Marvel has done it again. They have made me shed tears over characters with the most ridiculous names. But that was the strength of the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, emotion and pathos in the most unlikely of places, in this case two green aliens, a tree, a raccoon and a guy named Star Lord. Is GOTG Vol. 2 as good as the first one? No, but it is a truly great sci-fi adventure film with some of the strongest humor, visuals and emotions in the 10 year history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The film centers on the rag tag team of Peter Quill, also known as Star Lord, Drax, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon and the now pint sized baby Groot traveling to new planets, making new friends and enemies, all while Star Lord learns about his mysterious past. To say these characters were perfect in their roles would be an understatement, as Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper & Vin Diesel all throw themselves into their character with gusto. The supporting cast of Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, and veteran Kurt Russell provides a lot of humor and intensity to the role of Ego, Star Lord’s father. In my opinion, the true stand out is Michael Rooker, who you may remember as Merle from Walking Dead, as Yondu who by far has the best scenes and lines in the movie. Whereas in the first film, he was a tough underdeveloped character, in GOTG Vol. 2, he gets far more to do and truly succeeds at brining his version of Yondu to live with his own unique flair.
This film has some of the funniest lines of dialogue ever uttered in a Marvel film and I was audibly gasping for air several times during the viewing. However, there were one too many jokes in certain scenes, smothering the moment, leaving me wishing Marvel would have let a few scenes to be built naturally without the need for comedy.
The visuals from this film range from the grand and spectacular to the outlandish and borderline cartoonish, half the time I expected the Looney Tunes to show up. Nevertheless, it’s those moments that make GOTG Vol. 2 feel like a true blue comic book film, as it feels like it truly knows the source of material inside and out. For example, the amount of Easter eggs and hidden references in the film show the creators love their characters and the universe they come from just as much as the fans do (DC and Warner Brothers need to take some notes).
Finally, the soundtrack. If you thought there were some great tunes for the first film, the amount of catchy and epic tracks that are in this film are too many to count—the soundtrack was phenomenal.
Now, as is natural for Marvel Films, there is the traditional mid and post credit scenes, of which this film has five. Four of them are really just continuations of running gags or loose plot threads from the film, but the second to last one is a great tease for what’s to come in the future—whether it pays off in Infinity War or GOTG Vol. 3, we’ll have to wait and see, but as long as James Gunn is manning the helm I will be there opening day.
I have recommended some sweet blockbusters to all of you this past year, but I implore you go see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on the big screen and bask in its colorful, hilarious glory. It’ll make you laugh, then make you cry which is what great films should do. See you guys down the road for more reviews until then, welcome to the Guardians of the Galaxy!