10 screenwriting lessons from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

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Screen Capture from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Lesson 3: Earn Your Violence

An aspect that Calvisi thought didn’t work was Yondu’s escape scene on the Ravager ship. Visually, it was a great scene, but the multiple killings of the crew didn’t seem justified or deserved. It was much too violent and dark.

Calvisi understands that James Gunn may have intended that scene as retribution for the disloyal crew’s mutiny and their abusive treatment towards Baby Groot. However, the scene may have occurred a bit too late. The scene could have worked better had they edited down other more superfluous scenes, and brought the killing scene closer to when Baby Groot was actually being mistreated.

Overall, screenwriters need to be cognizant of tone. Violent and dark scenes are very difficult to mix with humorous situations. This also proves Gunn’s screenwriting adeptness, where he’s able to get the audience’s buy-in on such far-fetched scenes. Calvisi does admit that he’s being overly critical, but Hollywood readers will be performing the same litmus test on spec scripts. So before you make it big, it’s good to follow traditional guidelines.