We Review Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Summarizing the plot of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in one breath is no easy task, but I’ll do my best. Star Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) has found his father, Ego (Kurt Russell). Ego is a living planet in human form with big plans for his son.

Drax (Dave Bautista) develops a relationship with Ego’s assistant Mantis (Pom Klementieff). Having finally captured her, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) also has to work out her differences with her sister Nebula (Karen Gillan).

Meanwhile, Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) is being hunted by space bounty hunters after stealing valuable batteries. Starting out as adversaries, Rocket and Baby Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel) end up building an alliance with Yondu (Michael Rooker).

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is one of those sequels that is more of the same… but in a good way. Like the first film, this sequel balances laugh out loud funny moments with exciting action scenes.

Scenes such as the opening and the final battle demonstrate this film’s ability to blend exciting action and funny moments at the same time.

Like a lot of Marvel movies, the humor sometimes left me feeling like I was poked in the ribs a little too often, but I was laughing loud more often than not. Besides, there were no jokes that really irked me or rubbed me the wrong way. So that’s a positive.

Focusing on what’s new, the team is separated for much of the film.

This is both a positive and a negative. The negative is the group chemistry is only present in a few scenes. The good news is the characters all have their moments to shine, without just taking turns saying lines.

Drax, Rocket and Baby Groot have some of the funniest moments in the movie (and probably the funniest moments I’ve seen in any movie this year). Drax’s relationship with Mantis combines tender moments with Drax’s social ineptitude.

Anybody who followed Batista in WWE will probably find Drax’s antics particularly funny.

Star Lord’s relationship with his father is also a good-news, bad news situation. For starters, some of the ideas presented with Ego being a living, humanoid planet are intriguing, almost provocative. Also, Kurt Russell is as charismatic as ever.

What I don’t like is the relationship between Star Lord and his father feel like it comes out of a zillion other movies and TV shows.

Worst of all, without giving too much away, there is a third act twist that is a little derivative. This really doesn’t feel that different from stuff we’ve seen in Aladdin and the King of Thieves or even The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

For what it’s worth, the film does succeed in dramatic character building elements in the sub-plots about Yondu and Nebula. It is refreshing to see different faces of these characters’ personalities and learn how they tick.

Another problem with Star Lord’s relationship with his father is he spends a lot less of the film being funny or cool. Part of the problem is that because he’s part of an ensemble, Star Lord has proportionately less screen time. Since we see less of him, that means much of his role is taken up by moping.

Chris Pratt compared his performace to a combination of Han Solo and Marty McFly. Imagine watching one of those characters without their trademark swagger for half the film. We still see Star Lord’s trademark cool, but it feels like we see less of it.

Also worth mentioning are the visuals. Most of the shots on Ego’s world are breathtaking, but there are many shots that are good enough to frame on a wall. This is a film worth seeing in 3D.

I also recommend sitting through the credits.

For most Marvel movies, that’s become standard, but James Gunn and company made some funny credits worth sitting through including funny songs, funny scenes and one of Stan Lee’s best cameos.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a step-down from its predecessor and flawed in a few ways. However, it succeeds in all the right places.

The Good
  • - Genuninely Funny Moments throughout - Exciting action scenes - Kurt Russell is entertaining - Every major character has moments to shine - More development for villains of first film
The Bad
  • - Star Lord has less swagger, more drama - Main characters are seperated too often - Ego's story feels derivative

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