Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is now in theaters and it hopes to rival the original on all fronts. For most part it does, while in others it fell a bit short. One thing is for sure and that’s the fact that James Gunn knows how to smack your emotions in the face, even if he’s directing a comic book film about fantastical characters. The ending will bring oh so many tears, but that’s just a sign that Gunn, his cast, and his crew did something very right.
You can check out the full review below via the embedded video. If you prefer to read I’ve pasted the script beneath it.
Hey now fans of the Marvel, Matt Heywood here from EntertainmentBuddha.com to review Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, or what’s better known as the galaxy’s latest rock opera.
No seriously, Gunn can pick some tracks.
There will be no spoilers about the main plot, so you can proceed with confidence.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has once again showed off the talents of one James Gunn, who not only wrote another highly emotional climax for a comic book movie, but also provided some of the funniest dialogue I’ve had the pleasure to hear in any Marvel movie thanks to the unique personalities of the Guardians.
That’s really what this sequel is about. The Guardians and their relationships with each other, which we find out aren’t so stable early on in the film. The conversations, digs, and fights that the main cast have are what really make this movie, because its big bad and the plot that surrounds his/her plans for galactic domination never really felt that thrilling.
Like I mentioned though I didn’t find that aspect of this film to be a major issue, because the core focus of this movie is still all about the Guardians themselves and how they’ve become a family, albeit one that seemingly hates each other, since the first film’s ending.
At times their conversations border on roasts, which is why you’ll definitely be laughing out loud with your fellow theater attendees more often than not. Drax easily steals the show thanks to his cutting remarks, which are more of a result of his insistence for taking everything at face value, which results in a brutal level of honesty. Dave Bautista just excelled at bringing this character to life once again, and he’s easily one of the funnier characters even though half the time he’s not trying to be funny.
Rocket also provides a few laughs, but he’s also a source of contention for the team, which plays into the plot’s focus on family and how at times we may hate them, but when it counts they’re all that we have. He definitely learns the biggest lesson and has more growth as a character than any of the other Guardians.
Star Lord and Gamora also have interesting parts to play in this sequel, and of course their unspoken love for each other highlights their scenes together and makes for a few sweet moments.
Gamora and Nebula have a plot thread throughout this film as well, which offers up some great action moments, but again has a message on the importance of family regardless of how they may have treated each other in the past. It’s an interesting dynamic these two have, so while at times Nebula doesn’t really seem to fit with the tone that the Guardians set forth, she offers up doses of reality for them, which they do need at times.
I have to also say that Yondu has more than a few surprises in store for the sequel, as Rooker’s character is given much more spotlight than I could’ve guessed, and his journey from the beginning of the movie until its punch you in the gut climax is probably the most special aspect of Volume 2’s narrative. Just prepare to weep as much, if not a bit more than during Groot’s touching gesture at the end of the original.
Speaking of Groot, how could I not mention Baby Groot’s performance. Outside of the CG model looking almost too cute, Baby Groot is another show stealer and a comedic character without trying to be one. The writing team really did a great job with this little twig, and he just gives the cast so many opportunities to be funny while dealing with his adolescent attitude and inability to follow directions.
Now in terms of Kurt Russell’s Ego he definitely brought his A-game to the roll and crafted an interesting character. I found by having him we were able to get a better grasp of Peter Quill’s heritage, and why things went down the way they did with Yondu after he stole him from Earth. This character goes in a direction I didn’t really see coming, but with that being said I’m not sure if I appreciated the direction in the end. Something just didn’t feel right about where this character ends up, and while I have no deep knowledge of Ego’s comic book roots, I just didn’t buy what this film was selling. I can’t really go into it any deeper due to spoilers, but I never felt like any of the cast was in peril.
In terms of visuals and sound design Guardians 2 is near flawless. The visual palette is truly out of this world and definitely evoked a sense of being galactic in nature. I’m not sure what that even means, but it sounded good, and sorta makes sense in terms of the bright and vibrant tones Gunn used in the film, as well as the amazing special effects. I have to also say that this movie looks fantastic in 3D, which played well with its sci-fi space movie settings and events.
The score once again doesn’t disappoint if you’re a fan of real music and the 70’s and 80’s. It really does feel like a rock opera at times, and the only thing missing is the cast breaking out into song, which I’m fine without. I just loved how Gunn mashed certain songs with certain scenes, which always resulted in some sort of emotional payoff.
While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as a whole feels a bit less awesome than the original, it’s still a fantastic MCU film, and easily one of my personal favorites now. It really shines with its witty dialogue and rag tag cast, who do indeed feel like a family of misfits, albeit ones who have deep love for each other even though on the outside it appears as if they have no regard for each other’s feelings and emotional needs. It’s ending is also one of the most emotionally charged out of any MCU film, which just goes to show you that James Gunn and his cast and crew know how to develop characters and their relationships with each other to the point where they can make grown men weap for extended periods of time. I’m okay with that, geeky movies can be dramatic if done right, and so far the GOTG franchise has excelled at doing that better than any other film in the now massive MCU.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 earns a well deserved 90/100 review score from your friends at EB. You definitely need to see it in theaters to fully appreciate its spectacle, and if you like 3D I highly recommend opting for it, because it works well with Gunn’s cinematography and visual style.
Thanks for watching, Matt Heywood signing off for EntertainmentBuddha.com, where we make people better geeks, one post at a time.
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