“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”: A Very Fun, Slightly Inferior Sequel

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“Guardians of the Galaxy 2” is written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Kurt Russell, and Michael Rooker.  The film is about the Guardians getting into even more trouble, while also diving into who exactly Peter Quill is.

The original “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie is right up there with the best films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it is the best mixture of comedy and action found in any Marvel movie to date.  The trailers appeared to show more of the same here, so I was very excited coming in to, hopefully, see more of the same comedic banter and extravagant action that I loved in the 2014 film.

The Good

The same comedy that made the first movie so much fun is found again here with nearly equal success.  I just cannot get enough of the back and forths that these characters have with each other, with Rocket and Peter’s constant competitiveness being some of the highlight laughs of the whole movie.  That, as well as a certain villain’s name choice and almost everything Drax, played by Dave Bautista, says made for tons and tons of laughs from start to finish.

To go along with all of those great moments of comedy previously mentioned, there is, of course, the standout, and that is Baby Groot.  I’m sure everyone knew that coming in, but there has never been someone so adorable and so funny in the MCU as this tiny little tree voiced by Vin Diesel, as he was an absolute treat to watch.

This may be my favorite Marvel film thus far in terms of visuals, as the bright, color-filled backdrops make for some of the most eye-popping scenes that a superhero film has seen in a while.  Something that has been attacked before is Marvel’s bland color palette, as explained here, and this is really the first film to break that a bit, and it worked with flying colors, pun intended.

All of the returning cast is just as great as they were in the first one, with Chris Pratt shining once again here as Star-Lord, and the chemistry he begins to grow with Zoe Saldana’s character was something that I felt was handled incredibly well by James GunnBradley Cooper is still hilarious as Rocket, but it is Bautista who really shows improvement from the original, as he is hysterical in this film.

The increased role of Michael Rooker also went over very well, as did Kurt Russell’s introduction, as his character works very well into the plot, and helps explain exactly what Peter Quill’s backstory truly means to the overall storyline.

James Gunn is able to bring even more heart into this movie than in the original, and I thought most of it worked very well in really making the audience feel for the characters.  There are a lot of interesting themes about family and loneliness that are handled very well, and I thought that Gunn did an excellent job at blending strong action, funny comedy, and some heart into this complicated story.

The Bad

There is quite a lot going on in this film, and sometimes it feels a bit cluttered.  Specifically, storylines with the Sovereign people, who I found to be a bit out of place and unnecessary for much of the film.  Now, I have heard they are indeed important to future storylines, which is alluded to in an end credit scene that I won’t spoil here, but in this movie, I just didn’t care about them at all.

“Guardians 2” clocks in at 136 minutes, and, unlike the first one, this movie feels a bit overly long.  There are storylines that I feel could have been shortened up, including the final moments, and while I wouldn’t say that this movie is ridiculously long, I definitely began to feel the length towards the final act.

The final moments, while pretty entertaining, bolsters a fight scene that is rather lackluster as it is a bit over the top and difficult to watch.  The style and location in which this fight occurs make it hard to truly follow, and I found myself a tad underwhelmed by the fight as a whole.

While I won’t penalize the film for it, the five promised end credit scenes by James Gunn were pretty weak.  Sure, one of them held some crucial future into, but the other four were unimportant and strictly for comedic purposes.  One of them was definitely funny, but I was very disappointed waiting through the entire end credits for pretty much nothing.

Conclusion

“Guardians of the Galaxy 2” offers the same nonstop laughs, strong characters, and mostly excellent action from its predecessor, with this movie falling just slightly short of its original in its conclusion, slightly overstuffed story, and overly long runtime.  Still, “Guardians 2” is a blast of a time with even more heart than its original and is certainly a movie I would recommend to fans of the original.

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Get tickets and showtimes for “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” here

What did you think of “Guardians of the Galaxy 2”?  Comment below with your thoughts.


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