These Guardians are galactic hits.
Not to start off a review bluntly, but I loved Guardians of the Galaxy 2. From start to finish, I was completely caught up in the sequel and everything it had to offer. Heck, even while writing this, I’m listening to the ‘Awesome Mix Vol. 2’. It was just that good. That being said, this does put Marvel in an interesting position as far as where they’re going to go next from here. The bigger and bigger these films get, at a certain point, is the ‘epicness’ going wear off? Only time will tell I suppose.
Back to Guardians 2, though. There’s so much that this film does right it’s hard to figure out where to begin. The story is a solid start. Without wishing to spoil too much, the main plot of the film centers around the concept of family, just as the first, but to a heavier degree. It’s a rather emotional movie when all is said and done, but that’s all I’ll say about that. Frankly, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 doesn’t squander any of the material it’s been given, such as the characters, the CGI, and the music. Everything flows incredibly well together without skipping a beat. Speaking of which…
Now, if you know anything about this intergalactic series, it’s that the music coupled with these films is always spot on. Yes, from “Fox on the Run” by Sweet to “Mr. Blue Sky” by the Electric Light Orchestra, every sound is used effectively and isn’t wasted for the sake of saying; “Hey, look, a famous song from the 70’s.” They are famous songs, of course, but nothing feels forced for commercial value. In fact, as mentioned above with the coupling, the music and choreography had some great value to it. Again, I can’t say a lot because of spoilers, but trust me when I say things get a bit intense near the end.
Moving on from music, we now arrive at comedy. The comedic timing in this film is enjoyable for the most part. Honestly, I found myself chuckling here and there but not really ‘ha-ha’ing at any of the on-screen jokes, the exception being a few well-placed one-liners. That isn’t to say that Guardians 2 lacks a funnybone; it just feels like it goes too far in some places. That’s probably just me being nitpicky, though. All in all, there’s humor in it for everyone.
Going back to earlier, I touched a bit on there being a more emotional aspect to the sequel than the first. This is true, at least to me, by a fairly wide margin – especially due to there being certain sections in the movie where I thought I was going to start tearing up, which isn’t a bad thing. If anything, more emotional story arcs show that Marvel is starting to grow some bigger fangs. (Bit of a spoiler coming up) I think I can safely say that the introduction of hero death in Avengers: Age of Ultron was, although handled weirdly, a step in the right direction for the studio. In Guardians 2, it was a really good decision to not shy away from it, allowing future films a chance to develop from that if need be.
The last thing I want to mention is the characterization that this film brings to the table. I really enjoyed the extra detail they brought to Nebula and Yondu, who both got the short stick in the first film. That being the Guardians origin story, though, there wasn’t going to be a lot of room for other character arcs. Guardians 2, however, gives the chance for both characters to breath and really show what they’re all about. Kurt Russell’s Ego is well-constructed as well, being in the top tier of Marvel villains. Not Loki levels, but high above Whiplash from Iron Man 2. The only thing I’m a bit disappointed about was Slyvester Stallone’s Starhawk not having a bigger role. Although, the film being as stuffed as it was, I can definitely see why the studio didn’t expand on that particular role. As far as the actual Guardians development goes, Rocket Raccoon feels like the one that was focused on the most. The rest have some good detail added, but nothing that the audience couldn’t have already guessed… well except for Star-Lord.
So, with all that being said, is Guardians of the Galaxy 2 worth the watch? Yes, yes it is. Watch it, enjoy it, talk about it. It’s a solid film that entertains all around. Honestly, it’s out-of-this-world.