Volume 2 Gives The Guardians More Laughs, More Heart, & A Lot More Depth…
Back in 2014, Marvel took a huge risk by giving a fairly unknown group of heroes their own blockbuster movie. However, The Guardians of the Galaxy were a huge hit and the film gave the Marvel Cinematic Universe something fresh and otherworldly to play with. Now, the team is back in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and rather than trying to outdo themselves, director James Gunn makes sure they realize what is most important. What it means to be a family.
The sequel picks up shortly after the end of the first one. Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Baby Groot are making a living off their reputation after saving the galaxy. However, it doesn’t take long for them to find trouble. After pissing off the Sovereign, a race of golden-skinned a-holes, The Guardians find themselves on the run. But, before they can get very far a mysterious man introduces himself to them, Ego, played by the great Kurt Russell. Ego reveals to Star-Lord that he’s his long lost father. This revelation is where the film starts to find its greatest conflict.
The major theme of Volume 2 is all about family. Chris Pratt as Star-Lord finally meets his father Ego and begins to question why he left him and his mother on Earth. Meanwhile, Zoe Saldana as Gamora hashes it out with her ever-dueling sister Nebula, played by the stone-faced Karen Gillan. It’s the family relationships that are the real conflict of the film and the action featuring the Sovereign really takes a back seat to this overarching theme.
The Sovereign hire the Ravagers led by Michael Rooker as Yondu to hunt down The Guardians. Rooker really shines in the film with the great storyline his character is given. Being the one who abducted the young Star-Lord, Peter Quill, he must decide where his alliances lay. Are they with his Ravagers or with The Guardians However, when you compare the mutinous pirates to Peter and his team it’s not a tough decision.
Stealing the show is Dave Bautista as Drax. While everyone is dealing with their family issues and the emotions that come from those, Drax keeps the audience smiling with his infectious laugh and amazing comedic timing. While some of the funny lines from the other characters fall flat from time to time, Bautista knocks everything he is given out of the park.
Another shining star is Baby Groot. It could have been easy to make the adorable pint-sized hero an overused gimmick. However, James Gunn used the toddler to his utmost potential. Each scene featuring Groot balances humor and cuteness perfectly and never overstays its welcome. In a way, his use makes you want to see more of him, but at the same time you know anymore would have been just a little too much.
My one big issue with the film is the fact that star Chris Pratt doesn’t really do much. For most of the film, Peter sort of just floats along for the ride. This sort of makes sense, his world was just turned upside-down after finally meeting his father. However, it would have been nice to have more for Pratt to do in the first two acts of the film. Thankfully, the rest of the cast makes up for it and when Star-Lord finally snaps out of his daze its one of the best moments of the film.
While most sequels try to one-up its predecessor with action, Gunn takes Volume 2 in the other direction and does it successfully. Building up the characters by giving us a personal connection with almost every single one of them gives the film a great payoff. Even if the first film does have better overall action, the final boss fight of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is definitely more climactic and more satisfying. In the end, the film makes you want to experience more adventures with this ragtag crew.
Supchucks’ Official Grade: A-
Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Kurt Russell, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel.
Director(s): James Gunn
Writer(s): James Gunn
Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, and brief suggestive content)
Runtime: 136 minutes
Studio: Marvel Studios
Now You Know Whassup, Chucks!
Images and Footage via Marvel Studios
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Standout Performances From Michael Rooker and Dave Bautista
- Baby Groot Was Used Perfectly
- More Laughs & A Lot More Heart
- Better Final Confrontation With Bad Guy Than Vol. 1
- Leaves You Wanting More
- Chris Pratt Doesn't Do Much For 2/3 Of The Film
- Less Action Than Vol. 1