Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is directed by James Gunn and stars the original cast from the first film and adds a couple of newcomers to Vol. 2, most notably Kurt Russell. We pick up with the Guardians a few months after the events of the 2014 movie, with the Guardians’ reputation now spread across the galaxy and Kurt Russell’s character Ego comes looking for his son Peter Quill (Chris Pratt).
It’s really difficult to catch lightning in a bottle twice, James Gunn tries to do this in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. However, Vol. 2 isn’t as amazing as the first film was, and suffers from some pacing issues and some jokes falling flat, but it still proves to be a fun time with a lot of heart (bring some tissues).
Family is a big theme in this movie and serves as its unifying plot thread. If the first Guardians of the Galaxy was about bringing the team together, this one is about testing their bond. Our team of intergalactic oddballs has evolved since we last saw them, settling into their roles and taking a group parenting approach to dealing with Baby Groot (Vin Diesel), who is more reckless and daft than ever. A pint-sized murderous force, little Groot is almost too cute to look at; an agent of chaos. Such is the state of the Guardians, not quite a cohesive unit, but undoubtedly a family. Borrowing a page from the Star Wars playbook, Gunn splits up that family in short order, sending them on far-flung adventures and putting obstacle after obstacle in their path as they try to reunite.
The film’s greatest strength is the respect and genuine interest it has for its ensemble. Gunn dives a bit deeper into the mess of emotional and psychological scars that define them, carefully making space for each character to grow over the course of a very crowded film. It helps that Vol. 2 is given a reprieve from the burden of actively advancing the larger MCU narrative in favour of homing in on this pivotal moments.
The film is also straight up about daddy issues, Quill’s arc takes centre stage when he finally meets his mysterious father, Ego, the charismatic and incredibly powerful man, played brilliantly by Kurt Russell. Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula’s (Karen Gillan) relationship gets the much-needed attention it deserves, giving both women something substantial to chew on this time around. Rocket (Bradley Cooper) continues to struggle with his grief over being created by people who never gave a damn about him. Drax (Dave Bautista), who continues to cope with the death of his family and sense of failure as a father, he develops an unexpected attachment for Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Ego’s strange, empathic companion. Finally, there’s Yondu (Michael Rooker), who is Vol. 2’s secret weapon. Yondu was the secondary antagonist in the first film, but here he joins the ranks of the world’s weirdest heroes as he comes to terms with his complicated feelings toward Quill, Rooker is extraordinary in his role, walking away with the film as the best thing in it.
It also shouldn’t be understated that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is as beautiful to look at as the first movie, with its bright and colourful setting getting some more ‘70s influences this time around, and the new Awesome Mix has some great songs that work well with the film, it isn’t as ironic but it was never going to be.
Like I said there are some pacing issues, the first and third acts are really good, but the second act is really all over the place, some jokes hit and some don’t, and when they miss they miss hard. Guys, Vol. 2 can’t quite live up to the legacy of the first film, but it’s got everything you could want from a big superhero spectacle and then some. If you came for big laughs and good tunes, you’re going to get that, plus a surprising amount of emotional poignancy you might want to bring some tissues, and once you see what Gunn has in store for the Guardians, you’ll be happy he’s already confirmed for the third film and with that being said I give Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 the recommendation of seeing it in the cinema. However, if the hype machine has you expecting the best Marvel movie yet, you would be well served to adjust your expectations accordingly.
Well that’s my two cents on the film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, please let me know what you think of the film down below and as always, I am Mr Moody and it’s been my pleasure to serve you.