Marvel took a huge risk back in 2014 with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. Introducing a group of characters widely unknown to mainstream audiences into the MCU could have proved problematic. However, we all know now that this risk massively paid off with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ being one of the most popular MCU movies ever. Despite this I was one of the few who wasn’t completely enamored with it. I guess I wasn’t quite prepared for the distinct shift in tone from the previous films. With this in mind I wasn’t really anticipating ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ but I was hoping to be surprised.
Being familiar with the core characters definitely helped me to enjoy this sequel more than the original. There’s no denying that this is fun group to watch and the fantastic dynamics from the first are still present here. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel & Bradley Cooper all return to play their respective characters. Much like the other recurring characters in the MCU it’s hard to imagine anyone else in these roles. The film is able to have such confidence in these characters too. So much so that in the films opening credits instead of showcasing the awesome action set piece happening director James Gunn gives all the spotlight to a dancing Baby Groot, what a brilliant decision. Each of the core group has something to do and we see development where it’s necessary. The film adds several new characters as well, all of these contribute something to the sequel. It’s Kurt Russell who steals the show of the newcomers though. Continuing the tremendous form he’s been on recently Russell plays Ego, Star Lord’s father. He’s one of the best additions to the MCU in years.
The integration of these characters on screen is something that will never cease to amaze me. The CGI work used to create characters like Rocket & Baby Groot is so impressive. The achievements here should not be overlooked, they deserve much praise. The film as a whole is visually stunning too using more colours than there are present on all the paint charts in the galaxy! However I do have to comment that some elements of the design simply weren’t to my taste. I had the same issue with some sections of ‘Doctor Strange’ too. Some creations were a bit garish for me, it’s not a massive issue but at times it did spoil the aesthetic. Whilst largely a feast for the eyes, the film is also a treat for the ears as it’s set to the sound of the Awesome Mix Vol. 2. Whilst I don’t think this volume of the Awesome Mix was as strong as the first it still provides the film with some cracking moments no doubt peaking with Mr. Blue Sky in the opening scene.
The soundtrack certainly gives the film pace & energy, something that was much needed for the at times meandering story. For quite a while there doesn’t seem to be any real narrative force. It’s not so much of a problem though because everything else is so enjoyable. However don’t be too hasty to criticise the film for this because once the overall story is fully revealed it is so great. Easily one of my favourite storylines from the MCU and wonderfully unpredictable. As you would expect the story is full of humour, with Drax being the main source of this. It works well, but there might be a few gags slightly overdone. Although for every gag that didn’t quite land there are another two or three which are hilirious. One element of the story that took me completely by surprise was just how heartfelt much of this story was. It managed to evoke an emotional response from me that I just wasn’t prepared for. For a series so renowned for its comedy the feats of emotion achieved here should be applauded.
With a cast and group of characters as good as you have in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ it’s going to be massively difficult to dislike the film. With development and time devoted to each of the core group and several supporting characters this sequel makes real progress. The technical elements are continuously achieved with an amazingly high standard showcasing a very special creativity. It’s the narrative which I enjoyed most though. Humour fills the void until the real story reveals itself near the finale, bringing with it some very entertaining drama. Who would have though this bunch of A-holes could deliver on such an emotional level too though? Sure set to be a fan favourite ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ is easily one of the MCU’s best, James Gunn take a bow.
Rating – 9/10
Question: Who is your favourite ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ character?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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