Bradley Cooper’s best role may be as an weapons-obsessed, semi-homicidal raccoon, but the actor has put together a solid list of performances in which he is not knee-high and betailed. When Alias exploded on ABC, everyone thought Jennifer Garner was going to be the breakout star from the cast, but, over the years, Cooper has emerged as the most talented member of that fantastic ensemble cast. He’s hit or miss as a leading man, with his best solo performance undoubtedly being sniper Chris Kyle in American Sniper. Where Cooper shines is as part of an ensemble. He works best when paired with other high caliber actors (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook) and can easily do drama, comedy, or action. His achievement with Rocket is not glib praise. Cooper completely transforms his voice to play one of the MCU’s most popular characters and manages to make a character that is silly in concept, a hysterical, often moving example of voice acting at its finest. With A Star is Born, Cooper added A-list director to his repertoire, taking his career in a direction akin to that of Clint Eastwood. Cooper has a bright future in front of the camera and behind it.
How do you pick just one scene from this film (you can read my full Guardians 2 review here)? While most sequels go bigger, Guardians 2 actually is a much smaller, character-driven film. With this being the last time to see Peter Quill and company before The Infinity War, director James Gunn I think wisely decided to slow it down a little (for the Guardians, graded on a curve) and give you time with each character. They’re going to be as integral to the war as The Avengers and we’ve had at least four or five films with even the junior members, but only two with the Guardians.
The film is a non-stop funny machine. It’s line after line after gag after gag, and while I think the first film is a hair better, I think this film is funnier. Yondu (Michael Rooker) joined the Guardians in film #2, and the awesomeness of his whistle-controlled arrow of death was unleashed in a way that you wouldn’t have even thought possible. He and Rocket destroying a ship with it is my highlight, but I’m not going to deprive you of the best of Baby Groot (to be only topped by sullen teenage Groot in the credits) and Drax (Dave Bautista continues to amaze me; he OWNS this role and clearly has so much fun playing him). Get your MCU hats on! Issue #17 is out this weekend!
Though it’s not going to pass the box office juggernaut that is Beauty and the Beast, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 still looks like it will be the biggest film of the summer and certainly was a hit with the fans. KT asked readers to dub the most awesome Guardian of them all and thus began one of the most furiously contested polls we’ve ever had. In the beginning, there was Star Lord. Peter Quill was dominating this poll through week one, and then it became a three-way race for the next two weeks as Rocket and Groot pulled right alongside him locking it into a virtual three-way tie. However, last week saw a surge of support for the Galaxy’s most gun-obsessed trash panda, and Rocket is the pick as KT’s Favorite Guardian of the Galaxy with Groot at #2 and Star Lord at #3. Absolutely no love for Gamora or Mantis? I get Gamora had really nothing to do in the last film but how do you not love Mantis? Fickle horde. A new poll should be up in a week. Thanks to all for the frenzied voting.
Guardians of the Galaxy was the biggest surprise of the first two phases of the MCU, so it’s shouldn’t be a huge surprise that James Gunn took your expectations for where the stacefaring group may go next and stood them on their head. For all the amazing special F/X, Guardians 2 is a much smaller, character-driven movie than the first one was. It is undoubtedly Star Lord’s (Chrs Pratt) film, closing questions on his origin in the first film that will give birth to conflicts sure to pop up for the survivors of Infinity War. In the end, though, this film is about family. Not the families we’re born into, but the families we cobble together out of the people who share our mutual life damage and how they can be as strong and weird and wonderful as any biological bond. It’s a funny (probably funnier overall than the first film), screwball sci-fi family dramedy that makes issue #15 of the MCU as fresh as the first.
Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week. Alright, people, Marvel’s personal opening weekend is here to save you from the April movie doldrums. Bring on the Guardians! Continue reading In Theaters This Week (5/4/2017): Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2→