It seems that Marvel/Disney has achieved what for many motion pictures is a nearly impossible feat in that the second Guardians of the galaxy movie is as good and possibly better than the first! Now in my humble opinion Volume 2 does not surpass the first film but comes very close. I have seen a lot of reviews saying it was better and while I feel it was a bit more substantive as far as emotional content, it falls just shy of the mark that film hit for me. I am also honest enough to admit that could possibly be due to the attachment I have with our first cinematic introduction to Peter Quill and his band of intergalactic misfits.
First of if you’re not a comic book fan and have not seen the first film, stop what you’re doing, bookmark this blog, rent or buy Guardians of the Galaxy then go see Vol. 2 if you have not done so already! These are easily two of Marvel’s best efforts to date that have everything even if you’re not into super hero, action, or sci-fi films. These two films have a lot more to offer than awesome space battles and intense action which are two of my favorite things personally but they’re combined with comedy that’s not forced and emotional weight that makes it all easy to relate to despite the fantastical veneer. In this second installment we are reintroduced to Peter Quill(Starlord), Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon and Groot now in adorable baby form as well as Yondu. Of course the Ravagers make another appearance along with Gamora’s sister/rival Nebula, and we get a couple new characters in Ego, and Mantis.
It’s hard but I’m trying really hard to explain this without spoiling it for those of you who have ot had the chance to see it but in this film we finally get to know who Peter Quills father is and why he vanished, and like in the first film the team has to come together in order to stop the galaxy from being destroyed. This film as well as the first is a really weird mix of elements that somehow work surprisingly well together which is part of the magic. The visuals are bright, colorful and stunning to look at. It’s not nonstop action but when you get it it doesn’t disappoint. Baby Groot was adorable as predicted, but for me the two characters that stole the show for me were Drax and Yondu. The Ravagers(pictured above) are in intergalactic group of pirates for lack of a better description, and if you’ve seen the first film you’ll recall the hilarious exchange repeated between Yondu and Starlord as Yondu explains how he kept his group of Ravagers from eating Quill after his first trip to Terra (Earth) since “they aint never tasted terran before!”, it’s kind of sadistic yet hilarious at the same time. This film explores why Yondu didn’t return Peter to his father as well as why it’s revealed later that Yondu was exiled from the Ravagers. Not going to explain that any further but it’s the meat in the beef stew of this movie and gives us an emotional weight and depth not as present in the first film.
The relationships and reasons for why some of the characters are the way they are is explored in further detail in the second film, and it makes the audience invest further in the cast of characters. Nebula is still kind of a psychotic, cybernetic maniac hell bent on killing Gamora and we get to know why! Starlord gets to work out his daddy issues, Rocket is broken down while they finally try and flesh out the dynamic between Peter and Gamora. It’s a strange emotional roller coaster that I bet most weren’t expecting which makes it that much more enjoyable. Baby Groot is well, Baby Groot and there’s really not much more explanation needed. You’ve all seen the previews and posters and they give us plenty of what we expected in that regard.
What I also didn’t expect was the wit and comedy of Drax which as I said earlier is another character that stole the show. Rocket was sarcastic and cracked jokes a lot but most of the time Drax did so with a straight face and impeccable timing that played very well off of Mantis who is an empath that can feel the emotions of others through touch. I liked their scenes together a lot as their interaction along with what we’re told about their characters make sense and therefor seems really genuine as we see the relationship unfold between them.
In my opinion this film is worth going to see a few times for fans of the comics to see if you can catch all the easter eggs hidden in both the film and end credit scenes. ( there are a few!) Even if you don’t like comics I would still say go see it. See it in 3D if you like. I saw it in IMAX 3D and it didn’t disappoint. The 3D was not overdone and it accentuated some of the visuals making it that much more enjoyable but I think you’ll still have a good time seeing it in 2D. I feel the same way about 3D as I do about CGI. They should be used to enhance a film not be the feature in order to foster better immersion. When everything is flying at your face a mile a minute you tend to get lost and they thankfully did not do that here. They for the most part gave you something to focus on and then had some really cool interactions happening in the background simultaneously without overwhelming you.
My only gripes which aren’t really gripes but more like small nitpicks would be other than looking cool I didn’t see much purpose for the Sovereign which were pretty much plot moving agents, and the music while good just didn’t hit as well as it did in the first film for me. Despite being really cool looking plot agents I didn’t mid as their technology was great and they were aesthetically pleasing. Plus they hint at them being a major catalyst in the upcoming infinity war so I am down. Those two things are really minuscule complaints when you factor in everything else this film provides. I loved it and would be curious to hear your opinions! drop a comment below. Until next time.