Today we’ll be finishing up our week of looking at songs straight from the big screen. So far this week, we’ve looked at one Marvel movie and two movies about handsome, stoic white drivers.
We started off by looking at “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee, which makes an appearance on the soundtrack for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”. Then we looked at “Hocus Pocus” by Focus, which fueled a chaotic chase scene in “Baby Driver”. Finally, we saw how the tone and mood of “A Real Hero” by College and Electric Youth connected with the theme and characters in “Drive”.
To even things out a little, we’ll finish up the week with one more Marvel movie. That way if you look at the pattern, it’s a palindrome, of sorts: Marvel, driver, driver, Marvel.
Our song today, “The Chain”, comes from the “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” soundtrack. Which, if you ask me, is one of the better soundtracks in the MCU.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
“The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac is a song that fits perfectly with the ragtag group of misfits in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”. They’ve all got loads of baggage, that prevents them from getting along and creates deep fissures in their relationships. But compared to the real life drama of Fleetwood Mac, the drama the Guardians face seems pretty tame in comparison.
In Fleetwood Mac, members were jumping into bed with one another, getting married, getting divorced, doing all the drugs, and fighting over the lyrics that told all.
The biggest moment of drama that even comes close is in a scene right before “The Chain” kicks in. In it, Star-Lord calls out Rocket Raccoon for being a jerk, walks away, and that’s pretty much it. Admittedly, using “The Chain” does work, in the sense that it makes the audience feel as if the fight is one big enough to split up the team.
The scene comes in as the low point in the film, a necessary and significant moment in any story. And of course, the break does the Guardians well, and in the end Star-Lord and Rocket are able to make up so you can see their arc.
While the scene that contains “The Chain” in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” doesn’t match the drama behind the song, it still does a good job in conveying the right emotion at the right time. It comes right after a big fight, because one of them screwed up, and ends with the team splitting up.
Because of the placement and emotions behind “The Chain”, we subconsciously feel as if the team has split up for good. The chorus lyrics fit in pretty well with the context, too.
“And if, you don’t love me now
You will never love me again
I can still hear you saying
You would never break the chain”
The main tension in the scene, of course is between Rocket and Star-Lord. The question it poses: “will the two make up and ever be friends again?” is taken more seriously, specifically because of “The Chain”‘s placement. That’s one song that pulls a lot of emotional weight.
“The Chain” is an absolutely phenomenal song, and it’s placement in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is as good of a fit as we’re likely to see in the MCU. The Guardians may be no Fleetwood Mac, but you can’t really blame them for that. They do the best they can with what they’ve got.
That about wraps up our week of songs from the big screen. Now please excuse me while I go and get in line for “Endgame”.