I’ll be honest and admit that when Guardians Of the Galaxy came around back in 2014, I wasn’t all that into it. I didn’t even make it to the theater for a viewing. Truthfully, even when it came out on video, I didn’t think it was all that great. Funny? Sure. Different from any other Marvel movie? Definitely. Fun? Yeah. I liked it, but I didn’t love it.
So, with all that being said, I’d like to say that I LOVED Guardians Of the Galaxy: Vol. 2.
I won’t spoil anything in this review, but I found this installment far more funny. These characters aren’t even trying to take themselves seriously anymore, except when they are – more on that later.
It also has a better plot that is no longer beholden to the Infinity Stones. Elements touched upon earlier in the film came into play later in the film, especially in regards to the jokes. But, even in terms of story, it all went full-circle and came together nicely.
The visuals are absolutely amazing. As I watched the film, I stopped and appreciated the nuanced aliens, the diverse machinery, and how this film truly looks like it could span a universe. (Maybe I should have said galaxy there, huh?) It’s a feast for the eyes, to be sure.
There also existed a very cool message regarding family. Again, I won’t spoil anything, but if the first film served as a reason to come together, this film serves as a reason to stay together. As you can see from the advertisements, Nebula plays a far greater role, as does Yondu. These two characters have familial ties to particular Guardians, ties that make for interesting plot developments. I loved this film because of these character developments. We’re seeing these characters change and grow in ways we haven’t seen in many other Marvel movies.
Of course, that’s not to say that this is a character study – not at all. For the most part, these characters all have uproarious comedic moments. I mean, I’m talking scenes that will make you absolutely guffaw. Yes, I said guffaw. But then, every once in a while, truly touching scenes arise. Scenes that were emotional, sentimental, and tugged on the old heartstrings. Happily, these moments did not at all detract from the film whatsoever – they only served to amplify the story line. Were they a little syrupy? Sure, but they worked well in a movie like this.
I also really liked that this film did not necessarily follow the tried and true sequel format. It actually followed far more of a comic book or cartoon structure. Once more, I won’t spoil anything for you, but this movie gives us an opportunity to see the Guardians in different situations, different dynamics, different groupings, and in different settings, and they each shine as a result.
Obviously, I loved this film far more than its first installment. However, this movie would not have been possible without its predecessor. I don’t mean that in the literal sense, of course. Rather, I mean that by all the groundwork being laid in the first movie in terms of character, those characters now have a chance to break their own mold and grow in ways delightful.
Baby Groot is adorable. Drax is hilarious. Rocket is more abrasive than ever. Gamora lets down her defenses. Star-Lord becomes more than just a guy who cracks one-liners. Nebula and Yondu? You’ll have to see for yourselves.
Oh, and there are some fantastic cameos. I can’t even touch upon those. I will say this: be sure to sit through ALL the credits. All of them. And watch them closely. There’s a lot going on even during the credits that’s a lot of fun.
That’s really the operative word – fun. This is a fun movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I love it for its own sense of irreverence.
(Did you enjoy this review? Check out Scott William Foley’s short stories HERE!)