Yes, I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy for a second time.
This is extremely unusual for me these days (though not in the 70s & 80s: I sat through no less than four consecutive showings of Star Wars, and doubled up on other films of the era including Alien, Close Encounters and Indiana Jones).
This time I took my wife as I was eager to get her to a film whose ending credits weren’t followed immediately by “not worth the price of admission”.
Unfortunately, the wife was underwhelmed (even going so far as to say that she’d have preferred to wait until it had joined John Carter in the $5 bargain bin at Walmart):. Perhaps I’d been overly enthusiastic; perhaps my initial enthusiasm was colored by the fact that I’d had a pretty awful week and was looking forward to GotG as stress reliever.
I’m still not sure about the preceding, but what I do know now are these things:
The audience attending the second showing did not laugh out loud nearly as much as the audience had at my earlier viewing.
I and the rest of that audience were watching the film (2D, both times) on a much smaller screen.
The film did NOT pass the Bechdel test. The few female characters (Gamora, Nebula, Nova Prime, the Collector’s Slave) either traded barbs with male characters or talked about their evil father with each other.
The film is rife (yes, RIFE) with visual homage to just about everything filmic and geeky from the past four decades. I noticed references to Avatar, Buckaroo Banzai, Hellboy and more. Not just visual homage either. I’m pretty sure (I’ll have to wait for the DVD to confirm) but direct lifts with the scene framed the same and the action replicating that of the subject film. (I should brought a notebook)
The movie seemed slower the second time around.
I did not laugh out loud as frequently – but the fact that I did still laugh out loud a little probably means that GotG has got some legs.
I’m definitely puzzled/bothered/intrigued by Zoe Soldana’s career path in genre films: she’s been blue, black and green. Questions abound: are we only able to accept a black leading character so long as they are any color but black? (Uhura belies this a bit, but there’ve been complaints of her being relegated to the background which kinda supports the contention). (I think she’s quite an accomplished actor regardless of whatever color she’s painted.)
That leads into the major critique the film has been enduring: white guy hero, some black guys are baddies, the Guardians are not at all that diverse.
Unless you give diversity cred to aliens. Does this kind of thing engage with diversity or is it a way of side-stepping the issue?
The twin themes of friendship and redemption were as strong, if not stronger, the second time around. The closing scene with Corpsman Dey’s family is a subtle and effective close.
No doubt we will be hearing more and more of this kind of discussion over the next few months. In the meantime: third viewing? Nope.