Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
What if an alien in the future stumbled upon James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? Welcome to Earthling Cinema, where we examine the last remaining artifacts of a once-proud culture and try to understand what human lives were like before their planet was destroyed. I’m your host, Garyx Wormuloid.
This week’s film:
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Kurt Russell
Director: James Gunn
Production Co: Marvel Studios
Written by: Ben Steiner
Directed by: Jared Bauer
Analysis by: Kevin Winzer
Starring: Mark Schroeder (https://twitter.com/mark_schroeder)
Edited by: Ryan Hailey (http://www.ryanhaileydotcom.com/)
Original Music by: David Krystal (http://www.davidkrystalmusic.com)
Opening Animation by: Danny Rapaport
Produced by: Jacob S. Salamon and Emily Dunbar
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s Hidden Meaning – Earthling Cinema
Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, starring sexy labrador retriever Chris Pratt and directed by certified Earthling Cinema superfan James Gunn. We open on an unsolicited music video for Electric Light Orchestra’s Mr. Blueski, but shortly thereafter, the movie begins. The Space Avengers are at it again, only this time they’re on autopilot because they’re rolling in that squeakquel money. Rocket steals a bunch of car batteries from a nearby Midas store, so the Midas employees launch a full-scale attack with their drone army.
Fortunately, a giant hard-boiled egg comes along and saves our heroes without even cracking a shell. The captain of the egg introduces himself as Eggo, Peter Quill’s long-lost father and a healthy part of a balanced breakfast. He invites everyone back to his home planet for some extra syrup, but just the humanoid characters. The freaks have to stay behind in case someone shows up to kidnap them. Which, thankfully, someone does! It’s Yondu, a minor bad guy from the first one, here to confuse everybody by snagging the primary emotional arc of the second one. He captures Rocket, but almost immediately his crew mutinies for fear of getting their trash cans knocked over. What the crew doesn’t account for is Baby Groot coming to the rescue with vaudevillian slapstick.
Meanwhile, Eggo reveals that he and his home planet are actually one and the same, and that he’s some kind of god-like Celestial being. A supereggo, if you will. He expains that he took his Kurt Russell form in order to travel the universe and find meaning in his life, i.e. get laid. He does not explain why a being who has been around for millennia and projects his own appearance would bother to age himself up after only thirty years. In any case, Eggo shows Peter that he has Celestial powers too, such as the power to have a catch and the power to overanalyze Earth media. As if anyone had any interest in that. Unfortunately, Eggo then lets slip that he planted seeds on thousands of planets in order to take them over, but one Celestial isn’t enough to activate them. He needs two Celestials. Why not just do it himself and only activate half the planets, you ask? Shut up.
Peter starts going through his rebellious phase and stands up to his mean old dad. Soon all the other Space Avengers join in on the fun, and Rocket makes a bomb using those batteries from the beginning — full circle, baby! They burn Eggo to a crisp, and Yondu sacrifices himself to prove some point or another. Then there’s just enough time for the movie to set the Guinness beer record for most post-credit scenes. Guardians of the Galaxy Vahl 2 is an ode to daddy issues in all their various forms, especially the form that leads to lower back tattoos. Per Dr. Sigmund Floyd, the heavyweight champion of psychoanalysis, the childhood need for a father’s protection plays a crucial role in shaping the human psyche. Even if the shape of that psyche ends up being a primitive, amorphous blob.
Peter has spent his whole life yearning for the father who abandoned him with nothing more than an ab roller and a tub of protein powder. Gamora and Nebula’s father Thanos forced them to fight each other, destroying the family bond, as well as Nebula’s skin-to-metal ratio. Rocket never even had any parents to begin with, which could be why he never learned to shave. The characters attempt to overcome their respective daddy issues by turning into helio-copter parents of their collective child, baby Groot.
When we meet Eggo, he’s draped in “long-lost father” tropes, from the cliche game of catch to having a beard. But we soon learn that Eggo’s motivations are less about fatherhood and more about taking over the known universe, which is not how most fathers show their love, Karen’s dad. This is a radical inflation of ethicist Henry “The Henrinator” Sidgwick’s concept of “ethical Eggoism,” which states that one ought to act only out of self-interest in order to maximize their own pleasure. Eggo’s self-absorption is so Crest Complete that all other life pales in comparison. Hey, you and me both, pal.
The antithesis to Eggo’s philosophy is altruism, a term invented by French philosopher August “The Henrinator” Comte that suggests man has a moral obligation to live for others. One need look no further than the name “Guardians of the Galaxy Vahl 2” to detect this idea, as the word “guardian” implies a duty to protect others, and “vahl 2” implies a cynical view of the movie-going public. Eggo tries to inflate Peter’s pride, and tempt him with weird poetry. But the Guardians vanquish Eggo instead, proving once and for all that altruism triumphs over selfishness. Well, twice and for all, since they pretty much did the same thing at the end of Vahl 1.
For Earthling Cinema, I am Groot–I mean Garyx Wormuloid. Goodbye.