Most Fans Agree ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ Has the Best Opening Scene in the Entire MCU
Plenty of analysis has been done about final scenes from the MCU, but what about their openings? These scenes matter more than anything since they set a mood from the first frame. Fortunately, the MCU mostly does this with aplomb, if some standing out more than others.
One in particular fans are saying stands atop all is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Anyone who remembers this opening sequence already knows why. No other opening in the MCU can compare to it, even if deemed slightly over the top (in a good way).
What makes the sequence so amazing is it falls in line with other famous openings done all in one take. Even though the majority of the Vol. 2 opening is CGI, having it play out for a solid two minutes without a cutaway is slightly memorable.
Groot as the featured star of the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ opening
In the opening sequence, the viewer sees a young Groot hook up a sound system where the opening strains of Electric Light Orchestra’s Mr. Blue Sky begins to play. Groot starts dancing along to the music, even though things in his periphery had already started off…more than a little chaotic.
Behind him is complete madness of a giant Abilisk creature being flung around on a platform within the planet Sovereign while fellow Guardians battle it out. Surrounding all that is plenty of pyro, not including Star-Lord and Gamora looking stunned why Groot is oblivious to the scenario going on around him.
He keeps on dancing through the song, nearly being knocked asunder himself by the Abilisk’s long tail and a few of the human Guardians hitting the ground. At one point, even Rocky Raccoon tries to get Groot out of the way.
The clincher is when Groot ends up being dragged away by a smaller creature called a Drax to the edge of the platform. All the while through this madness, the opening credits keep rolling.
James Gunn called it the greatest opening movie sequence ever attempted
So much for touting your own work, but James Gunn first envisioned his opening as “the greatest of all time.” Fans have recently celebrated this, and many media analysts have reported on how complicated the sequence was to put together.
Considering it was done for a solid two minutes in a 360-degree environment, it was quite the digital feat. According to Fast Company, 800 frame-long effects were created by digital effects company Framestore. Doing so allowed everything to occur in a 360-degree space, outside of the majority being digitally created.
Out of everything occurring, only a few human actors were used, and one can imagine a massive green screen. Most interesting of all, however, is dancing Groot. Fast Company above said James Gunn was the model for Groot’s dance moves, much like he was in the first movie.
Whether he was the reference point for Groot’s hilariously expressive eyes during the sequence is another thing.
What inspiration was there for the opening sequence?
If Gunn said his opening was the greatest in movie history, he had others who came before him who tried similar opening shots without digital tricks. Take for example the one-take opening tracking shot of Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil from 1958, a technique which had never been attempted. Without the age of digital effects then, it was harder to time everything out over nearly five minutes using tracking equipment.
Another good example is Robert Altman’s The Player from 1992, this time within the confines of a movie studio and the activity going on. Altman reportedly shot 15 takes of this eight-minute opening, proving how much detail a long opening shot like this required then.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s opening now joins the pantheon, only thanks to digital prowess and setting a hefty tone for over-the-top comedy. Maybe James Gunn can top it when Vol. 3 finally releases at an unknown date.