Reviews: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2

Surpasses the First Movie

The first Guardians of the Galaxy turned a lot of heads by being nowhere near as boring as the rest of the Marvel movie franchise, which was already working its way into a rut as early as the first Avengers Movie. Since then, some executive producer somewhere realised there is a value in letting some lone weird writer/director own a weird lone story about space Racoons. And thank god, because if it wasn't for that decision and that movies' subsequent success , we wouldn't have had Doctor Strange or an upcoming Blank Panther, never-mind Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2. Well now its out and fortunately Vol 2 is more of the same, without the residual Marvel formulaic stuff holding it back.

Vol 2 has a distinctly atypical plot. The Guardians are now taking up odd jobs, and end up fugitives after stealing a stack of batteries from some golden aliens. From there it only gets stranger, transforming into something more familiar as a classic Star Trek episode than a modern sci-fi movie. But the plot is hardly the only risky thing we get to see. This must be the first Disney movie I've seen containing robot prostitutes, extended conversations about penises, and goddamn raining corpses. I'm impressed by the restraint shown by Disney's producers, who must have been gagging to strike all this family unfriendly stuff from the scripts.

What really makes Vol 2 so good is its emphasis on the characters. Chris Pratt's Star Lord is no longer the central focus of the movie, with the rest of the cast getting pretty much an equal footing. In fact, the movie spent so much time with its talking raccoon and Mohawk bandit, I almost forgot Pratt was around. It manages to juggle a whole pack of characters without ever losing any, nor getting the threads all confused.

It's also a really, really pretty film, exploding with colours, fancy costumes and lovely looking scenes. Much like Mad Max: Fury Road, I find myself wanting to turn a lot of those scenes into desktop wallpapers. Did I also mention it is very funny? There are so many moments where it catches you off guard with a super serious situation, only to find it is the set up for some elaborate visual gag.

Vol 2 is a respectably bold film with a lot of heart and a lot of laughs. It gets a full recommendation.

So let\'s talk about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

Let me first off say that I don't know where people are coming from when they say that this is just a retread of the original. Yes it's an action comedy where the characters bicker all the time, Guardians 1 didn't create that genre. And nor does this one follow the same plot beats as the first either. Hell, I'm in a minority but I thought this film blew the original out of the water in every way. To me, the original Guardians was just a more comedic version of Thor: The Dark World with the same plot structure and not much heart behind it. This though? Vol 2 takes a theme, runs with it, and does it perfectly.

In all my years of seeing superhero films, I haven't seen a movie that tackles the issue of "family" so damn well with so many different characters. At the obvious forefront is Peter Quill and his biological father Ego and surrogate, Yondu, with an action scene near the end perfectly showing the immense contrast between the two of them. But then you have Nebula, who in ONE SCENE went from feeling like she was somewhat shoehorned in and there was no easy way to wrap up her plot thread went to become one of the best Marvel characters we have. Never saw the appeal of Loki; her relationship with Gamora's way better than Loki's with Thor. It's a scene where a character surprises you in how they act, and it really fleshes them out in a way you really don't get very often in these films because when you look back it still makes 100% sense.

Hell, even Drax gets in on the family theme, since, well, he was a father. And his best scene in the film is him reminiscing about his family, saying so very little but expressing so damn much. Major props to Bautista. And he's great in the rest of the film too, with a lot of goofy wisdom that's still wisdom in its own right.

I guess I'm lucky I didn't see the trailers for this that much, considering how hard they hammered some of the jokes in like Mantis (who's also great) reading Peter's emotions. But yeah. In a way, Guardians 1 felt like a film that showed a bunch of cool people doing A Thing. Guardians 2 though, showed a bunch of cool people and went into how they actually were people.

More of Got G 1... maybe a little too much (no spoilers)

First and foremost - this is absolutely a sequel movie in every respect - all the fun, the jokes, the characters, the action, and the music that you liked in the first movie... well, you get more of it. If you liked the first movie, you'll probably like this one.

That said, however, a lot of it feels forced. Some jokes happen in arguably inappropriate times. A lot of character development happens, but most of it happens by monologues, or via short scenes that are just a little too quick to feel truly earned. Everyone gets their own sob story. There's a bunch of good action, but it mostly feels inconsequential.

That said, the primary villain is better than the average marvel villain, but I still think they didn't bring him to his full potential. 90% of the way you think the's the "good intentions but with a very different perspective" type, and then he just becomes straight up evil. Oh well, time to just blow him up.

I wish Marvel would write a villain that's interesting enough to be worth bringing back... so far, Loki is the only one.

That said, it's still a fun movie. It's visually brilliant. You get the stuff you probably wanted out of it... but a lot of it just seems crammed in there awkwardly. Maybe it was a little too much to manage.
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