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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Review (2017) | Yet Another Gem of Marvel

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is as fun as its previous installment was, or maybe a tad less. But it remains entertaining nevertheless. It tries to answer the speculations we had about who is Peter Quill’s Dad. The flick also forms the basis of the entire story of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. It seems to be drifting away from the absolute rampaging hoot the first part was, yes, but when you have a story to tell, it’s a price one is willing to pay.

The movie drives its crosshairs to all its character giving them proper screen time to prove their mettle on numerous occasions. But the ultimate hero remains none other than the antihero Yondu Udonta, the whistling blue alien, with a badass flying arrow. It is him, his one Godly fight of reprisal, his acceptance, and his sacrifice that serve as the cardinal crux of the flick. Then it was also a great allusion to tell everyone about what a Celestial is, and what is it capable of.

Plot of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (Spoilers Ahead)

Guardians of the Galaxy sequel returns with a whole set of new forgotten songs never forgetting the real importance of music in the life of Quill. More importantly it does not forget its humour as it starts off with Baby Groot dancing off to a song unfazed by what’s going on while in the backdrop remaining Guardians are trying hard to defeat an inter-dimensional monster.

Baby Groot is akin to a baby whom they are supposed to look after until and unless he grows up, of course, to do some actual damage. So he remains his own dumbed down version for the better part of the flick, cracking us up good with his childlike understanding.

image of baby groot in guardians of the galaxy vol 2

Rocket is just trying to be well, himself, when he steals some important batteries right under the nose of Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), who had hired them to kill the monster in exchange for Nebula. Ayesha the leader of the Sovereign Race then sends thousands of drones to kill them. But the Guardians are saved a mysterious figurine riding a spaceship.

Gamora: A little one inch man saved us?

Rocket: Well, if he got closer I’m sure he’d be much larger.

Peter: That’s how eyesight works, you stupid raccoon.

On the crash site they encounter Ego played by Kurt Russell, who introduces himself to be Peter’s dad. He has a pet called Mantis (Pom Klementieff) who is later revealed to have powers of an empath and is kept around to soothe Ego to sleep.

Yondu and Rocket’s Escape

Meanwhile, Ayesha hires Yondu Udonta who has been exiled from his greater Ravagers community and is desperate to earn his name and get back on the saddle. He, along with a bunch of Ravagers find the stranded ship and capture Rocket. A mutiny breaks and Nebula steps in to decapitate Yondu by shooting the fin on his head. One of the ravagers called Taserface (Chris Sullivan) begins to lead the team of Ravagers by capturing Yondu’s ship and imprisoning both Rocket and Yondu, leaving Baby Groot to stray around.

I am so sorry. I just keep imagining you waking up in the morning, start looking in the mirror and all seriously say to yourself. You know what would be a really kick-ass name, Taserface!

Nebula leaves the ship to avenge the misdeeds carried out on her by her father Thanos owing to Gamora’s self-seeking glory.

With the help of Baby Groot and Yondu’s loyalist Kraglin, Yondu and Rocket manage to kill everyone aboard (watch out for that deadly arrow!) and escape. It is hands down one of those rare moments to remember in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 movie.

Ego the Planet

The secondary parallel running story is about Ego, Peter Quill’s dad, who explains what he is all about. He expounds that he is a God-like entity Celestial who is nothing but an immortal and who has manipulated matter around himself to create a breathing planet with his brain at its core.

Taking a human shape Ego had travelled across the universe to beat his loneliness and discover his purpose. That’s when he had come across Peter Quill’s mother Meredith on Earth. Peter was consummated then however he was forced to leave her to pursue his purpose. He had asked Yondu to deliver Peter to him, but Yondu had kept him to himself. Ever since that he had been constantly looking for Peter. Ego teaches him little tricks to channel and manipulate Celestial power since he was Ego’s true lineage.

On the same planet Gamora is attacked by Nebula and a fight ensues. In an awkward twist of fate they both end up rekindling their lost sisterhood. They find skeletal remains in the caverns of the planet smelling something fishy going on.

You can order Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 movie here:

The Ugly Plan

Ego one way or the other proves himself to be exactly what its moniker insinuates it to be. In an attempt to bring Peter to his side, he tells him about how he had planted countless seedlings across different worlds and that it would take him another celestial to activate them. Activating them would create extensions of Ego in different worlds through terraforming. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 depicts a blob like thing consuming planets when Ego forcefully activates the seedlings using Peter as a source.

It is revealed that Ego was responsible for conceiving countless women all across the galaxy just to create extensions of himself, and he sent Yondu to retrieve the children to activate his seedlings, later killing them owing to them turning out to be failures. On realizing that it was Ego who had put a tumour in his mother’s head just because love was distracting him from his purpose, Peter Quill attacks Ego.

Meanwhile Mantis spills out Ego’s plans to Drax, Nebula and Gamora, who then join the alliance to help Peter Quill.

When you’re ugly and someone loves you, it means they love you for who you are.

The Final Showdown

Rocket, Yondu and Baby Groot arrive just in time to abate the punishing onslaught of Ego as they search for his brain inside the planet’s core. Ayesha’s army of droids arrive too causing a minor discomfort in their plans to kill Ego. Rocket creates a bomb with Ayesha’s batteries and has a hard time coaxing Groot to push the right button when it’s planted near Ego’s brain.

Peter uses his Celestial powers to save the remaining team by fighting Ego with all his might, as Kraglin approaches with Yondu’s ship for extraction. The bomb goes off killing Ego and disintegrating the planet in the process. Yondu sacrifices himself for Peter Quill. Peter realizes Yondu was simply trying to save him from being delivered to Ego and that’s why keeping him away from his true parentage, saving him from getting killed.

I told Gamora how when I was a kid I used to pretend David Hasselhoff was my dad. He’s a singer and actor from earth, really famous guy. Yondu didn’t have a talking car, but he did have a flying arrow. He didn’t have a beautiful voice of an angel, but he did have the whistle of one. Both Yondu and David Hasselhoff went on kick-ass adventures and hooked up with hot women, and fought robots. I guess David Hasselhoff did kinda end up being my dad after all, only it was you, Yondu.

When Guardians hold a funeral for Yondu, The Ravagers from all across the Universe come to pay tribute. The sacrifice Yondu was so huge that they revere him for that by showing up.

Post-Credit Scenes

In a post credit scene we see Stakar Ogord (Sylvester Stallone) reuniting with his ex-team inspired by Yondu. It appears we have another group in the making.

Kraglin picks up Yondu’s fin and arrow, clearly stating that the badass power is going to be his in the future sequels.

image of yondu with kraglin in Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2We find Ayesha looking for a proper revenge by creating something mysterious in a huge box. On being asked what it is she has to say:

That, my child, is the next step in our evolution. More powerful, more beautiful – more capable of destroying the Guardians of the Galaxy. I think I shall call him… Adam.

It is an allusion at Adam Warlock, another amazing Marvel character, who we might have the good hap of seeing in the long run. In one of the fun scenes of the movie Howard the Duck is shown once again. I think he is being toyed with for cameos so far. Stan Lee shows up once again with his cameo with The Watchers this time. It seems to make a curt remark as if it is Stan Lee filling them with the knowledge about his MCU. Some consider him to be a Watcher himself? Whaaaa….?

The Final Verdict

After watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 you realize the real hero of this movie was none other than Yondu. With an apt way to depart him from the future stories, which I think wasn’t at all necessary, (Why so soon?) the movie tries to draw out its emotional factor. But since its drama is always interposed by someone’s witty remark, a jest, or Baby Groot cuteness, it fails to charge up the melodramatic enclave it wished to go on, and eventually things kind of seem like a stretch.

Nevertheless Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 turns out to be simply amazing owing to the fun factor it trundles on, the choice of music it picks every now and then, the proper screen time it lets each of the superheroes have, and its brilliant direction.

Check out the trailer of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 here:

Passengers Movie Review (2016) | Love at Strange Crises

The coolest people we know, Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence finally pair up together for a sci fi tthe time we reach its end, the damage is too gigantic to recover from. The solemnity with which the movie had actually begun and crawled forward with, ends up becoming quite vapid for even a romantic movie. However, the movie still manages to literally hyperdrive.

Plot of Passengers Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

Passengers takes off brilliantly when it begins. Its beauty lingered in its stunning unravelling, the slow revelation of its intriguing plot.

The flick commences with an engineer Jim Preston waking up from a hibernation pod in a starship called Avalon, only to realize he had awakened too soon. His entire crew is headed towards a planet similar to that of earth called Homestead II. Now he can’t go back to sleep because the Avalon’s pods don’t work that way. He realizes there was still a good 90 years left for the ship to reach its destination, that he was a surefire ill-fated quietus.

image of passengers movie starship Avalon

There is only one person, er, android on the entire ship, he could have a real conversation with. The humanoid named Arthur played by Michael Sheen is a pleasant company to keep when the chips are down. The pilot area is barred by a door that can’t be opened without an authorized security bracelet. So all his efforts to enter the room goes in vain.

“The universe is not evil but it has a nasty sense of humor.”

The Sleeping Beauty

The twist in the tale arrives when Jim struggles to live insanity for more than an year, eventually deciding to give up. However, too scared to take his life, he comes across a sleeping beauty named Aurora Lane played by Jennifer Lawrence who changes the way he looks at life. He checks her files, recorded videos to find out more about her eventually falling for her hard. He decides to live, and within his countless confabs with Arthur admits an unwarranted wish to wake her up, even though it was downright unscrupulous.

Blinded by love, he ends up manually overriding Aurora’s hibernation pod. Without telling her who or what caused her pod failure he allows her to fall in love with him. Smitten with each other their destiny begins to write itself in their slow impending doom.

Stranded Destiny

It is that sense of wretchedness that swallows Aurora just like it does to us, when there’s nothing to do. When you feel constantly stranded on a planet with nothing substantial to work upon.

“I envy you Arthur. You have a purpose.”

Things run smooth, until one day Arthur, the android to whom Jim had confided in, spills the beans. It is this turmoil that destroys whatever Jim had so diligently built. Mad at Jim for waking her up before time, and considering it murder, she refuses to see his face or even listen to him.

Meanwhile Avalon has encountered numerous damages and is definitely going to blow up if they didn’t do something about it. Wakes up Chief Deck officer, Gus Mancuso portrayed by Laurence Fishburne with the authority to enter the room they had failed to enter. On being told by Aurora of what Jim did to her, Gus reasons with:

“The drowning man will always try to take someone down with him.”

This makes you wonder, it always takes a third person’s perspective to see something that stays clouded by your judgment. Even though Gus put it in her head, it was enough to think why Jim did what he did in the first place. Though not justified, for the first time she took things from his perspective.

You can order the Passengers movie from here:

The Final Part

The climactic part deals with Gus passing away, handing over the reins of the ship into the hands of its two intact passengers. Identifying the cause as an asteroidal damage that had fried up Avalon’s reactors, both work to set things straight. However, since the system is fried, and the reactor is out of control, Jim decides to go manual on it trying to vent it out. It is this ultimate sacrifice that has Aurora convinced about his huge significance, begging him to come back alive.

Once the reactor door opens and the heat vents out, it sends Jim flying in the air disconnected. He begins to wane when Aurora with hopes to bring him back, goes after. Back in the safety of the starship she finds him dead, but eventually performs a major Prometheus kind of pod operation on him to resuscitate him back to life.

Mawkish Vibes

Image a world that’s sleeping, and you are the only person wide awake. Doesn’t that reflect, I don’t know, life? It’s metaphorical only if the movie meant it. But I am afraid, Passengers movie is too shallow to actually mean it. It doesn’t cash in on its poetic vibes, rather focuses on what’s going on to meet the story requirements.

The chemistry starts off great, but then loses its spark. Jim suddenly feels getting sidelined, and doesn’t bank on his sea of thoughts when things begin to go south. Morten Tyldum overlooks emotional profundity, ends up eliminating pathos entirely.

still of Jim Preston and Aurora Lane in Passengers Movie

Final bits are as ridiculous as a movie could get. It keeps spiraling and escalating desperate to meet a happy end. It’s hard to take things seriously, when everything keeps happening in split seconds. The movie loses its endearing riveting focus then and there, that had us spellbound so far.

A headstrong Aurora in the end becomes a mere observer when she doesn’t know what’s going on, or what’s happening. The part where she ends up getting hit by a shard seems like weirdly input. To justify the heat of the moment!

Also, the colossal import of traveling to a distant planet, living alone for an year, diminishes when you lance it with cheap saccharine drops. That’s what the movie ends up becoming owing to that sped up ending.

The Final Verdict

Passengers movie makes you think of how fate binds us despite our attempt to slingshot past it. Life can happen at the most unusual places, at weirdest junctures. So can love crisscross you on uncalled for crossroads. That fate has a funny way of dealing with things. It, in a way, teaches us to make the most of the now, forgive and live before we forget how to.

If you try hard to read between the lines, the theme of the movie stays poetic as well. It reflects everything kind of our extant lives. How two people wake up, they fall in and then out of love. Their existence in a “sleeping” world makes you believe that’s how it always works in reality too. That rare magic eludes us, then happens, only to vanish again like stardust. If we hold on to it, by forgiving each other, despite how bad the fallout is then we can truly enjoy our ride.

It is just that Passengers movie is more inclined towards romance than adventure or drama. Even though the onscreen pairing of mischief is what we had been dying to see for so long, the movie doesn’t live up to the mark in terms of spell-binding gravitas that we expected from it profusely.

Still it’s a movie that should not be missed owing to a story that makes you marvel at human mind.

Check out the trailer of the Passengers movie here:

The Magnificent Seven Review (2016) | Mediocre and Empty

The Magnificent Seven is a stale tale left on the mercy of gun-power to prop it. We have seen so many cowboy movies hitherto that if there isn’t something new to it, it becomes an instant bore. The Magnificent Seven is no different. However, the movie isn’t exactly bad either. It hangs around in its mediocrity. Alas! it goes nowhere.

The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960 movie of the same name. However it has nothing new to offer, not even an angle or a culmination point. What it offers is even a washed down version of itself. This new version is like a child’s whim where he is trying to create a story to shoot thousands of hooligans. I am afraid, it is almost as if Antoine Fuqua decided to round up everybody just to shoot ‘em up.

ABOUT ALL THE FIGHTING

There aren’t any dope shots that are going to pop your eyes out. It doesn’t have proper gore either, that could have at least piqued the interest of gore lovers. Not even a clichéd hand to hand combat with the boss. Everything is done by the book. The book here is a gun of course.

There are some crazy hits in the movie nevertheless that are going to leave your jaws wide open. The time when the Gatling gun is brought in, it will have you biting your fingernails. Billy Rocks played by Byung-hun Lee is a complete badass. His swift knife movements are the ones to watch out for.

UNFEELING DRAMA

The Magnificent Seven lacks a proper melodrama for you to actually stop and care for the fallen. You don’t feel sorry for the villagers at all. Drama isn’t dramatic that gnaws away the element of pain from it. Emma Cullen played by Haley Bennett goes nowhere when you give her dialogues like these:

I seek righteousness. But I will take revenge.

still of haley bennett as Emma Cullen in The Magnificent Seven movie

Screenplay reeks purely with witty and cheesy lines that mostly come from The World’s Greatest Lover Josh Faraday played convincingly well by Chris Pratt, whose love making we don’t get to see, so it ends up becoming a mere assertion. Even though the screenplay comes from the likes of Nic Pizzolatto, we don’t end up with anything profound to chew upon. It is one of those factors that take its levels of spectacle down a notch.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

Peter Saarsgard as Bartholomew Bogue looks very promising as the villain of the Magnificent Seven, when he starts off with the role. Unfortunately with no substance to back him up, he goes down in an instant. Eventually, as the movie tries to reach that final face-off he lets us down again. All that perversion that he carried throughout goes in a whiff, against the fury of Chisolm, the bounty hunter played by badassery of Denzel Washington. Bogue becomes a villain you forget the moment you leave the theatre.

still of Vincent D'onofrio as Jack Horne in the Magnificent Seven movie

I love how Vincent D’Onofrio does experiments on himself. This time he creates something different altogether, with that wheezing and breaking voice of his. It becomes hard to tell if Vincent is behind all that flab.

Denzel’s character stays extraordinary too with his heroic demeanor. Chris Pratt brings in that element of fun to the movie. Ethan Hawke is good but he carries a jaded plot that washes him down. He goes away only to return again without expanding on his sub-plot. Well, Billy Rocks!

Vasquez played by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo though no doubt confident, ends up becoming the least impact maker. It is like he was chosen just for the odd pairing. Martin Sensmeier‘s Red Harvest is well, red.

LAST KNOWN FILM SCORE OF JAMES HORNER

The music of The Magnificent Seven will remain the last known work of the legendary James Horner. The legend died in an unfortunate plane crash last year. His music however still lives on and will forever.

With inputs and arrangements by Simon Franglen, the music of The Magnificent Seven stays top-notch throughout. It skips well over the strings of that cowboyish theme, trying its level best to bring the flick to its proper course.

You can preorder the movie here:

THE FINAL VERDICT

I really think it could have been better if there was an unseen card lurking somewhere in the pockets of the director. Or even awe-inspiring theatrics to balance the theme would have done justice. But alas! The Magnificent Seven had none.

You can check out the trailer of The Magnificent Seven 2016 here:

Jurassic World Review (2015)

Jurassic World gives you the nostalgic jitters. Colin Trevorrow is no Spielberg. Yet he tries to nail an awesome project into the right groove. Jurassic World is a constantly entertaining, at times dramatic, thrilling joyride into the lost dino theme. We are introduced to the most dreadful, villainous and invincible creatures of all times, Indominus Rex, the hybrid that manifests multiple traits. She is relentless, aggressive, highly intelligent and untamable and she kills for sport. Things look pretty bad right there, huh! Wait till you see the other pack of dinos that Jurassic World hatches.

The story of the movie is technically quite similar to the originals however it races in as a sequel to them. The plot is a little bit predictable but Trevorrow manages to unfurl it gorgeously at the right dire moments.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Dinosaurs are living things. They can communicate, understand each other, work as a team to topple the bad and avenge! Jurassic World runs on this very theme. It also exalts the brave, with Chris Pratt doing us the honours under the skin of Owen Grady, a relentless bad-ass who would do anything to save lives. A messed-up Claire played by Bryce Dallas Howard who thinks these animals are mere assets that don’t feel a thing, however has a change of heart at a later stage when she sympathizes with one. Two kids who are on their holiday to explore the park and a lot of tourists who are there just for fun. Irrfan Khan does a brilliant job as Masrani with his engaged acting. Vincent D’Onofrio too does a fine job with his character trying to milk opportunities. BD Wong has a short but powerful cameo and reprises his role as Dr. Henry Wu.

There are many Easter eggs in the flick that would throw you into the pits of nostalgia. Many references are made to Hammond and his mistakes, a revisit to the previous Jurassic Park place, the aviary aftermath with Pteranodons, ruthless Velociraptors, the red burning flare, the unflinching T-Rex and the deafening triumphant growl of the Rex everything simply takes you back in time.

Screenplay is well written if we concentrate only the first half of the movie. There are brilliant conversations between Masrani, Wu, Hoskins and Owen that pack in the dramatic quotient to the flick.

The movie however fails to revive the fear that all its prequels breathed on. Nobody is really afraid of dinosaurs. With Pratt doing ballsy stuff, you suddenly aren’t afraid of dinosaurs. Next thing you know even Claire goes on to summon a frigging T-Rex with a flare. We used to pee our pants with a Velociraptor around, and they are literally dancing with the dinos! Kids in the movie too don’t have much to do in the climactic scenes. Nature plays survival of the fittest once again and humans become mere spectators of destruction. In the end it boils down to teamwork and overpowering your killer instinct like valued lessons for humans which become a little indigestible.

After the attack of the Pterosaurs, the movie tries to dive into the dark from where things become a little shoddy. Editing goes a little poor there considering the classic frame cuts in the first half. Profundity in the characters of Claire and Owen loses its charm, and suddenly Owen is open for some Hoskins change. Claire’s change of heart has no gravity or a backdrop screenplay to nail the effect. There is no scientific rendezvous unlike its prequel. Also, sometimes you wish the family drama to be a bit engaging. Some flaws pop up too but apart from these little things the movie is a complete entertaining package into the past.

Watch and reminisce!