The guardians are back! The original Guardians of the Galaxy was one of my favorite films of 2014 so I can’t wait to see them here as they head towards their appearance in The Avengers.
Synopsis: Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. (Marvel)
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and Dave Bautista
Writer: James Gunn
Director: James Gunn
Running Time: 136mins
The first Guardians of the Galaxy was definitely a nice surprise when it was originally released back in 2014. It was an excellent ensemble film, taking the MCU in a new, fresh direction and set the tone for many films afterwards. The difference between that film and this new entry, three years and a few other MCU films later, is that this did not come as much of a surprise as the original did. That’s not a slight towards this film, as despite the fact that we know what to expect this time around, this was just more of the same which isn’t a bad thing.
It wouldn’t be a Guardians of the Galaxy film without hijinks and this one was no different. These were not relevant in the grand scheme of the story although it led to the bulk of the story, involving Star Lord/Peter Quill (Pratt) finally meeting his father, the planet Ego (Kurt Russell). The first film was rather dense in terms of characterization and story, foregoing these in favor a mindless, popcorn-type film, however, this sequel went a little further in this regard by adding some more depth to the characters while not sacrificing what made the first film so fun in the first place.
The same action was there and there was perhaps less of it yet it was still well done and exciting to watch with a few sequences standing out. The same comedy was there as well with more this time around. The comedy was one of the best things about the first film yet the comedy here was even better with the majority of the comedy hitting thanks to the writing and the amazing chemistry between the actors that was even better here. Even when it didn’t work, at least there was Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) there to distract us with his cuteness. Most people will completely fall for him but it started to get old by the end.
As mentioned, this was a much deeper film on a character level which worked also because of the amazing chemistry between the actors. This film featured more of a focus on individual characters’ storylines. This made things interesting to watch, seeing these characters get fleshed out more so than in the previous film. This sometimes meant seeing them apart from one another but this made you appreciate it more when they were together.
The most important storyline was that of Quill finally meeting his father. He had obviously been searching for his father for a long time and the idea of making up for lost time and reconnecting was tempting for him. The problem with this was that it could have been one of the strongest parts of the film, however, it ended up being the weakest with their reunion and the introduction of Ego both feeling rushed. This was a big lingering plot point from the first film so it was slightly disappointing.
The first film looked great and was well shot and this film continued along those lines. It was always engaging to the eyes, full of color and the special effects were very well done. Not everyone will get the chance to see it in IMAX and/or 3D (I did) but those who do will see that it actually took advantage of each of these in a few sequences that stood out even more as a result. Also, it wouldn’t be a Guardians of the Galaxy film without the soundtrack and this one definitely did not disappoint, fitting seamlessly within the story like not many other films.
The acting was good across the board which was mostly a testament to the writing than anything else. The story had more of a focus on the individual characters and each actor was compelling with their own stories. Each character had their own moments to shine and surprisingly, they mostly came from the supporting cast instead of Pratt which was fine. New additions Russell and Pom Klementieff as Mantis stole many of the scenes, with the former succeeding with screen presence and the latter from their delivery, while the other addition, Sylvester Stallone as Stakar Ogord was barely there. The film also has 5 post-credits scenes so be sure to watch until the end.
Overall, while this film is no longer a surprise, it was more of what made the original film so fun and that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. The story may not have been all there but the chemistry between the cast just about made up for it.
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