FILM REVIEW: ‘Guardians 2’ Builds On The What The First One Did and Kicks Us In The Heart

It’s been clear since James Gunn first announced plans to write and direct the sequel to the much-beloved Guardians of The Galaxy that family would be its centric theme.

However, I never could imagine how much Guardians of The Galaxy Vol.2 would move beyond just Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and his relationship with his newly discovered father Ego (Kurt Russell), a living planet.

While that key aspect was at the center of the story’s main plot. The side plot with Yondu (Michael Rooker) was actually slightly more compelling to us. Rooker becomes the standout character of the film and his backstory is finally explored. Some of the shots on an alien outpost looked straight out of Star Wars meets Blade Runner, wishing we got to linger there for a little bit longer.

Deepening The Ravagers world made us a little more convinced Gunn’s previous championing of a spinoff isn’t so silly. I’m sure I’m not the only one but I’d love to see Marvel explore this world of bounty hunters, pirates, and thieves more in the future.

It should be noted that the sequel is more violent and dark than the previous one, something to keep in mind if bringing small children. There is much more cursing here and quite a large body count.

Where it adds to the crudeness it balances out with heart, something I don’t think a lot of people are going to be expecting as most of the Marvel films aren’t terribly filled with genuinely emotional moments. Seriously, a couple of the scenes kicked me right in the heart. You might tear up a bit.

Russell’s Ego is one of the better new additions as we don’t see enough of Sly Stallone to get an enough of a read on his character, although, there are promises he’ll be returning in the future for more films. I’ll say this, Gunn has an excellent eye for casting and can work these bizarre cosmic characters into the plot where they could be massive hurdles for other filmmakers.

Mantis (Pom Klementieff) is a very awkward character and while I wasn’t overly impressed with the performance and what she brought to the film. There’s room for improvement as it felt like she and Drax (Dave Bautista) were sort of competing for screen time.

Rocket (Bradley Cooper) was the standout this time around and while Quill had some moments, I can see why so many people are suggesting Rocket land his own solo film.

Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) played well off each other but they’re still not fully realized characters, it’s a shame because seeing them team up for a better common goal like stopping Thanos would have been more sensible. I guess we’ll have to wait for Avengers: Infinity War.

Groot was cute but nothing really of note beyond that.

The film’s villain works and even their evil plan has a pay-off we really haven’t seen too often in the Marvel films. A complaint Gunn likely heard and attempted to remedy.

I dug the new soundtrack but isn’t as bumping as the last one as much as they tried to make it work. They do open up the door for something fresher in the next film.

Of course, the film does hint and attempt to line up plenty of new characters, so don’t miss out on the after credit scenes it’s worth sticking around for.

I have to say it’s one of the more interesting and visually different MCU films to date and I can’t wait to see Guardians of The Galaxy 3. I highly recommend and I’ll be seeing it again this weekend with a crowd of fans.

8/10


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