Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, at first glance, felt as though it might bite off more than it could chew. The audience is very quickly introduced to a slew of characters, old and new, as well as new locations and plot threads. Despite this overload in information, Guardians comes together quite nicely.
Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel), all return for another action-packed adventure. Now, after two films, these characters remain my favorite in the Marvel lineup. Each is so well written and fleshed out that I’ve truly begun caring for what happens to them on screen, far more than any of the other Marvel superheroes.
The film begins with our favorite intergalactic superheroes doing some freelance work for an alien race known as the Sovereign. After upsetting this race of aliens in usual Guardians of the Galaxy fashion, their ship is shot out of the sky and has to make an emergency landing. They are then saved by a man named Ego (played by one of my favorite actors, Kurt Russell), who claims to be the estranged father of Star-Lord. Weary of the vengeance soon to come from the Sovereign, Star-Lord and friends go with Ego to his home planet, which he created himself. Here, Star-Lord learns of his true parental roots, as well as his future potential for power.
The humor that Guardians employs shows they understand their audience exceptionally well. Most of the jokes are right on the money, as the film utilizes every chance it gets to throw some comedy into the mix. Often, like in the previous film, the humor comes from the nonstop bickering the Guardians partake in, which sometimes goes on for minutes. Another great source of humor comes from Dave Bautista’s character of Drax the Destroyer, as his rather blunt sense of comedy gets the crowd roaring many times.
Some story arcs our protagonists go through, however interesting, have already been done before in the previous installment. All our characters already came to terms with the fact they’re misfits, and Gamora already struggled with her sisterly relationship. So I don’t completely understand why the film deems it necessary to retread these plots points. Sure, there are some unique places they could take these ideas, but I can’t help but think they should’ve tried something new.
Above all other minor issues with the film, Guardians is unadulterated fun. Not a disposable, mindless, or even dumb form of entertainment, but instead an emotional one. Audiences will laugh, be sad, get excited, be disappointed (in a good way), and then laugh some more. Along the journey this film brings us on, we learn a lot more about these detailed and well written characters, while also learning a thing or two about caring for others close to us.
Armed to the teeth with eighties one-hit wonders, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will deliver the audience everything they asked for in a sequel, and maybe even a little more. The action scenes and dazzling effects will entice you, but the reason you’ll stay around is for the characters, as I feel Guardians has gotten characterization down infinitely better than The Avengers. The Guardians of the Galaxy are witty, crude, and know how to win you over. It’s a film I wouldn’t mind seeing again, and would recommend other superhero fans to check out.
The Verdict: A-
– Zachary Flint