Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Film Review

12a, Sci-Fi
Director: James Gunn
Screenwriters: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Micheal Rooker, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesal, Kurt Russell


Volume 2 picks up a few months after the first movie left off where, thanks to their galaxy saving fame, the Guardians are doing odd jobs protecting worlds from alien creatures. However when Rocket (Bradley Cooper) steals some batteries they were hired to protect the crew crash land on an unknown planet where they meet Ego (Kurt Russell) who reveals himself to be Star Lord’s (Chris Pratt) long lost father. Reuniting Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Drax (Dave Bautista) come with him to Ego’s home-world while the others fix their ship, with the Sovereign and Ravagers not too far away.

Following on from the original Guardians is no easy feat, especially given we’re now 15 films into the MCU and there are cracks starting to show. For instance volume 1 was great because it was less connected than the other movies and so didn’t feel like a 2 hour trailer for the next movie. That being said it’s sad to see that Guardians 2 does suffer from a bit of Marvel bloat, the plot being less focused and with a lot going on, but as a sequel it works exceptionally well and is the perfect continuation to this story.

For one thing, while this movie is a one big spectacle, it does focus so much on the characters, who are again all played perfectly by their respective actors. Chris Pratt is so good in this movie that it pains me that I can’t say why without spoiling some of the plot, however there’s a moment when Star Lord learns something and the pure anger, with the instant split in his facial expressions conveys so much emotion. Yondu (Micheal Rooker) is also expanded upon in this movie, he’s no longer the space redneck he was in the first movie and you can clearly see how he was a surrogate father to Peter while Ego (who is played brilliantly by Kurt Russell) was out of the picture. Nebula and Gamora’s (Karen Gillan and Zoe Saldana) sisterly relationship is also expanded upon brilliantly and while Dave Bautista seems a little bad in the first movie as Drax, here he is hilarious and his interactions with newcomer Mantis (Pom Klementieff) are perfect. Groot in his baby stage, still weirdly played by Vin Diesel, really steals the show and Rocket, emotionally, is expanded upon which is the heart of the side story. Heck even James Gunn’s brother Sean Gunn who plays Yondu’s right hand man Kraglin has a much better role in this movie.

James Gunn is a masterful filmmaker, somehow he manages to take this sequel and make it both bigger, and smaller than the original is so many ways. Emotionally it’s ramped up to 11, and despite only going to a few locations the movie feels so much bigger than that, the stakes are higher which is hard to accomplish when the first movie had a stone that could wipe out a planet with a single touch. The visuals also got a touch up, feeling new and fresh, unlike anything we saw in that previous film. Although in the writing at times it seems very exaggerated which works more here than it would in an avengers movie for instance but does seem to feel like they’re force feeding us what we all liked in the original till we explode.

Additional note on the visuals; massive respect has to go to the prop, set and costume designers here too, in an age when everything can be done digitally the level of detail and just how good these all look is incredible. Things like, initial villain, Ayesha’s chair and Ego’s home-world simply look stunning.

Finally do I really have to talk about the music? While I’m disappointed Sweet’s “Fox on the Run” was only used for the trailers and Bowie’s “Suffragette City” isn’t even on the awesome mix, the music here works brilliantly. While a few songs are repeated, like “The Chain” by fleetwood mac, and “Brandy you’re a fine girl” (though this one was definitely for story reasons) they all fit the movie just as good as the last one. Going from high comedy as Groot dances to Mr Blue Sky as the team battle a giant monster in the beginning to the emotional climax of “Father and Son” in the films final moments every song has a purpose for being there. It’s also nice how the characters reference the music, Rocket in particular is fixing their speakers for the opening battle and even asks if the Ravagers have any of Quills old music on board as he, Yondu and Groot fight them off to rejoin their friends at Ego’s world.

Overall, as you can see from how much I wrote here, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was an absolute treat of a movie and the perfect continuation of this story. Its kinda sad how it does have to connect to the larger MCU as I would love to see this as a self contained trilogy but with the 3rd coming after infinity war it’ll be a treat to see how the avengers affect the teams dynamic going into volume 3. While not as good as the original (though I may change the score once I’ve seen it enough times, its my site after all) its still one damn good movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 easily gets a 9.5/10

If you liked this then you’ll love…

Guardians of the Galaxy: The first film, just reviewed it and it is incredible so you should definitely check it out next if you haven’t before.

Flash Gordon: Campy sci-fi classic, it seems like a clear inspiration to both Guardians movies, it’s a lot of fun and so definitely one to check out.

Big Trouble in Little China: Kurt Russel in an action packed B-movie from the 80’s, this is a really good movie and one you shouldn’t pass up watching. This is why Kurt Russell is the man and if you thought he was good in this movie, Big Trouble will blow you away.


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