Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is funny, colorful, and enjoyable in most categories – Drax makes inappropriate jokes, Baby Groot dances, and there’s 80’s music playing constantly; if you want all those things, then you’ll get them in droves. However, if you wanted a tenser story with richer character development, this sequel focuses primarily on humour rather than emotion.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Directed by James Gunn) blasts viewers straight into the weird and wonderful galaxy that James Gunn has been building, with a relentlessly fast moving pace and a storyline that involves Starlord (Chris Pratt) reuniting with his father; this film was all about putting comedy first, and it shows, we had a blast with the jokes that constantly rolled off of each other and those will keep you engaged for its full length. Comedy aside, this film was quite patchy in its buildup of the story and tended to veer off in subplots and lengthy exposition, this eventually all converges towards its climax, and the film inevitably tries to juggle many characters at once resulting in them all becoming slightly diluted. Back-on-to comedy, we felt that perhaps James Gunn forced the comedy too far in this sequel, some of the jokes used in certain scenes ended up silly at times and others were amazing. In the end the story works as a successful sequel with lots of laughter, it entertained us right till the end, despite some of the scuff marks in its core development, we can say that it works well enough to satisfy most people.
We were thrown back with the characters that everyone has come to love. With the original cast all reprising their roles (yes, even Vin Diesel) we also have an additional four characters that needed further developing; resulting in the lead character Starlord taking a far less primary role in the film, it felt like we never saw him considering he is the de facto main character. Both Yondu (Michael Rooker) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) offer the most emotional depth and fleshed out motivations in this films entirety – additionally Mantis (Pom Klementieff) added a softer touch to the films harder characters and supplied some emotional scenes.
Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Gamora (Zoey Saldana) have nearly no further development in their characters, and remain roughly the same with some incremental changes. Drax (Dave Bautista) has become the films comedic relief and is absolutely hilarious throughout the film with his jokes and pranks; to our surprise he offers nearly nothing in the way of fight sequences, this surprised us as Drax is supposed to be one of the most powerful entities in the comics, though we can let that slide as his character is so fun to watch. Groot was cute, he danced, he screamed, and existed for the purpose of getting “awww” out the audience. And Ego (Kurt Russell) definitely played well, despite his short dialogue that wasn’t exposition.
The visual effects were outstanding, and perhaps some of the best that Marvel has to offer, rivalling that of Doctor Strange. The color, cinematography, and production design were impeccable; all of these elements come together to create a retro sci-fi visual experience like no other. From the costumes, to the extraordinary makeup we were spoiled for choice in visuals and we finally get a marvel movie with deeper blacks and brighter colors, instead of the standard washed out grays. The editing was choppy in some spots, as certain fight sequences were tough to follow both visually and logistically, but did its job in standard story structure. As for music, there were some great tracks that added some flavor into the movie however, it wasn’t as effective as the previous film and definitely could have been more interesting.
James Gunn puts so much into this film and it shows, he loves the characters, the story, and the setting, so you can definitely see he had a vision that he was able to share. It’s not easy making a good sequel and James Gunn succeeded. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the ultimate in action comedy within the superhero genre, and it will be interesting to see how Marvel will continue to approach what appears to be this type of formula.