Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review

The are back with a brand new adventure. ’s newest team of misfits takes to space bringing us all for the ride. This is probably the perfect summer film; it is a sequel, it is based on an existing IP, it has lots of jokes and also as some issues. This film has kicked summer off with a bang and a wham. Marvel has done it again with its latest film; it takes the audience on a fun ride reminding us why we love these characters.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 see our favorite band of misfits on a new adventure. While the last film focuses on them coming together, this looks at characters that we know from before. Star Lord (Chris Pratt) reprises his role as the leader of the team. Star Lord meets with his father, a mystery audiences and fans have been discussing since the first film. His dad, a living planet named Ego (Kurt Russell), brings him to, well, I guess himself and shares with Star Lord his past. The Ravengers, a group of space pirates led by Yondu (Michael Rooker), are hunting the Guardians. The Soverign, a new race of beings, are trying to kill the Guardians for stealing precious batteries. However, their greatest threat is still looming.

The jokes and quips are a lot fun and man are there a lot of them. This film focuses on the relationships between the team and explores what it means to have a family (no this is not just Fast and Furious in space). Drax (Dave Bautista) provides the most comic relief and, while we don’t learn more about his backstory, we learn what kind of character he is. He is a sweet, innocent character with a direct idea of how the world should function, even if that leads to incorrect behaviors and actions. Also, his chemistry with Mantis (Pom Klementieff) is some of the best in the film. They are such a great couple together and hears melt every time they interact, even if it seems that Drax is being a mean bully. Rocket (Bradley Cooper) turns in a great performance as we learn why he is the way he his. Rocket has some of the most touching moments in Guardians, and has scenes with Yondu that absolutely tug at the heartstrings.

Some of the best moments come from interactions of the characters. Star Lord and Rocket, Rocket and Yondu, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan). They bring out the best out of each other and we begin to understand, sympathize and continue to like the characters because of their flaws. Star Lord believes that being with his dad will fill the hole in his life even if it means abandoning his real family. Gamora and Nebula share their perspectives and experiences from being raised by the Mad Titan Thanos. Yondu and Rocket push each everyone in their life away to avoid growing close. It is their faults that we like these characters, not despite off. We all have family issues, we all have pasts that affect how we feel about people we care about. We also learn, through experiences, who we can lean on in tough times. Guardians of the Galaxy presents this in a very tactful and fun way.

This is a visually beautiful film. The bright colors, the planet of Ego and also the space battles are all very done. However, this film doesn’t simply rely on CGI. There are plenty of practical effects and set pieces that really bring this world to light.

Also, I know Easter was a month ago but the eggs around this film are everywhere. It was like the Easter Bunny decided to skip the holiday this year and put all his eggs in the Marvel basket. Even for a huge nerd like myself I missed out on so many characters, and hints. James Gunn clearly wants to build a world by showing stuff to us and not telling us. That is a huge strength of this film. Just like the world building in the first, the second has created even more of it through the art of showing. Gunn went up to the front of the class, threw his toys everywhere and expected the class to figure out what he was telling us. It was a lot of fun.

So, now onto some of the parts that were not as strong. While the quips and jokes are fun, there are sometimes too many and it takes away from the tension that is being built. I usually forget that they were in any real danger.

I’ve seen this film 3 times and I keep realizing some other parts that are great. The use of music. Guardians has been linked to its soundtrack because of how well it is incorporated into the first film. I would say that the second film did an even better job than the first. The use of Brandy, though sometimes too on the cheek, was still used brilliantly. I get excited and goosebumps when Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain is played at the climax of the film. It really encompasses the feeling of the audience. There opening song when Groot (Vin Diesel) dances brings us into the tone and joy of the film. When Yondu and Rocket escape the song accompanying that is weirdly poignant and fun and upbeat (while they were massacring an entire crew). There are so many great examples of the use of the soundtrack I can’t get to all of it.

Then there was the score. I was very, very excited to hear the theme from the first film. It was used throughout which is what you want from a film score; you want a handful of themes that are heard in the film. The Guardians theme was used prominently in the movie and it shows what has changed since Kevin Feige was given free reigns over Marvel Studios’ films. He pays the composers money; remember how the Avenger’s theme by Alvin Silvestri wasn’t used in Age of Ultron? Okay, maybe you don’t remember but part of that is because Marvel did not want to pay composers to continue using themes (such as the themes for Thor, Captain America and Iron Man). Now? The Guardians theme is used at least 3 times in the movie at various points.

In my mind, I’m hoping that before we see the Guardians and Avengers meet up on screen next spring, the Guardians theme plays and we see them flying in with a smart Rocket quip.

Another problem: Baby Groot did not steal the show for me.  I was saying that Baby Groot’s cuteness could bring about world peace.  However, I never felt like Baby Groot had enough moments.  Sure, he was shown and featured in a couple of scenes but I never felt like Groot really stole the scenes he was in.  With that said, Groot was still cute and Disney can have all the money if they have

But this film is fun. It is just a lot of fun. However there are issues with the plot and the jokes take away from the story being told. But this is a really good film and is on the MCU’s second tier sitting with Doctor Strange, Ant-Man and Captain America: The First Avenger. However, there are some problems with it; there are some great and tender moments that are interrupted by a joke. Also, not all of the jokes hit and sometimes they get old on the third viewing. The jokes took away from moments; there were about three moments that displayed Nebula as a total badass but the jokes disrupted the atmosphere. This was a common occurrence.

I also felt that the plot was very weak. By the time the big reveal happened it was not very impactful.

Rating: See it in theaters!

What did you think? Did you like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? What was your favorite part about it? Comment below!

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