James Gunn’s 2014 adaptation of the comic book Guardians of the Galaxy, when people first heard of it, left some wondering at first, how this would even work as a bankable movie, and then falling in love with these ragtag misfits, and wanting more of them.
Hence, in the years since then we’ve had a resurgence of them in both comics, (nearly every one of them has had or has a solo book published about them by now) or even their own tv shows (at present time there is or will be soon cartoon series for both the Guardians as a whole as well as a Rocket and Groot show.) So by now we’re all primed and excited for this next volume of Guardians fun.
Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 picks up a few months after the first adventure, placing this before the later movies in the MCU. The team has been hired by the Church of the Sovreign, a race of gold skinned perfectionists led by Ayesha (Elizabeth Debecki-The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) in order to protect their valuable batteries in exchange for custody of Gamora’s (Zoe Saldana) adopted sister Nebula (Karen Gillan-Doctor Who)
Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper) being Rocket, he steals some of these batteries which leads the entire race to chase them across the galaxy using their video game controlled spaceships.
After a space battle which crashes the ship, the team meets Mantis (Pom Klementieff-Oldboy) and Ego, a planet in human form played by Kurt Russell, who happens to be Peter’s father.
From here, the team splits up, with Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora, and Drax going with Ego, and Rocket and Baby Groot (voice of Vin Diesel) staying behind to watch Nebula and fix the ship.
Also, in amongst both of these stories is the subplot with Yondu (Michael Rooker-Mallrats) having to deal with his failure as a Ravager, brought on by an encounter with his former ally Stakar (Sylvester Stallone) , and a mutiny by one of his crew, the unfortunately named Tazerface (Chris Sullivan-This Is Us)
And then from here all the various stories all tie in together and come together to build towards a galaxy saving climax with a great soundtrack.
I loved the first movie, but this second one has even more heart, laughs, and action. It’s one of the best Marvel sequels since Captain America:The Winter Soldier.
You can really feel that the cast has grown together since the first movie, and the family aspect feels real. Bradley Cooper as Rocket steals the show once again, and I loved his arc throughout the movie. In fact, most everybody gets some character development throughout this film, so that coming out of it, change has happened to these characters. And that is what you really want in a good sequel, not just another story with characters you like, but to have them develop and evolve.
The visual pallete of this film is simply astonishing as well, I can’t think of a movie where I was just so transported by the colors alone. Go see this one in IMAX 3D while you can to fully get the full experience of this. James Gunn and company created a visual masterpiece with this movie.
Parents be warned there is some language in this movie, but nothing that out of the ordinary that your kids don’t hear at school (nipple jokes, a penis joke, being a dick is the worst of it) But if you don’t want them hearing any of this, then best bet is to wait til they’re older.
Kurt Russell as Ego is one of the better potentially antagonistic characters that Marvel has put into a movie yet, his range throughout the film, is amazing, and the anti aging cgi they use on him at the start of the film is awesome, Disney knows how to make people young again , convincingly, on film.
The script, also written by James Gunn is one of the better stories that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has told in a while. It’s a tale of family, of fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, while still managing to be a fun ride of a summer action movie.
If you’re a film buff you can also spot some influences on Gunn in certain set pieces of the film. There’s homages to Empire Strikes Back, North By Northwest, just to name a few I caught on this first viewing.
And of course, the soundtrack is amazing as last time. Some great choice cuts from ELO, to Fleetwood Mac and “Brandy” by Looking Glass plays its most important role in a movie ever, complete with a dramatic reading of its chorus by Kurt Russell.
There are a few flaws in the movie, a joke about unripe fruit that goes on a bit too long and falls flat , and one part near the end that breaks the rules established in the first movie involving how long one can survive in space that is only set up so a character can make a grand gesture of sacrifice.
But overall this is a movie to see on the big screen, with your friends, with your family, by yourself if need be.
Guardians of The Galaxy vol. 2 : A-
Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 is in theaters now.