Genre: Action, Adventure, Comic, Science Fiction.
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillian, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone.
Year Of Release: 2017
Certificate: 12A (UK)
Runtime: 136 Minutes
Director: James Gunn
Writer(s): James Gunn
Synopsis: “Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.” IMDB
We all know that back in 2014 nearly everybody was shocked that “Guardians Of The Galaxy” was as good as it was, I mean even as a Marvel comic reader I was vaguely familiar with the names that’s all, I’d never heard of the Guardians as a team. So here we are, back with this bunch of A-holes saving the galaxy again, with a couple of new faces joining the team.
“Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2” breathes a breath of fresh air into the MCU even when it’s not needed, the surrounding films make the Guardians team up feel as though they exist in their own world, and I guess in a way they do, just their “world” is the entire universe. It’s a nice break from the evens on earth seeing a team in vein to the Avengers jumping from star to star fighting fantastical aliens of all forms. One of the best thing about GoTG Vol 2 is its lack of fear in being ridiculously silly to make you giggle but also the ability to switch on the emotion when the story dictates. Vol 2 is overall funnier than the first, but it doesn’t have the same amount of jokes, at least to me it felt like the laughs in Vol 2 were much bigger laughs along with the dramatic side as SarahSawAMovie said in her review “superhero movies can and should be fun.” and I couldn’t agree more it’s all well and good being dramatic and dark but if there isn’t a fun side superhero films suffer.
One of the best things about Vol 2 is how well the cast works together, with it being our second outing with the crew the dynamic is even more established and it feels like we’ve been watching this team do missions for as long as we’ve been following the Fast And Furious franchise. The main five in Pratt, Saldana, Bautista, Cooper and Diesel all return in their respective roles and are as good if not better this time around, with the additions to the team of Yondu, Nebula and Mantis, the Guardians grew to an even more formidable team. The two major additions to the cast in Pom Klementieff as Mantis and Kurt Russell as Ego the Living Planet, Russell is incredible as he has been for the past 50+ years he excels in everything we need from Ego to get invested in and make feel relatable even though he’s a celestial being with near infinite powers Russell grounds the character in a human fashion in his on screen relationship with Pratt. Klementieff is a wonderful addition to the cast, she oozes innocence as Mantis when needs be, but also has the range to jump from emotionless to bouts of manic laughter to gut wrenching pain. While Baby Groot is complete scene stealer throughout, I have a feeling many will leave the film with a new appreciation for Yondu, in the first film he was good, in Vol 2 he was incredible, his character development and usage make him one of the best characters in the entire film which is a huge task going against some of the characters he is.
Visuals, just visuals out the wazoo in the most beautiful way, reminiscent of “Doctor Strange” in its psychedelic/trippy use of colours and mind bending visuals. I get that some people aren’t completely sold on this styling giving it feels very different to the rest of the MCU, but for me it just feels right in every conceivable way, I mean come on the Guardians Of The FREAKING Galaxy are “jumping from star to star fighting fantastical aliens of all forms”. With the heavy emphasis on the visuals there is always a worry that the story will be lacklustre, this isn’t the case Gunn is able to visually please the eye with the effects and the pop culture references, yet still deliver one of the most emotionally films the MCU have delivered to date. Not only are the visuals in space and of monsters brilliant, the scenery is also next level beautiful, once the film reaches Ego’s planet some of the shots are just gorgeous especially ones looking out over the vast landscapes.
The story is great, follows very human elements, it explores the struggle many people go through not know a parent and striving to find them, the film also touches on a fear I imagine majority of people feel at some point in life, “what is my purpose”. The use of these elements really elevate the film from “just” a comic film to a film with true heart and meaning to our real lives. I congratulate Gun on the decision to touch on such real issues and not make them lazy plot points, but actually explore them in a way that drives the story forward and makes it easy for us to related to these heroes we idolise on the big screen.
Overall GoTG Vol 2 is another (inter)stellar [yes, that is the same pun, deal with it!] hit for the MCU and James Gunn has delivered again on the grandest of stages, Gunn has managed to create a self contained universe within an already established universe and if never twain were to meet then it would be heartbreaking but still the Guardians stories would stand on their own feet. My only real issue is that it follows a few beats seen in the first film, but it doesn’t take anything away from the film at all, and I really do have coming off as a Marvel fanboy saying that, but it’s hard to find faults with the film. I have a feeling this will be a favourite of millions for years to come, Gunn may have done the oh so rarity in the film world and succeeded his predecessor, is this his “Godfather 2”? Only time will tell, but it is certainly looking like he may have reached those heights.