Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - Poster #3

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a wonderful but somewhat lesser sequel.


In 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy surprised everyone with its off-the-wall humor and killer soundtrack. James Gunn’s film went on to score a whopping $773 million at the worldwide box office. Now, James Gunn and everyone’s favorite band of a-holes are back in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Does Guardians Vol. 2 live up to the hype or does it have the curse that ravages all sequels?

Although the first film is a bit better, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a laugh out loud, emotional roller coaster ride through the cosmos. It definitely doesn’t disappoint.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 follows the Guardians as they continue on their adventures through space. The team must ally with old enemies and together they must unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - Chris Pratt and Kurt Russell

The first thing one should realize about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is that the entire film is predicated on relationships. The connections that every character has with each other is what ultimately drives the film. As a matter of fact, this is where all the emotional and hilarious material comes from. However, some of these relationships are a little hard to believe. Writer/director James Gunn noticeably had a “what a small world” mentality when connecting the new and old Guardians together. Of course, some are appropriate but the rest are a bit of a stretch. To avoid spoilers, I won’t get into any specifics but what I can say is that a few of these relationships are conveniently placed.

Like the original Guardians, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is full of hilarious moments. This time around it’s probably way more than you would expect. The jokes come in with lightning speed as seemingly every scene contains plenty of jokes. It seems as if the game plan was to send a flurry of jokes with the hopes that it’ll hit at a high percentage. Fortunately, it hits way more than it misses. The misses come from running jokes that run far longer than it should.

Minor story gripes aside, James Gunn has given us one of the most beautiful MCU films to date. The set pieces are stunningly gorgeous and the cinematography is grand. Gunn, cinematographer Henry Braham, production designer Scott Chambliss all deserve praise for the work they did here. On the other hand, there is such a frenetic pace to Vol. 2 that it gets a little jarring. For instance, there are several times where it quickly jumps between one Guardian’s story to another before slowing itself down. The edits don’t seem to coherently jump from one scene to another either.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Chris Pratt, Zöe Saldana, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Rocket and Baby Groot

It’s been several years since we’ve seen the cast of Guardians on screen. Despite the 3 years in between Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Guardians, everyone seems to have settled right into their roles. Chris Pratt is as charming as ever as Peter Quill. Yet he brings more of an emotional aspect to the character this time around. It’s not surprising since the film deals with his relationship with his father, Ego. Speaking of Ego, Kurt Russell is his usual self here and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Russell’s natural charisma on screen is on par with Pratt’s. As the old saying goes: “like father, like son.”

As for the rest of the cast, Michael Rooker and Bradley Cooper get a larger and more satisfying role in Guardians Vol. 2. Instead of the hard-nosed character he played in Guardians, Rooker brings a lot of heart to Yondu here. In fact, he’s essentially the heart and soul of the entire film. Likewise, Cooper brings heart and emotion to his hardheaded character. He’s still a sarcastic little brat but audiences will get to see a softer side to him.

Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, and Pom Klementieff provide a lot of the bad ass moments to the film. It’s Klementieff that stands out above the rest, though, for her portrayal of Mantis. Mantis’ gift grants her the power to feel the feelings of people that she touches. For this reason, her ability to go from sad to happy to confused is all because of Klementieff’s skill as an actor. Bautista is less a destroyer and more of a comedian here. The former WWE wrestler has shown good progress as an actor here. He has good comedic timing and knows when to be sincere.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - Elizabeth Debicki

Sadly, Vin Diesel has a smaller role in the film. Baby Groot barely speaks throughout the film thus Diesel’s gravelly voice isn’t required as much. It should come as no surprise that Baby Groot has plenty of adorable moments spread across the film. Just don’t expect a lot of “I am Groot” moments. Lastly, don’t expect Elizabeth Debicki’s Ayesha to have a large role in the film. Her Ayesha character is underutilized in the film.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a fantastically fun film. It may be a bit of a step down from the first film but you’ll be having too much of a good time to care. This is the type of film will make you both laugh and cry. Honestly, that combination is what most films should strive towards because it’s the type that sticks the most. What a way to kick off the summer movie season.

Rating: 4/5 atoms

About author

Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1110 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.

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