Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 review
I’ll admit that the Guardians of the Galaxy from 2014 was and still is one of the best summer blockbusters I’ve seen in years. Director James Gunn took a big gamble on adapting a Marvel comic that few people knew about, and made a movie that could only be described as “fun”. Like a lot of the best comedies, Guardians of the Galaxy seem to be an accidental masterpiece where each actor was casted correctly and that their delivery of a good script was spot on. The movie represents the kind of space opera that gave me a spectacle that I had not seen sense Star Wars (yes, even over the new ones).
As much as I’ve wanted to see a sequel, I also couldn’t shake the feeling that it was going to suffer the curse that Marvel has on their subsequent follow-ups (except Captain America). Neither Iron Man, Thor and even The Avengers could outdo the originals. A lot of that has to do with the fact that while the situations become larger, the characters don’t evolve. A sequel needs to bring the character into a new area that will help them grow as people. Let’s see if Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 can do so for our space heroes.
Since the events of the last movie, Peter “Star Lord” Quill (played by Chris Pratt), Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana), Rocket (played by Bradley Cooper), Drax (played by Dave Bautista) and Baby Groot (played by Vin Diesel) have become something of a renegade-for-hire team whenever needed. They defeat an inter dimensional monster for the Sovereign race of gold people in exchange for Gamora’s half sister Nebula. Things go well until they leave and Rocket reveals that he took some valuable batteries from the people. A drone army attempts to destroy the Guardians but an unknown ship fends them off and leads them to a planet.
While the crew examines the damage to their ship, the person that helped them reveals himself to be Peter’s father, Ego (played by Kurt Russell). He talks about how he’s been searching for his son when he was never returned. Ego takes Peter, Gamora and Drax to his heaven-like world while Rocket and Groot fix the ship and guard Nebula. Meanwhile, the gold people hire Yondu (played by Michael Rooker) to catch the Guardians in retaliation from before. Though Peter is overjoyed to finally find his father, Gamora gets an uncertain feeling about the world, but can’t quite put her finger on it.
I can say that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues it’s goofy, space fun while giving us an emotional connection with our heroes. The movie has it’s fair share of battles and fights (this is the kind of movie where we see Pac-Man and an arrow kill hundreds of people), this is a sequel that does the job of taking our heroes to the next emotional step. Each one goes through an arc, though the majority of the story is on Peter and his father/son relationships with Ego and Yondu.
What might disappoint some fans of the last movie is that the story is almost set on Ego’s planet. The action does feel larger, so the movie has the distinction being both bigger and smaller then before. Some people may see that as a rip off, though I felt the jokes and story kept things interesting. If anything, the biggest problem is the final battle which does go on a little too long. Perhaps if they cut ten minutes, you may have a perfect sequel on par with The Empire Strikes Back or Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Even the ending seems to be a nod to Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Kahn.
I’ll give this four and a half Sony Walkman cassette players out of five. Guardian fans should get plenty to digest with this sequel. It’s a fun time at the movies and recommend that you catch it on the big screen. Kids and adults should be walking out of the theater with the same fun spirit that Starlord has. This sequel is an awesome mix.