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Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2 is the sequel to the popular, successful, beloved Guardians of The Galaxy from 2014. I loved that movie – must have seen it at least 8 times at the cinema, twice in one day, I recall. That’s how much I loved that movie. It worked because it had such a unique tone to it.
I can’t even begin to put into words how awesome the soundtrack is.
GOTG2 sees Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord) finally finding his father (played by Kurt Russell). The whole reasoning surrounding the abducting from Earth all those years ago is reviled. As the movie progresses, the mystery surrounding Peter’s parentage begins to unwind.
I was excited to see this, and that’s understandable because of how well executed Vol 1 (I guess I can call it that now) was. The problem with that movie being so great was that it set the bar high, far too high from this one I’m afraid.
That isn’t to say that this movie was poor or anything. It’s entertaining, I admit. To put it simply, I liked it but I didn’t love it as much as the first one.
Before I talk about the negatives, let’s begin with what I liked.
The cast were great. The chemistry is still as strong here as it was in the first one. Star-Lord, played by Chris Pratt, is more of a serious guy then the wise-cracking joker we saw in the original. He still has his moments and his verbal attacks on Rocket and Yondu had me in kicks at times. Surprisingly Yondu was great. Rocket Racoon was the standout for me in the first one, this one sees Yondu of all people as the highlight. They did some great stuff with his character. If they want to do a Yondu movie as a spinoff I would totally buy into that.
At first, I didn’t like the idea of Baby Groot. It’s such an obvious marketing gimmick for Marvel to make money off Baby Groot merchandise. I thought I was going to hate the character – but I was wrong. He’s as cute as you want him to be. He has some funny moments, especially when he’s trying to break Yondu and Rocket out of a cell but keeps on screwing up at every moment. In short, I was wrong about Baby Groot. It worked out. There’s also another version of Groot that appears later on which will no doubt work in GOTG3.
Best character without question is Drax. It’s so obvious that Dave Batista is having a lot of fun playing this character. I just love how blunt he is and how he can make himself look foolish whiles still maintaining a serious demeanour.
Kurt Russel as Star-Lord’s dad was a welcoming addition to the universe. Seeing him and Star-Lord bond was actually a great arch in the movie, although it’s pretty much 90% of the movie, but if you just look at that element alone it was a good element and Kurt Russel did a good job with it.
Also want to give credit to Pom Klementieff for her performance as Mantis. I thought she was great. She’s very naïve and childlike, and that’s illustrated in two scenes where she attempts to pet Rocket, mistaking him to be a puppy, and joining in Drax’s mocking of Star-Lord’s affections for Gamora.
There are two actors in this movie that I didn’t expect to be in. Well, three, actually, but a friend at work told me before hand. That’s all I’ll say, otherwise I’ll be drifting off into spoiler land.
Oh, there’s five post-credit scenes.
Like in the first one, this film has an awesome soundtrack. It’s one of those rare moments in cinema where the songs actually fit the scenes. The use of George Harrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord’ was perfect when you combine which characters were involved and the visuals on screen.
Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’. Excellent song. I do which that they used that guitar solo but the lyrics really made sense, especially what was happening on screen.
No doubt I’ll be adding this soundtrack to my collection.
Now for the negatives…
Volume 2 pays so much attention to character development for a lot more characters than just the Guardians, the story loses focus and a firm grip on the plot. Although the backstories given to our characters are pretty cool and interesting, it’s the way they are conveyed that makes the film lose some steam. There’s a lot of exposition and not all of it through well-written dialogue. I would’ve preferred some tight flashback scenes.
The movie was too heavily reliant on CGI. Too much CGI at times, but I guess that the times we live in nowadays when it comes to things like that. It’s here to stay whether we like it or not. I love some epic battles, but here it just felt constant to the point of nausea. Where’s the suspense if our heroes survive a score of against-the-odds fights? Yes, we all know the hero(es) must win one of those in any of these movies. But half a dozen or so? Come on, son. Even Roman Reigns will complain online about them being booked like Superman.
There’s actually one scene in particular which was obviously shot in front of a blue screen. I mean, you could see an outline on Chris Pratt! Bloody hell, it was annoying.
There are some humorous moments like I mentioned, but some of it felt forced and as if they were going all out to top the first one. Drax talking about his ‘big turds’ was cringeworthy. A scene involving duct-tape was genuinely funny, as was a scene during the big boss fight which came out of nowhere. When you do go and see this, remember the names ‘Taserface’ and ‘Mary Poppins’ – you’ll thank me later.
Bottom line – I don’t hate nor love this movie. It’s entertaining, and I do recommend it. It slightly bends under the weight of its predecessor but still manages to deliver something.
It’s a victim of its own success.
Rating: *** ½ (Aye, it’s canny)