome Mix on set while they were filming. It sounds like, from Kevin Feige musings, that the Guardians will also be able to hear Star Lord’s mixtape:
[The Music] is all off the tape. It’s all off of Volume 2. I would say that the other Guardians now know that music is a thing for Peter, so in early scenes, what you see baby Groot here, which he’s just ‘Groot’ in the movie, but on set we call him baby Groot, he’s setting up these little outer space speakers so that the music can play for all of them, because Quill likes to hear music when he’s fighting. So, it does go to more than just his headset, but it’s all based off of Volume 2. And I would say that a couple of the songs, and particularly one song has very unique lyrics that play in much more specific part into the plot, than any song did in the first film.
Sounds like the makings of a kick-ass early action sequence set to music to me! It turns out that they are fighting the multi-dimensional beasts on behalf of a race called “The Sovereign” singe the tentacle beast is eating all of The Sovereign’s batteries. The Sovereign are a race of aliens that build themselves to be perfect specimens inside of pods, and if that sounds vaguely like Adam Warlock from the comics, that is not a mistake. Warlock, a created being occasionally called “Him,” had a comic book partner in “Her,” who was Ayesha, the same gold woman who will serve as the villain of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2.
The Sovereign and Ayesha have brought in the Guardians with the promise to return Nebula to them as a prisoner. The battle goes well for the original Guardians team, the Nebula transfer begins and someone realizes that Rocket Raccoon has stolen three of The Sovereign’s batteries, the very ones they were supposed to protect!
Here’s where the film’s plot gets a bit more hazy, but from the trailer footage we’ve seen and what we know about the production (from some Comic Con stuff), the Guardians split up for a bit of the film. Somehow, Rocket, Groot and Yondu end up on a side mission that sees them going up against the Ravagers. Apparently the other Ravagers, lead by Taserface (and presumably including Sly Stallone this time!), revolt against Yondu for being too soft on Peter Quill and the Guardians. The Ravagers are also tasked by Ayesha to track down Quill. Here we have our villain split, with Ayesha and Taserface as the antagonists.
Now, while Rocket, Yondu, and Groot are maybe elsewhere, Quill, Gamora, Nebula, and Drax all seem to make their way to some sort of jungle planet to lay low. While they are there (or maybe because they are there ? – still unclear) they happen across Star Lord’s father Ego, the Living Planet, who is paired with Mantis. Both of these characters are deviating from their comic book portrayal in different ways, but their purpose in Volume 2 is very clear: Mantis doesn’t have a lot of experience socializing, so she becomes a foil for Drax, who takes everything literally. Ego and Yondu are set to be the two “fathers” of Peter Quill, with opposing views of…well, I’d guess family.
The other dynamic at play will be between Nebula and Gamora, two daughters of Thanos in a movie without Thanos. You can see Nebula choking Gamora in the Superbowl spot (before licking her lips) and giving a battle cry while she files the Milano into battle. What purpose Nebula ends up having, and how she avoids going to jail on Xandar while the Guardians of the Galaxy are on the run from the Ravagers and the Sovereign are still a mystery. Occasionally someone will mention that Nebula is looking for a new hand, but I can’t tell if that’s a joke or an actual plot. Considering the Sovereign are capable of creating life forms in pods, it’s probably not a leap to have someone’s sole motivation “getting a hand.”
That seems like a pretty good outline for a movie’s motivating plot and opposing characters, what’s still left to see is what the dual missions of the Guardians are, what breaks them apart, why Ego is with Mantis and why all these characters seem to come together for the Superbowl hero shot on an exploding multi-colored planet. It’s not unlike a Marvel movie to include parts of the climactic battle in the trailer, but it is unlike them to have this many trailers with indistinguishable action sequences. Stupid space backgrounds! They are inconsistent, yet they all can look the same.
Meanwhile, over at the Fox Marvel Universe with it’s non-sensical timeline, Logan added an “Amazing Grace” spot as we near it’s release.
Which isn’t nearly as fun to talk about as when Hugh Jackman tweeted a Wolverine action figure that had Logan in his original costume, and for a brief second everyone on the internet wondered if there’s something in Logan we’ve always wanted: The original costume.
THE ORIGINAL. pic.twitter.com/5I9qjQGEsK
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) February 4, 2017
It’s probably just Jackman playing tribute to a character with a cool toy, but considering we have yet to see Hugh Jackman in a full, classic Wolverine costume, people were willing to make wild guesses: Is there going to be a flashback in Logan that features Jackman in the Brown-and-Yellows? Could Logan see Logan put on the old uniform for one last battle to save X-23?
Finally, Justice League has released a new still, this one of Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg all preparing for battle on some other-worldly ship? Machine? Building? It’s unclear.
This is one of the better looks we’ve seen at what Ray Fisher will look like in Justice League. There have been some other photos, but because Cyborg is such a CGI heavy character, each new rendering of him brings some more detail into this portrayal. Sadly, these images haven’t been impressing any Cyborg fans.
Granted we haven’t seen a performance, but the design and portrayal of Cyborg visually is too small. I mean that both in height and in width of key places like his joints. Look at those knees and wrists! This design isn’t screaming “supehero.”
I’ve still got high hopes for Cyborg and Ezra Miller’s Flash to pull a lighter side out of a DCEU that had already committed to Wonder Woman, Superman, and a Batman as they were portrayed in Dawn of Justice, before course correction. I’m rooting for Cyborg and Flash, but one has skinny metal wrists and the other keeps having his movie delayed and re-written.
At least there’s DC television, where is killing it.