‘Guardians’ sequel digs deep: Superhero movie incorporates heavy subject matter

Stephen Freitas,

At 7:00 p.m. on May 4, groups of moviegoers decked out in costumes or their favorite comic apparel headed to movie theaters for the long-awaited sequel, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” Thursday was the first day the pre-shows of the new Marvel film began before its official release last Friday.

The wacky group of ‘heroes’ from “Guardians of the Galaxy” first hit the big screen in 2014, driven by quirky remarks of Chris Pratt’s character Star-Lord and the jackass personality of Bradley Cooper’s character, Rocket, a genetically-altered raccoon.

Based on characters from Marvel comic books, the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie pulled in a total of $733.3 million worldwide during its run and earned a 91 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Though these numbers aren’t as impressive as movies like “The Avengers,” “Guardians” had a lasting impact on audiences around the world.

This time around, the franchise moves away from some of the wacky humor in the first movie. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of laughs, but the new film dives into deeper matters that can be difficult to discuss, like abusive upbringings and parental issues.

Whether it’s the hardships that Gamora and Nebula faced with their self-proclaimed father, Thanos, or the feeling of abandonment felt by Star-Lord, who never knew who his father was, the issues are blended into the story in a way where audiences will not feel uncomfortable with the movie.

These issues can be gut-wrenching and can resonate deeply with people who have experienced it. I connected with each character and can understand the hardships that they experience in the film. Growing up in a broken household filled with child custody battles and parents in different states led to many issues that I still battle today.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is the 15th movie out of the 24 proposed movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as part of a plan by Marvel, according to a Marvel cinematic universe fan page. The plan consists of three phases. The first phase introduced us to the main Avengers such as Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and the Hulk.

The second phase brought us back to each character and their solo adventures, while introducing new ones such as Ant-Man and the “Guardians of the Galaxy.” During this phase with the individual members of the Avengers, we get to see each character’s past coming back to challenge them.

Lastly, the third phase of the MCU started in 2016 with the third Captain America installment, bringing the audience down a darker path. Such movies as “Captain America: Civil War” dive into the very essence of what makes us who we are, bringing up the idea of right and wrong and pitting the ones we love against each other, like Iron Man and Captain America.

A pattern can be seen amongst most of these films: sequels are becoming darker than their initial debuts. All of the movies are in line to set the stage for the film “Avengers: Infinity War,” which will link all the characters from the different movies.

If the films of the MCU stay on this path and tackle issues just as much as “Guardians” did, then moviegoers are in for one heck of a ride. I personally hope that the upcoming movies will have aspects of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” amongst them since they are technically the protectors of the universe.

As a moviegoer myself, I believe that “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” was a big success at incorporating real-world issues and showcasing them in a format for all audiences. The Guardians learn to love each other for their flaws, and we as a society can learn a thing from them, too.