Why Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel’s La La Land

One of the most anticipated movies this year, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has kept fans clamoring for three long years after we first saw Star-Lord aka Peter Quill clutch an Infinity stone in his hand without getting obliterated. For the viewers, including me, who have only come to know about the characters through the films, this meant that Star-Lord was not just an ordinary space-punk outlaw and may have a super-origin yet. GOTG earned $773 million at the box-office making it one of the most successful franchises in the Marvel Universe. 

GOTG also gave us a gang of quirky misfit characters who had no business being together but are pulled into a corner by strange circumstances and mutual benefit – The smart-mouthed yet charismatic raccoon mercenary Rocket with his weird partner, a walking tree-like creature (not the ones that killed Saruman) whose conversational skills are rooted to (see what I did there) just this one sentence – “I am Groot“; Drax the destroyer, who’s name might sound badass in Wrestle-Mania (well, he does have a connection to it) , doesn’t understand sarcasm and finds it difficult telling even the smallest lies, kinda like a buffed up Spock; Gamora, who was trained to be Thanos’s personal assassin, is a driven and focussed warrior who is constantly bugged by the callousness of the rest of the group. 

After spending years playing a blue Na’vi in the “Avatar” movies, Zoe Saldana has had her fill of being painted in the makeup chair – so much so that she nearly turned down the role of the very green Gamora in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

“That was kind of the canker sore of the whole experience of wanting to do ‘Guardians’ and that almost made me say no,” Zoe told Access Hollywood’s Liz Hernandez, when asked what the process of becoming green entailed at the “Guardians of the Galaxy” junket on Saturday. “It was gonna be a little grueling and I’m a very impatient person – I can’t sit still, so I was gonna drive everybody crazy!”
Read more at Access Hollywood

With James Gunn’s great sense of humor and a huge production budget to back it up, there’s little that can go wrong with this motley crowd and their space-capades. 

But what does this colorful, space-adventure franchise have in common with La La Land ? Wait, you can’t say – “I am Groot.” 

So, here are 3 reasons why we think GOTG is Marvel’s La La Land:

 

1. The Awesome Mixes in the City of Stars

Headphones

If you haven’t noticed it so far and enjoyed it, let us bring your attention to it. Besides the crazy action and hilarious dynamics of the team, GOTG has something which you’d be hard-pressed to say for any other Marvel film. In GOTG#1, the very first shot shows Quill stand at the entrance of a giant cave. Is he filled with dread at the unknown horrors that might be in there ? Is he taking out his weapon ? Nope. He does no such thing. Instead, he takes out his bummed up headphones and puts them on, clicking the ‘Play’ button on his 80s era Sony Walkman which he straps on his belt, where gunslingers would usually keep their Colts. From there on, your attention is hooked not by any crazy alien creatures attacking him but by his dance as he swings and glides through the cave, listening to the groovy track of “Come and get your love”. 

Music is treated like yet another character and as mentioned by Gunn – “The music was a way to invite you in and make you feel a little more comfortable because it’s something we’re familiar with in the face of all this oddness”. And that it does with some of the footloose tracks in Vol. 2 almost urging you to step it up while the characters battle space-monsters. 

As Vol. 1 brought back the sounds from the 80s, Vol. 2 goes even further back by bringing us the songs from as far back as the 60s and 70s. For instance, “Mr. Blue Sky” is a 1977 song by Electric Light Orchestra which has gained popularity after being featured in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Megamind. 

Similarly, there are several other amazing tracks such as “My Sweet Lord” by the elusive Beatle George Harrison which was one of the first no. 1 hit singles after the group split up. 

Also read The full review of the Origin of various songs on the GOTG franchise

GOTG#2 carries what has become a tradition now for its opening sequences and almost all fight scenes where fight scenes are choreographed like dance routines amping up the cool-quotient by a few thousand points. 

Sound familiar ? Heck yeah !

Catch the Awesome Mix Vol. 2 right here:

 

2. The whole wide Galaxy of Misfits

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy

La La Land was a poignant story about two underdogs struggling to make their way through the world. Either the world doesn’t understand them or they don’t understand the world. Whatever be the case, they face opposition at every step of the way even with their unfettered talents. 

Star-Lord in GOTG is an expert pilot and a skilled Tech-nerd, Rocket is an experienced shot, Drax is righteous and powerful, Gamora is a skilled assassin and a fighter and Groom, well he has his own style. You’d think with such amazing street-creds, they would rule at least a solar system or a planet even, but instead they are hounded by security agencies of alien civilizations and beaten to pulp by powerful beings. Yes, they do emerge victorious in the end but where’s the respect man ? 

These guys have more in common with Mia and Sebastian than you might think. 

 

3. So many worlds out there 

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Aside the brilliant compositions and choreographed sequences, La La Land elevated its appeal through some of the most creatively designed sets which carried a certain balance between chic and hipster. The meticulously crafted sets not only reflected the moods of the characters but also drew us, as an audience, into it with style. From the deep blue sunsets of LA to the starry repose of the Griffith Observatory, we were enchanted every time that the play of light and stage, gave us a scene to remember. 

What La La Land did with stage setups, GOTG does with its many worlds. From the humble Earth to the xenophobic race of the Sovereigns to the gaudy decadence of the planet Contraxia and finally to the unsettling intricate beauty of Ego, each planet represents the very attribute of its people and the plot at that point in time. 

Earth is where Star-Lord came from, so it is shown to be grounded and simple, as the memories of his mother. You feel a semblance of truthfulness in him whenever he reminisces about his home, even though he has come far. In contrast, the planet Ego where he discovers his father, has a certain quality to it. It is beautifully crafted with the most perfect plants and the most perfect architecture. So perfect that it feels superficial and shallow, making you doubt the very man who built all that. 

Every world in GOTG has a resultant emotion/symbolism attached to it. If you didn’t notice this before, I’m sure you will now. 

Also read, by Screen-Rant: The Worlds in GOTG Vol. 2

 

_____________________________________

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 may not have the excitement of a foundation story but effectively continues the great chemistry between its characters. Unlike its predecessor, a lot of attention has been given to explore the estranged relationships between the characters. Through the eyes of Gamora’s sister and arch-rival Nebula, we see a back-story about their origin and catch a glimpse into Thanos’s cruel personality. We also experience Yondu’s revival and one of his most epic “whistle” sequences ever. And finally, Star-Lord finds his extended family only to realize that he is already with his true compatriots. 

Much like La La Land, GOTG asks you to stop chasing after your past and regret on what could have happened if everything were fine. Instead, it asks you to keep moving forward with what you have ’cause sometimes alternate realities are just not worth it. What you have is what you get…

 

gobblscore: 7/10

gobblpoint: GOTG has created a solid foundation before its inclusion into the Avengers: Infinity Wars. The characters now have more depth and a much deeper chemistry than before. And did I tell you about the swash-buckling humor and action sequences ?

 

Disclaimer: The images used in this post are the sole property of the makers of this film and are not owned by us in any form whatsoever. 

 

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