Review: ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2’ Isn’t Perfect But Has A Lot Of Heart
Title: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Director:Summary: 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.
The fact that Guardians of the Galaxy worked as well as it did is nothing short of a miracle. The fact that it is one of the most approachable Marvel movie is downright astounding. There are people that have never heard of Guardians of the Galaxy that now love the once obscure Marvel properties. Of all the Marvel properties to hit big with the “civilian” audience there is not a person alive that could have predicted Guardians of the Galaxy would be it. Yet here we are in a world where people all over the world knowing who Groot and Drax the Destroyer is. So it wasn’t surprising that the stakes for the sequel were very, very high but if there was anyone who could pull it off it was James Gunn.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 might not be as good as the first one but it is a solid sequel with a huge heart.
The surprising heart of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is while the first one was very much about a team coming together this is about a team accepting that they have become family. Peter (Chris Pratt) doesn’t know who is father is and his mother is dead, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) is the last of her kind and has no relationship with her adoptive sister Nebula (Karen Gillian), Drax (Dave Bautista) has lost his wife and daughter, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) never had a family and we don’t know Groot’s (voiced by Vin Diesel) origins but by being reborn he is literally the baby of the group. All of these characters go through various journeys throughout the movie that end with all of them realizing that they are a family despite not being blood related. The concept of the “found family” is one of my favorite tropes and to see it play out so well is fantastic.
It helps that the entire cast is bringing their A game but standouts are the side characters. Yondu (Michael Rooker) is given a much larger role in this movie and the standout moments for him toward the end are heartbreaking and probably some of the best work Rooker has done in years. Kraglin (Sean Gunn) is also given a much larger role and proves that he can do comedy but he can also handle drama. If he wants to hang with the Guardians for the confirmed third movie that’s fine by us. One of our villains Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), manages to perfectly embody a character that truly thinks she is better than everyone else. Mantis (Pom Klementieff) is welcome addition to the cast and her platonic relationship with Drax is one of the best parts of the movie. Nebula is also given much more to do and while going into how good Ego (Kurt Russell) is…well, let’s just say there is a reason they hired him.
It’s not all good, though. Some of the jokes don’t always land, and while Baby Groot is so cute there is still a small reminder in the back of your head that the only reason he is here is because he can sell a ton of toys. The ending, not to get into spoilers, falls apart in a small way by taking what was once a very personal story and making it about saving the galaxy, the irony being that despite the stakes getting bigger I was less invested in the movie. The pacing is also a little off with the second act feeling particularly long despite it only being ten minutes or so longer than the first. However, these are mostly nitpicks and there isn’t anything there that’s a dealbreaker.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 isn’t perfect but Marvel doesn’t have the best track record with direct sequels (Captain America: The Winter Soldier being the exception) so this is another great entry in the Marvel universe. The quiet, family moments are the highlights and seeing the various Guardians interact with Baby Groot is just adorable.
Also, stay through the credits because there are five different scenes all the way to the end this time.