We are all Baby Groot
The first full trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 dropped over the weekend—thanks to a Comic Con event in Brazil—and jumping off that brag video from a couple months ago, it’s FANTASTIC. They’re still not giving us anything about the plot and we still haven’t seen the new characters played by Kurt Russell and Elizabeth Debicki, but the trailer doubles down on the team chemistry which is still amazing, and also shows off what is officially known as Baby Groot. Look at him, though. Willful, independent, incapable of following basic instructions—that’s a toddler. Toddler Baby Groot is going to be EVERYTHING in 2017.
And we also get our first look at Pom Klementieff—GREAT name—as a new hero, Mantis. She looks incredible, with those bobbing antennae, and the way Klementieff delivers her lines is just wonderful. Mantis is a character who isn’t supposed to have a lot of interaction with others, and you can hear that innocence, and also the wonder of encountering foreign emotions, in her voice. And then, of course, Drax makes that scene by pointing and laughing.
Which is the best part of the trailer. Sure, there’s a clip parade as they go through the Guardians individually, but the bulk of the trailer isn’t montages, it’s two extended scenes showing off team interaction, which is what everyone loves in Marvel movies anyway. (That’s why the “villain problem” has always been the second stupidest complaint against Marvel movies. When the heroes are this good, the villains only need to be basically functioning.) Rocket and Star-Lord sniping at each other was some of the most memorable stuff in Guardians, and this trailer shows us Rocket and Star-Lord sniping at each other in the middle of a huge battle—exactly the tone everyone embraced the first time out. You can withhold the plot details as long as you’re selling everyone on the stuff they love the most, which is the team.
The one issue I have is that this is a fairly diverse cast, with four women featured prominently: Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Elizabeth Debicki, and Pom Klementieff. But alien makeup nullifies Saldana and Klementieff—who is half-Korean—representing minorities as well. It’s a risk run inherent in sci-fi movies, that alien makeup might undermine the diversity of your cast. Gillan and Debicki are also completely obscured by makeup, though, as is Dave Bautista as Drax, and Michael Rooker as Yondu, so I guess, at least, Marvel is being equal opportunity in making people wear body paint.
But all anyone can talk about it Baby Groot, and rightfully so. He’s adorable. Look at those big, wet eyes—actually, look at Rocket’s eyes and the perfect expression of defeat on his thief-face, this is stellar animation—and his little wooden face when he gasps. And the way he snarls, “I am Groot!” so perfect. And it will always be the icing on the cake, for me, that ole penis-head himself, Vin Diesel, lobbied hard to be in a Marvel movie and got the animated role with only one line, and now, in #2, is completely unrecognizable. So unrecognizable, in fact, I wonder if he’s even voicing all of Baby Groot. It’s SO far outside his natural register. Is anyone else hearing this and doubting it’s 100% Vin? That should be tag line. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Now with 30% less Diesel.
Here's Chris Pratt promoting Passengers in Moscow yesterday.
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