Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) – Review

Director: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, Kurt Russell

*SPOILER FREE*

The Overview
Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. (Source: IMDb

The Good

Back in 2014 you might’ve been a little “Guardians of the Who?” when you saw the announcement for latest film in Marvel Studios impressive cannon of superhero smash-hit blockbusters, but fast forward 3 years, and the Guardians themselves – and the actors that play them – are now household names. Where the first film had the potential to slip under the radar, there was no such luck for this film as expectations were especially high after the first film’s success. 

So the big question, does it live up to the expectations? The answer is a resounding yes! But is it better than the first movie? Not quite, but that’s absolutely no reason to panic! 

There was something undeniably charming about this ragtag band of misfits in the first movie that distinguished them from Marvel’s other superhero super-team The Avengers. With an amazing soundtrack, a heavy dose of humour, and characters which seem ridiculous on paper, the Guardians were easily able to tap into that all important notion; that superhero movies can and should be fun. 

Vol. 2 is undeniably and unashamedly fun, and you’ll find yourself grinning from ear to ear throughout. It’s a non-stop juggernaut of joy that embraces its zaniness, yet never compromises the plot, characters or themes. 

Where the first film had to do the establishment and development of the team and characters, this time we’re thrown straight back into the action with an opening credit sequence that is nothing short of genius thanks to an inspired song choice and everyone’s favourite tree-alien, Baby Groot! 

Baby Groot is an absolute scene-stealer, even more so than the first film, and what he lacks in vocabulary and stature, he more than makes up for in cuteness! The characters feel established and well fleshed out this time around, and each of the main players has their “moment” so to speak. Whilst the plot may focus on Quill’s parentage, the other Guardians are never pushed to the background which is commendable. The new characters slot in incredibly easily and immediately feel like they belong in the gang. Without spoilers, Kurt Russell is an incredibly welcome addition to the cast, as Quill’s father, Ego the Living Planet. Always a joy to watch on screen, Russell brings tremendous gravitas to this now familiar cast, and the story arc involving him and his son is expertly executed. 

Something of a background character in the first film, Michael Rooker’s Yondu was easily my favourite character in this film, and again avoiding spoilers, but where this character ends up is wonderful and surprising in equal measure. 

It is quite simply a joy to spend time with these characters, and as the credits begin to roll, you’ll find yourself wishing you could spend more time with them. Luckily for you there are five, count them, FIVE post-credit scenes, so do stick around right to the very end. 

The effects as always are incredible, but this film really feels like it is upping the ante, and far from just being cool space battles and explosions, there’s some really beautiful shots and imagery. The use of colour in particular is magnificent; I don’t want to be petty and say take notice DC, but yes, take notice DC!

Few films soundtracks will create as much buzz as a Guardians one, and the Vol. 2 soundtrack is rocking! Perhaps not as initially memorable as the first film’s, but it is expertly and intricately woven into the storyline itself this time around, further cementing it as an important character in its own right. 

The Bad
Hate to be the Marvel fangirl here, but I really cannot fault this film. I absolutely loved it and had an amazing time with these characters in this world! 

The Verdict
I saw this movie and you should too. Bigger, brighter, funnier, louder, and more outrageous than the first movie, Vol. 2 is the sequel we all wanted! It ticks all the boxes but also surpasses expectations in the most wonderful way possible. Constantly surprising, always funny, and with a surprising amount of heart, it is a delight from start to finish. It is mostly fun and space adventures but there’s some genuine moments of pathos, particularly around family relationships, which was wonderful to watch. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is simply out of this world, and an unmissable treat for fans. Hooked on a feeling? Oh absolutely!

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