Baby Groot is everything. Baby Groot is perfect. And in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, Baby Groot stars in a scene that I literally had to watch through my hands. It was so not OK. I may have cried a little. Spoilers for Guardians 2 will follow, obviously. After watching the hulking, Vin Diesel-voiced tree Guardian fall in Vol. 1, only to be resurrected as the tiniest, cutest, dancing treelet in the history of film and television (still voiced by Diesel, oddly enough), Marvel fans are probably more than a little stoked to see what the slightly bigger treelet is up to in Vol. 2.
And for the most part, the lil' guy delivers exactly what we all wanted: Salty-as-hell dialog, made Disney-friendly by the fact that he only ever actually says the words "I am Groot;" adorably dumb fumbles that shouldn't be funny but had an entire room of critics failing to stifle their laughter; and of course, just doing things while tiny — a Baby Groot speciality.
Then comes The Scene.
Things quickly go sideways for Rocket & Groot when they're left alone to defend themselves while Peter, Gamora, and Drax ride off into the sunset with Peter's father, Ego. They end up in the clutches of mutinous Ravagers, who've chucked Yondu's leadership and all of his supporters into space. Rocket and Yondu are in a dank cell, trying to figure out their two-person Scooby gang will get out of this jam (the jam being that, in the morning, they'll likely be shot out into space to freeze to death like the other victims of the mutiny). Baby Groot, however, is deemed "to cute to kill" and the villains send him to the tailor to be outfitted with a tiny Ravager suit, only to use him as a little plaything for their evening amusement.
Then, they literally torture America's sweetheart.
They stomp near him, slap him around, and pour entire bottles of beer on his tiny, little distraught face, cackling with madman-like delight the whole time. Groot eventually emerges, soaking wet and squeaking around the ship, visibly devastated and humiliated. Sure, the whole thing was meant to show how terrible the Ravagers are and make him this sorry, little cute thing we can all say "aww, poor thing" over, but it was frankly too much. The scene was seriously dark, especially considering this thing is literally treated like an actual baby by his weird Guardians family (Drax can be seen burping him and rocking him to sleep like a human baby when the film ends).
And while the world of GOTG is this rough and tumble realm where things are majorly f*cked up and bad guys are smashed violently in their faces to classic rock soundtracks, these movies are ultimately supposed to be just a whole lot of fun. The rest of the movie, for all its weirdness, was exactly that: a splashy, goofy, over-the-top blockbuster romp.
But you know what would have been really fun? Enjoying it all without some random henchman mercilessly torturing the world's most treasured tiny tree in the middle of it all.