Director: James Gunn; Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Kurt Russell, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper (voice), Vin Diesel (voice), Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki. Running time 136 mins.
When it comes to Marvel’so Cinematic Universe, Iron Man & Captain America stick out like sore thumbs. But it was James Gunn’so 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy film that struck a surprisingly favorable not with fans & casual moviegoers alike. Well, the gang is back in for the sequel which definitely is a departure from the somewhat somber but enjoyable first film.
Gunn made sure to bring the laughs as soon as the Guardians of the Galaxy are reintroduced. Since the film takes place not too long after the first film, Groot is still small, & he definitely steals the intro with his cuteness throughout their battle with a an inter-dimensional monster. The overall story was sandwich made with love but lacked inventiveness, flavor. It was almost as though Gunn felt that he should divert from the solid groundwork he laid out with the first film & play it somewhat safe. This isn’t to say that the story was not entertainjng, but it felt all too familiar with the father-son story that could’ve been so much better had Gunn stuck to the source material. Changing Kurt Russell’s character from J’son to Ego, the living planet was a bit of a waste & the big reveal about Peter’s lineage fell flat. Gunn gave Peter something new that actually took the character in a new direction, but it was barely explored & only became prominent during the last battle in the film. In my eyes, stripping Peter of his Spartoi background was a mistake, especially since it’s handled very well on the Guardians of the Galaxy animated series on Disney.
A lot of fans speak very lowly of the villains used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, & Russell’s Ego will definitely be injected into those conversations. There was nothing that stood out about his take on Ego.
Unlike the first film, we got to explore each character a bit more, especially Yondu & Nebula. Even though the characters has some time in the spotlight, all of their stories were tied to a family theme, which is what this sequel was overstaurated with. The need for family worked somewhat well with Peter & Ego, but the film rested too much on the shoulders of this theme.
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana & Dave Bautista pretty much held the same presence they held within the same film, except for the fact that Bautista’s Drax became the center of humor, which worked extremely well. Rocket & Groot were two of the standouts in this film. Their friendship is more believable than any of the other characters & feels really authentic. In fact, Rocket, Groot & Yondu had the best action scene in the whole film. I throughly enjoyed their escape scene! It would be saddening if these two don’t get a spin-off film in the near future. Having Sylvester Stallone in this film was as pointless as having Superman “die” in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice only to have his casket shake towards the end. Stallone was on-screen twice & held no solid presence in the film. Mantis, played by Pom Klementieff, had some very funny moments, but ended up being another wasted & forgettable character in the film.
A lot of fans speak very lowly of the villains used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, & Russell’s Ego will definitely be injected into the conversations. There was nothing that stood out about his take on Ego, which was saddening & wasteful. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 starts off on a high note but wavers in consistency through the the film. Whereas the first film laid out a story that led moviegoers on a straight path that brought moviegoers safely to their destination, the sequel was a bit of a bumpy ride that left us with a lot laughs, some entertaining interactions & easter eggs, but ultimately didn’t deliver the same uniqueness that the first one did.