I saw Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 five times in a row opening day! Here’s the full video of the day followed by a detailed recap of each screening.
The First Screening (9:00 AM)
I liked Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 a lot after my first screening. It was a fun movie with an absolutely phenomenal soundtrack, just like the first Guardians, but what I enjoyed most was the comedy. The action-packed film finds delightful moments for a gold alien or cybernetic raccoon to be so ingratiatingly human. There’s a scene where one gold Sovereign rolls out a carpet for her leader to walk on that’s set to majestic music. The carpet gets stuck at the last foot, because even in outer space things will malfunction, and the music stops as both the servant and queen notice the hiccup. They both try to keep their composure that seconds ago made sense but now is revealed to be over the top and silly, simultaneously to them and the audience. It’s a great beat and the movie is full of them.
I did, however, completely fall asleep for about fifteen minutes in the middle. This was due to a few reasons. For starters, I saw this movie at nine in the morning, which is way earlier than I’m ever in a dark theater or even awake and out of the house on a typical weekday. Also, the father and son storyline kind of drags when they get to Ego’s planet. It slows down a lot compared to the rest of the movie. That combined with waking up early, as well as the knowledge that anything I missed now I’d see four more times after this, put me down from just after the father/son game of catch (super dumb scene, by the way) to the middle of Yondu, Rocket, and Baby Groot making their musical escape. The music and explosions woke me up from my slumber and I had a great time for the rest of the film. I recorded my review outside then headed into the second screening, this time in 3D.
Second Screening (11:30 AM)
I saw my second consecutive Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 screening in 3D and I liked that added layer. The 3D stuff was fun! I especially liked the red trail of the flying arrow in 3D, and especially DID NOT like the “arrow coming right at your face” aspect of the 3D. So my favorite and least favorite parts of the 3D were somehow both the arrow.
I stayed awake no problem to see the part I fell asleep during the first screening. It’s the scene with Baby Groot struggling to bring the fin Yondu was requesting. It’s an extremely adorable scene that I instantly loved because Baby Groot has so much personality and is just so dang cute. It also has almost no dialogue or explosions (or noises in general for that matter), so I get how I was able to sleep right through it.
I noticed that the sound effects in the unmanned Sovereign spaceships are directly lifted from Pac-Man and it bugged me way more than it should’ve. I understood the stylistic choice, especially considering the role Pac-Man plays as both a line of dialogue as well as a full visual goof later, but it just felt out of place that this advanced alien race would have Pac-Man noises coming out of their computers. I also kept thinking how odd it is that Vin Diesel and Kurt Russell are both in two of the biggest movies this summer and what a weird coincidence that is.
I shot my review in the movie theater restaurant with my special guest: a Baby Baby Groot (small succulent plant) I brought along with me that I purchased in a supermarket the night before. I had a lot of trouble keeping Baby Baby Groot on my shoulder while recording Snaps on my phone and the result was he kept tumbling down into my lap, spilling dirt all over me. The waiter seemed less than pleased. I apologized for all the mess on the ground and made my way to the next screening.
Third Screening (2:30 PM)
I was surprised to walk to my seat for my thirdGuardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 screening (this time in 2D again) and find my friend Bill there in the seat next to mine. I asked how he knew exactly where to sit and he said it was easy. I posted the showtimes I was seeing the night before and he just checked at 9AM and bought a ticket next to the only person who had purchased a single ticket for the 2:30PM screening.
I realized on my third screening that my favorite part of the movie was the opening. It’s so fun and, much like the strongest parts of the movie, focuses on putting the music and comedy literally in the foreground of the action. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is a movie with a lot of heart and the toe tapping musical intro sets the tone for what’s to come. Also “Mr. Blue Sky” is my favorite ELO song (I’m a basic bitch) so I just genuinely enjoyed hearing it each time.
The worst part was Sylvester Stallone. It’s not even close. He’s so bad and stiff, his lines feel like they’re being read by an alien who is pretending to be human which is a real triumph in a movie that’s all humans pretending to be aliens. Seeing the movie with a friend (as opposed to the first two screenings I saw alone) was great because I could laugh out loud during Stallone’s parts next to someone who was also laughing out loud.We also both laughed at the reveal of Ego having sex with a ton of different aliens. I don’t know if they meant that part to be funny, but I found it hilarious each time.
Maybe it was the day starting to get on top of me, but it felt like every single line of dialogue could’ve been 20% shorter and I wouldn’t miss it. I don’t know why people in superhero movies sometimes feel the need to talk like they’re in a Shakesperian play, but it’s annoying. I noticed a verse of “Come A Little Bit Closer” plays twice because the song isn’t long enough for the escape scene. That didn’t annoy me at all because I like that song a lot.
There’s also some text on the sign at Dairy Queen (a location that plays a prominent role in this film, but not nearly as big a role as Krispy Kreme in the new Power Rangers movie) that makes no sense. I noticed it the second time, but really stared at it the third time. It said “Fan Food, Not Fast Food” which I can only assume is a reference to fans of this movie but it still doesn’t make sense. Even if it’s food for Guardians fans (a message that only makes sense to the audience in the theater and not the people in the world of the movie) it’s still fast food. I was irrationally upset by this.
I had some time to kill before my next screening, and it was Cinco de Mayo, so I went to the bar in the theater and ordered a margarita. I asked if they could pour a tiny one for the plant I was carrying around, complete with a salted rim, and they obliged without too much questioning. Still, between the spilled dirt and ordering a margarita for a plant, I was getting the distinct impression that maybe I was weirding this staff out a little. I also was sensing that spending all day in a room full of lasers and explosions was starting to make me feel a little dizzy and nauseous. I got a picture of myself, BBG, and our margs then headed in to my fourth consecutive screening.
Fourth Screening (5:45 PM)
About twenty minutes into my fourth consecutive Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 screening, I realized something pretty messed up. I had brought along Baby Baby Groot with me, but he had spent most of the day in a backpack. He hadn’t even seen this movie! Watching the real (???) Baby Groot on screen all day was making me feel extremely empathetic for my small plant. I opened my backpack, but to my total horror Baby Baby Groot was nowhere to be found.
I raced back down to the bar, 3D glasses resting on my head because this screening was in 3D, and frantically started asking if anyone had seen my plant. The bartender knew exactly what I was talking about (apparently I was the only person bringing a small succulent to his bar asking for a tiny margarita) but wasn’t sure where BBG was. He asked a waitress who asked someone else who disappeared and came back with Baby Baby Groot. They found him and put him by a window and gave him water, which was way more than I had done for the little guy all day. I grabbed him and ran back to the movie, putting him in the cup holder next to me so he could watch the film.
Before the fourth screening started, I made a point to count all of Drax’s big laughs. I thought it might be an interesting stat to keep track of. I was wrong. I very quickly lost interest and figured if I didn’t care about this stat, nobody else would.
My brain was now shutting down, something I’ve experienced before in previous episodes of Five In A Row Reviews. The lasers and explosions seemed to be eroding my ability to hold a thought. Every time I would think something new about the movie, a laser would explode and I’d lose my concentration.
Still, the funny parts made me laugh even on the fourth viewing. Rocket getting called a “trash panda” is maybe the funniest line in the whole movie. It’s just so pointed and derogatory and totally innocent at the same time, I love it. I also completely forgave all the Pac-Man noises the Sovereign computers made. I conceded they were a subtle setup to the final Pac-Man payoff and that was pretty cool.
I went outside to film my fourth review which wasn’t a review at all, it was just me recounting how I almost lost Baby Baby Groot forever. I vowed to never make that mistake again and used a gratuitous amount of scotch tape to secure Baby Baby Groot to my shoulder. I headed into my fifth screening.
Fifth Screening (8:30 PM)
This was the toughest screening. I could feel my mind not working at all, the only thing I was really able to latch on to was the music. As soon as the lasers and explosions started happening, I instantly tuned out. It was very clear to me that this was maybe not a thing you should do to your brain.
Normally during my fifth screening, I get up to use the bathroom or stretch maybe once every thirty minutes. Like a long plane flight, I become extremely fidgety and it’s hard to sit still. But with a small plant taped to my shoulder, that was difficult. This was Friday night at a popular movie theater in the city where I currently live and also grew up. The odds of seeing someone I know are almost 100% and having to explain what I’m doing with my life and the small plant scotch taped to my shoulder was more than I could emotionally wrap my head around.
I felt myself desperately trying to pay attention as well as stay awake, so I turned to a trick I had used during my fifth consecutive La La Land screening: drinking water and coffee and wine at the same time. It did not have the desired effect, I just got sleepier and more out of it.
I was feeling sensations of Déjà vu that everything I was watching had JUST happened minutes ago. It was an odd sensation, one I felt before when I watched Power Rangers five times in a row. I also spaced out for about twenty minutes thinking how bizarre it was that Zoe Saldana has been typecast as an alien with an oceanic skin color. Like, that’s a very weird and specific thing to get typecast as. And in two movie franchises that are some of the biggest of all time. Who knew there was such a demand for that? Are guys into that? Clearly guys are into that. Again, I spent twenty minutes thinking about this.
I jumped out of my seat when the space fireworks blasted for the final time and opted out of any of the five post-credits scenes. I quickly recorded my final thoughts of the day and headed home to eat a coffee mug’s worth of Thai food and get some much needed rest.
I woke up the next morning and “Brandy” by Looking Glass was playing loudly in my head. This was something I bumped into before with La La Land five times in a row where a day of intense musical repetition had really drilled some songs into my head. I listened to “Brandy” way too loud on speakers (similar to how eating more Flamin’ Hot Cheetos is the only thing that can make the heat from Flamin’ Hot Cheetos subside) but it didn’t work. “Brandy” stuck with me for the rest of the weekend.
But way more disturbing than the music (which, again, was completely awesome in this movie just like the first so that wasn’t so bad) was the random laser noises and explosions that would jostle me throughout the weekend. I would hear a little blast at the supermarket and jump. I woke up in the middle of the night twice because I thought I heard something explode. I was really glad when they had mostly gone away by Sunday evening.
Thanks for tuning in and reading another one of these long recaps! I’m not sure when I’ll be doing this again, because it’s super taxing and sucks a full day out of my life, but I’m leaning towards the new Pirates Of The Caribbean film. And in case you’re wondering, Baby Baby Groot is alive and well in my apartment. See you next time at the movies!