When reviewing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017, Disney Marvel), I suppose one must mention Baby Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel. From the opening to the closing credits, he adds an emotional, humorous, and heroic facet to the story.
In addition to some of the personnel mentioned last week, some new cast members join the party: Kurt Russell as Ego, Pom Klementief as Mantis, Sylvester Stallone As Stakar Ogord (the head Ravager who reveals some of Yondu’s backstory), and Elizabeth Debecki as Ayesha (a ranking member of the snobbish Sovereign).
This entertaining and somewhat adolescent movie (no offense intended from one who regards himself an overgrown teenager) employs a number of themes from ancient mythology: patricide, the seduction (or worse) of women by gods, and gods as planets. My unanswered question about Peter Quill’s father is addressed early on. He was sired by Ego, a Celestial (or god, “small ‘g’, son”) whose powerful but self-absorbed mind has generated his physical form and the planet he calls home.
The planet itself is alive, a concept from Greco Roman mythology. I was reminded of Plato’s Timmaeus. Humans and gods were considered animals because they moved (i.e. were animated), and this applied to planets as well, which were often associated with various gods. The surface of Ego’s planet is a kind of Candy Land on hallucinatory steroids (my invented term).
I liked how Ego’s planet is, at one point, shown as having a face when viewed from outer space.
It’s elaborate interior is likened to a nervous system emanating from Ego’s brain.
Mantis is Ego’s fearful assistant. She identifies herself as an Empath, an alien who can detect emotions through physical contact with the person feeling them.
The story has a persistent theme of reconciliation – for example, between sisters Gamora and Nebula…
… and between Quill and Yondu (as well as between Yondu and the Ravagers).
In an outro mingled with the closing credits, Ayesha…
… reveals the technological chrysalis that will usher Adam Warlock into the MCU.
In the comics, Adam is repeatedly killed and resurrected, so his cinematic inclusion should be of mythological interest. Another outro (as well as a screen shot) provides a humorous scene of Stan Lee telling stories to the Watchers.
His own creation, they are observers who show up at events of cosmic importance in the comics. Given the rate at which these movies are being made, Marvel Studios should never run out of characters.