I'm not quite to the point where I'm swearing off movies that use computer-generated imagery (CGI), but I'm getting close. Maybe I'll do so gradually - like, swear off movies in which 50 percent or more of the movie is done with CGI. Perfect examples of the kind of movie I'll try to avoid in the future are Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. In other words, Marvel movies. I haven't even tried to watch Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (which apparently puts me in fairly large company since the film, unique among Marvel films, didn't do very well) because it looks both tedious and like almost none of it was shot in real places.
However, I'm glad that I made an exception to my growing CGI antipathy for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which has always been sort of an outlier in the Marvel cinematic universe because writer-director James Gunn, who's made all three of the Guardians movies, has positioned them sort of like psychedelic shaggy dog stories. And as his mismatched and vagabond mercenaries he's pulled together a cast - Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, and Pom Klementieff, with voice work by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel - that always has seemed to have fun and not take the proceedings too seriously. Strangely enough for a comic book movie heavily dependent on CGI, it actually turns out to be the actors and their characters that are the main attraction.
When Vol. 2 came out a few years ago, I reflected on the fact that more than most Marvel movies, the Guardians franchise seemed preoccupied with the notion of family - losing one, gaining another, and finding affection and loyalty in unexpected places. It wears those ambitions lightly enough to keep the film from becoming ponderous, but they fit well enough to make the movie work.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, allegedly the final film about this particular group, has a plot, but I'm not sure it matters all that much. If you like this kind of stuff, it isn't a horrible way to spend a few hours in a movie theater. (And, like the first two, it has an outstanding soundtrack of golden oldies.)
If there's one big summer movie that's not going to have much CGI, it almost certainly is going to be Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning, Part 1 - because it is a Tom Cruise movie, and he doesn't go in for that kind of fakery. Here's the trailer, and the movie looks amazing:
That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.