5 Potential Problems With ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2′

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 | Source: Marvel Studios via James Gunn's Twitter

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 | Marvel Studios via James Gunn’s Twitter

Haters will always hate, but the majority of moviegoers clearly are enjoying what the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been doing for the past several years. Although the films do have a certain formula to their storytelling approach, the broad strokes of the MCU’s narrative and many of its creative decisions — including the pitch-perfect casting of Oscar winner, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel — have been inspiring ones.

Take, for instance, the fact that Marvel Studios and Director James Gunn somehow transformed the relatively obscure comic, Guardians of the Galaxy into one of the MCU’s most critically acclaimed and financially successful titles.Gunn’s take on the comic’s characters was integral in developing the film into such a mainstream hit, and anticipation couldn’t be higher for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, set to hit theaters this year.

Yet, the MCU has proven to have a mixed reputation when it comes to sequels. While some are brilliant continuations of a hero’s story (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), others wind up feeling bloated and hollow (Thor: The Dark World). Gunn is a distinctive enough filmmaker that, in his hands, the sequel should be an out-and-out winner, but in the interest of clearing the air, let’s discuss some pitfalls that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 would be wise to avoid.

1. Studio interference to serve the MCU

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War | Marvel Studios

What has really held back some of the more promising — and ultimately disappointing — MCU films to date is an internal conflict between Marvel Studios itself and whichever filmmaker happens to be in the director’s chair.

Joss Whedon reportedly faced far more studio interference on Avengers: Age of Ultron, which many fans blame for its inability to stand up to the superior first film. Much of that interference was intended to tease out plot elements for future releases, but in playing the long game to build up Phase Three, Age of Ultron ultimately did a disservice to its own story along the way. Let’s hope the same doesn’t happen with Guardians, now that it’s a proven hit.

2. Fan expectations affecting initial response

Source: Marvel Studios

Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy | Marvel Studios

When Guardians of the Galaxy hit theaters in 2014, it was considered to be a welcome surprise for those who were growing tired of the superhero movie craze. However, now that the first film earned $773 million at the worldwide box office, its sequel may face ridiculously high expectations that even the best film can’t match. Though the Guardians sequel is almost certain to be a winner, we caution fans to temper their own expectations so that the experience isn’t tarnished by the vision of the film they have in their heads.

3. Sprawling focus that dilutes the characters

Guardians of the Galaxy | Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy | Marvel Studios

The first Guardians film introduced moviegoers to beloved characters like Rocket Raccoon and Groot. Yet, the sequel is expanding its focus beyond the five original members of the team to feature even more of the Ravagers and new characters like Mantis and Ego. While a larger ensemble is par for the course for sequels, we sincerely hope that the new additions don’t mean less screen time or story material for the characters that fans have already come to love.

4. Blatant rehash of the first film’s formula


Guardians of the Galaxy | Marvel Studios

How many times have you walked into a sequel only to re-emerge from the theater feeling that you’d seen it before? When an initial release connects with audiences, it’s tempting to simply repeat what worked the first time in order to please fans. After all, if you veer too far off from the first film, you risk letting down moviegoers, but if you stay too close, the reception likely won’t be nearly as warm. It’s a delicate balance to strike, and we hope that the Guardians sequel gets it just right.

5. Lack of connectivity with Avengers: Infinity War

Josh Brolin in Guardians of the Galaxy

Josh Brolin in Guardians of the Galaxy | Marvel Studios

Even though we said above that the Guardians sequel should be careful not to devote too much time to setting up future films, this is likely the last time we’ll see Star-Lord and company until Avengers: Infinity War. Given the cosmic nature of that conflict and the Guardians’ own beef with Thanos, we’d hope to see some notable steps take place in Gunn’s film to better set the stage for the inevitable team-up between the Avengers and the Guardians.

Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable

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