(Note: This post contains spoilers for “Avengers: Infinity War.” Read on at your own risk.)
The Guardians of the Galaxy bring some much-needed levity to “Avengers: Infinity War,” which is famously packed with total gut-punch moments. But one of the movie’s funniest “Guardians” scenes isn’t actually in the movie — it’s a deleted scene included in the “Infinity War” home video release.
The deleted scene features Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff), and takes place shortly after the scene on Knowhere, when Thanos (Josh Brolin) captured Gamora (Zoe Saldana). That was the moment Peter was prevented from killing Gamora like she asked him to, because Thanos used the Reality Infinity Stone to turn his laser into bubbles.
If you’ve seen the film, then you know that Thanos takes Gamora to his fleet where it’s revealed that he has captured and is torturing her sister, Nebula (Karen Gillan), in order to force Gamora to reveal the location of the Soul Infinity Stone. And after Thanos and Gamora leave, Nebula escapes from captivity and sends a message to the Guardians that they need to head to Thanos’ homeworld, Titan.
Now, in the final cut, the scene jumps directly from Nebula sending the message, to Tony Stark, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man as they crash-land on Titan, where they soon encounter the Guardians. But in the deleted scene, we actually see what the Guardians were up to when Nebula sent that message to them.
First, we find Quill, Drax and Mantis aboard their ship, the Benatar, where Quill is listening to Kiss’s “New York Groove” and feeling sorry for himself. Drax storms in and turns off the song, trying to shake Quill out of his funk, prompting Peter to insist he’s trying to get his groove back, “specifically a New York groove.” Drax tells Quill the song’s singer, Ace Frehley, is a degenerate — and then points out that the ship still hasn’t even left Knowhere yet. Cut to a very funny exterior shot of the Benatar sitting on a landing pad, surrounded by the still-smoldering devastation caused when Thanos destroyed Knowhere.
As Quill and Drax fight over who should have killed whom to stop Thanos, Mantis pipes in, saying that she’d kill both of them if it would make the strange yellow light that’s mesmerizing her go away. Quill stalks over and finds that the yellow light is the indicator for when the ship has received a super secret important coded message. Quill blames Drax, whose job it is to keep an eye on the coded message light.
“You said if it’s yellow, let it mellow — if it’s brown, flush it down,” Drax insists. “Those were your orders!”
Quill quickly starts looking through the 23 messages, realizing they’re from Nebula and that she’s told them to head for Titan — something he wishes he’d known five hours ago, while he was sitting listening to Kiss.
As Quill starts to track down the coordinates, he asks Mantis to confirm that Nebula was the person who sent the messages.
“Tell Quill not lose my sister a second time or I’ll sew his face to his genitals,” Mantis replies, reading one message.
“That’s her,” Quill confirms. “She’s always wanted to sew my face to my genitals.”
The scene isn’t strictly necessary of course. The final cut of “Infinity War” is an extremely well-oiled and well-plotted machine. And we’ll concede that just seeing Nebula send her message is enough to show the audience that the Guardians have a reason to head to Titan. Plus, Drax’s excellent “Why is Gamora” line is laughs aplenty.
But Drax and Quill’s argument is not only a great moment in its own right, it also further establishes the Guardians’ investment in what happens later. Yes, nerds, Peter did in fact act extremely in-character and in a way justified by the events of the film when his later freak out inadvertently helps Thanos win. But the scene further establishes just why he was so off his game.
Beyond that though, it’s just hilarious, and it’d be worth releasing an extended version of “Infinity War” just to put the scene back in — if only to give us an additional big laugh before Thanos snaps his fingers.