Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: more expansive, comedic and ridiculous at times… but it works.

The return of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), [Baby] Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper), among others, is a welcome one; it has been too long since the Guardians’ last venture on our screens.

If the first film was about bringing this group of A-holes together, writes James Hewitt, then convention dictates that the sequel should be about forcing them apart. But Gunn is clearly uninterested in what he should do and so this is actually a film about the group realising that, despite their huge differences, they function best as the universe’s most dysfunctional family.

And that’s why we love them.

Insert edgy black and white band photo here.

The Plot:

In Vol. 2, the Guardians’ are called upon to save the galaxy… again. All while running for their lives from an alien race called The Sovereign. When they receive help from an unexpected source: Ego, The Living Planet, an ancient being who claims to be Peter’s long-lost father, the rag-tag Guardians of the Galaxy must do what they do best.

Writer/Director James Gunn, as quirky and witty as the Guardians themselves, has created a fine sequel with Vol. 2. It goes without saying that following on from its predecessor was no simple task but, surprisingly, the sequel has triumphed where many others in the MCU have not.

Vol. 2 is a lot more self-aware with its exposition of characters and dialogue. The Guardians’ bickering and playful banter is perfectly executed throughout the film. So much so that I can only imagine how awesome being on this set would be.

Sound to good to be true? Probably is.

Kurt Russell’s introduction as Ego is well executed. He’s a believable match for Star-Lord’s father and fits in well with the plot. His name is fitting, however. On a side-note, you have to check out the brilliance of the makeup effects used to make Kurt appear younger – it’s literally out of this world (kudos to the makeup department).

I’d argue that it’s Baby Groot steals the show in Vol. 2. … an awful lot. Perhaps too much, but I’m not complaining – he’s absolutely adorable. Quill’s crew act as a team of co-parents and its genuinely hilarious.

Moral of the Scene: Don’t put Baby Groot in charge of detonation.

Drax’s unfiltered and unintentional insults are on-point this time around, too. Even Nebula (Karen Gillan), who I did not like (for obvious reasons) the first time around is given a heart… albeit mechanical.

This is what makes Vol. 2. a worthwhile sequel: the continuation of the Guardian’s adventures may be shielded in humour, but is soon revealed to have a strong emotional core. It’s mushy in all the right places. For example, Michael Rooker’s Yondu is given the screen-time he deserves this time around. You’ll learn a lot more about his back story in Vol. 2.

During the big climactic scene in Guardians 2, writes Derek Lawrence, Yondu is floating down with his special kill stick and the always pop culture-referencing Quill notes he looks like Mary Poppins, to which the alien Yondu replies, “Is he cool?” When Quill decides to go along with the confusion, Yondu screams, “I’m Mary Poppins, y’all.”

What a hero.

The thing I was most looking forward to with this film, however, was its soundtrack. Vol. 1 was a masterpiece that will forever live in my car’s CD player; while Vol. 2 was a fine addition to Guardians’ musical repertoire, it inevitably lacked the punch of the original.

I’ll certainly not complain about its inclusion of ELO’s ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ and Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’, however.

Guardians of the Galaxy meets Empire Strikes Back.

In conclusion, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. is a fantastic film; it takes a markedly different direction to the original which I feel actually works, despite all of the criticism out there. Guardians of the Galaxy will always be a unique entry to the Marvel universe; the first of its kind.

Understandably, it’s sequel cannot imitate its initial impact. Instead, James Gunn took this eclectic legion of characters and gave them a new, pop-culture-reference-filled, adventure in a different corner of the universe.

Trust me, it’s worth a watch.

Check it out, you big turdblossom. (Quill’s words, not mine).

Thanks for reading, Earth dwellers.

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