Imagine a man comes along, falls in love with a beautiful girl, gets her pregnant, and leaves, visiting once in a while. He plants a seed (a seed of destruction, it turns out) in this woman’s world and then leaves her alone to parent a boy. The poison this man introduces to this lovely woman takes its toll. She dies, her mind destroyed, her heart broken, always hoping for his return. Never, though, does she speak ill of the man that did this to her. She still loves him despite it all. More than anything, she loves her son. The boy watches his mother’s decline and destruction. After her death, all he has left is her love and love of music which he carries with him everywhere.
Along comes an imperfect man. He’s not particularly a natural dad. He’s not great with kids, but he takes in this orphan and raises him as his own. He teaches him things.
One day, long into the future, the son meets his real father. His father is cooler than he ever imagined. He built a fantastical home and wields enormous power. He’s strong, good looking, and most of all, charismatic. He offers the kid all sorts of goodies if the kid hangs out. He’s the ultimate Disney Dad.
Somewhere in all the grandiose plans and stories, the dad lets it slip that he had to leave because his plans were bigger than just one woman and one boy. He reveals that he’s the one that introduced the cancer (ous thoughts) into the boy’s mom’s mind. He had to for the bigger picture. He couldn’t be held back by small ideas like home and family and love. He wasn’t going to just change the world. He would change the universe.
The father is utterly consumed by his own ego. Everything is about him. Nothing matters but him.
The boy is much like his father: handsome, charismatic, strong, creative. But he has his mother’s heart. Her character. Her kindness. Love.
When faced with his father, the boy must choose: The fantasy father he built in his mind or the real family he now had.
Like so many children with deadbeat dads or moms, or even just really flawed divorced parents, the child must choose the path he’ll take. Will he replicate his parent’s choices and weaknesses?
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is a modern parable. It’s a story for parents and step-parents and children. Peter Quill, the isolated, lonely boy, who never had his real dad, who lost his mom, and who was taken in by a flawed, but loving man, finally meets his biological father. It’s as exciting and disappointing as one would expect.
The rest of the movie is window dressing. There are silly villains and cool space fights, but at heart, this is a story about a boy and his father – an egomaniacal, self-absorbed, distant, controlling sociopath.
Kurt Russell is perfectly cast here and there are fun bits thrown in by Sylvester Stallone and David Hasselhoff. Michael Rooker’s Yondu anchors what could have been a mess of a film.
I went to Guardians of the Galaxy expecting lots of adventures. There was some of that. Mostly, the movie is a drama about abandonment and family and how people pick up the pieces in the wake of a villainous Ego.
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