Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Saving the Galaxy Once More

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy was an unexpected hit in 2014, not necessarily for Marvel Studios itself but for the audience and fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The fantasy superhero team-up movie was seen as somewhat of a risk for the studio by critics after putting out projects based on more well-known characters such as Captain America or Iron Man. What followed was one of the most entertaining films in Marvel’s schedule and a new favourite for many that were invested in this universe Marvel has crafted on the big screen. Three years later, director James Gunn returns to helm a less risky but similarly ambitious follow-up about the ragtag set of heroes.

Guardians of the Galaxy was a fun, entertaining, amusing ride and the sequel very much offers more of the same. If you were expecting this film to reinvent the wheel or shake up the Marvel universe then you might be disappointed. Despite not breaking new ground Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 contains strong action and spectacle, a great soundtrack played over said action and plenty of humour and wit. Like last time, Groot steals the show in most of his scenes now in his baby form after the events of the first film. This leads to some adorable moments in the movie given the character’s slow and unintelligent understanding of others and it makes sense that the writers chose to give him even more of these little moments as he is the character that grabbed people’s attention the most.

Guardians of the Galaxy

The plot of the film centres around Peter Quill’s parentage and quickly introduces Star-Lord’s father, Ego played by Kurt Russell. Most of the film takes place on Ego’s planet where Quill’s father has resided for many years and the gang discover more about why Peter’s father has been absent for so many years but there is more to his character than it seems. Chris Pratt does a good job with slightly heavier material but his arc through the film from apathetic to loyal son moves a little too fast and it would have been cool to see more moments between father and son sprinkled throughout the film. By the end of the film though, Quill has been on quite the emotional journey and his character has grown because of it. Ultimately, the story isn’t as coherent as the first film and although there is another threat to the galaxy that the guardians must face its much more nebulous and out there than the Infinity Gem.

Part of the fun of the first film was seeing all the characters meet each other for the first time and interact with one another. As a result, the sequel suffers from the law of diminishing returns a little but it also allows James Gunn and the writers to delve straight into the action from the outset which is to the film’s credit. Everyone gets their moment in this film whether it’s Peter and his dad, Gamora and her sister, Rocket being uncomfortable as a hero or Drax’s quiet reflection on his daughter. These are small moments in the film but some of the most powerful as it importantly explores the humanity of these characters rather than portraying them as cartoonish one liners and jokes. Yondu in particular gets a lot of spotlight in this film as we learn more about his past and his connection to Quill with Michael Rooker doing a fantastic job of adding layers to the gruff Ravager.

Guardians of the Galaxy

The action and spectacle are once again very good, the film’s aesthetic is still strong giving off a Star Wars-esque vibe although we don’t see quite as many locales in this entry. New additions to the cast such as Mantis are fun and Nebula is almost a new character in this as Karen Gillan gets much more screen time and benefits from it as we learn a bit more about her traumatic relationship with her sister. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 makes some fairly big changes for the team by the end of the film’s running time and it will be exciting to see the group meet and interact with some of Earth’s heroes in the next Avengers film.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 lacks the punch that the first film had when it so fantastically introduced us to a new part of the Marvel cinematic universe and a new group of heroes to be entertained by. Despite a weaker story, the film is another fantastic example of James Gunn’s imaginative direction, decent performances from all the cast, especially Michael Rooker and the action and spectacle you’d expect from a Marvel film.

You can check here for more on Marvel including reviews of past films to read.

What did you think of the film? Did it better its predecessor?

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