Smoking on the streets of New York is like playing Assassins’s Creed—commit crime, avoid authorities, hide from sight in the city’s grid. Thankfully, on my way to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the midtown pavement was pounding with rain.
My umbrella provided excellent cover for burning down a gram of the sweetly fragrant Pink Lady, a sativa-dominant hybrid whose benignly numbing qualities help with blending into backgrounds. With a strong head kick and noticeable lightness in the body, the Lady will keep you in her clutches, soothing waves of dreamy highs caressing rose-colored reality.
Indeed, this floral strain served as a fitting match for Guardians 2, a snappy science-fiction pastiche that both satirizes and embraces the goofy seriousness of its genre. The sequel picks up just after the original, finding the now-famous space team mid-fight with a towering alien beast while the resurrected treeman Groot (Vin Diesel) obliviously dances to Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky.”
Backgrounding huge battles while smaller comic sequences play in the foreground is grade-A material for being stoned at the movies—the ballcap-wearing matinee audience vocally responded to the entire film. With the assistance of the Pink Lady and a gigantic soda, I melted into the intricate off-world visuals—monsters, sleek cityscapes, neon outer-space battles, Sylvester Stallone actually acting.
Guardians 2 eventually involves team leader Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) learning that his father is a god (Kurt Russell) who reunites with him after 34 years for mysterious reasons. The father/son plot gets a bit draggy, but the trippy pay-off culminates in a finale that cribs gleefully from a dozen B-grade sci-fi films, shifting styles from The Matrix Revolutions to The Last Starfighter to Independence Day while still seeming fresh.
Marvel movies are infamous for post-credit scenes. This one has four. In the theater afterwards, an impatient girlfriend prodded her boyfriend along. “This is just clips and shit,” she said, pushing him down the staircase. Defiant, he planted himself next to me to watch the final stinger—a long-awaited reveal of Stan Lee’s cameo character. “You a fuckin nerd,” his girlfriend tossed off, while the pot-smelling man and I simultaneously nodded in satisfaction at the screen.