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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Matt Malliaros  
 
4.4
 
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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Overview

Directed By
Official Synopsis
Set to the backdrop of 'Awesome Mixtape #2,' Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand. Written by Marvel Studios

Release Date
5/5/17
MPAA Rating
PG-13

One of our most anticipated movies of 2017 has finally arrived, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2!  While Volume 1 was unequivocally the sweetest, where does Volume 2 stand up?  Come inside to find out!

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Volume 2 Cuts Deep

When Guardians Volume 1 ended, many wondered and speculated as to who Peter Quill’s, a.k.a. Star-Lord, (Chris Pratt) father was going to be.  Disney and Marvel soon answered those questions with the announcement that Kurt Russell would be joiing the cast as Ego the Living Planet, who just so happens to be Star-Lord’s papa.  Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by too many quests by the hero to find his father, but I really believed we’d see some sort of journey to learn who Peter’s father was and where they could find him.  On the contrary, Director James Gunn decided to go a different route and get the introductions out of the way.

Where Volume 1 ended, Volume 2 picks up at a rapid pace with the Galaxy’s Guardians on a mission to help the egotistical golden alien race, known as The Sovereign.  In true Guardians fashion, they find a way to screw it up and an epic space chase ensues.  Shortly thereafter, a mysterious ship arrives hosting Ego and thus our search to find Peter’s father ends.  Initially, it felt almost like a letdown to suddenly introduce a pivotal character in Star-Lord’s development, without any build-up.  Fortunately, that feeling comes and goes just as quickly.

It all becomes understandable when you realize that his introduction sparks a much deeper story than what we witnessed in Volume 1.  Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 was all about discovery and forming the team.  In Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it’s all about love and family. For an intergalactic comedy, it works.  

While you’ll still leave as happy as you did with Volume 1, you’ll also feel a little sad.  While the father-son dynamic is an obvious reason for the deeper tone, it’s also because of how Gunn and co. chose to develop their characters.  Each one has a moment of serious vulnerability that we didn’t get much of in the first volume.  You leave there knowing, understanding, and loving each of these characters a little more.

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NSFW

As suggested, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy films are as much part of the comedy genre as they are part of the comic book genre.  In the first film, there were more light-hearted jokes than anything else.  Volume 2 takes that comedy and gets down and dirty with it.  

At times, GOTG V2 does its best not to take itself as seriously as the main plot implies.  Gunn heard all the jokes about how Ego THE LIVING PLANET could impregnate a human woman and they made sure to use them.  That’s not all, sprinkled throughout the film are other jokes that would cause some of the viewers with thinner skin to clutch their pearls, tightly.  

Most parents will likely take their kids to see this film and most of them won’t understand what they’re even insinuating, but it may cause some parents to think twice.

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Characters Old and New Shine in Sequel

We fell in love with Star-Lord, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel).  They were the unlikeliest team that created the perfect ensemble.  In Volume 2, we get introduced to Ego and the empathetic bug-woman Mantis (Pom Klementieff) who bring their own unique style to the Guardians cast.

While each of them had their own spotlight moments, including Nebula (Karen Gillan) with her point-of-view of her and Gamora’s childhood, the characters that really stole the show were Rocket, Drax, Mantis, and Yondu (Michael Rooker).  You’ll notice that I didn’t include Groot in that list.  I’m just as surprised as you are.  Going in, I really thought Baby Groot would be the star.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s wonderful in the film, but he doesn’t shine as brightly as the four mentioned.

In Vol. 2, we were able to see how self-sustaining Rocket is.  He alone can take out a small army and it’s amazing to watch.  Plus, the development of his character unfolds a newfound respect for the talking trash panda.  Drax didn’t do as much in Vol. 2 but, when he had a line, he delivered it perfectly.  He was the much-needed comic-relief.  Mantis was cute, innocent, and funny.  She played along perfectly, opposite Drax.  Finally, Yondu was probably the character that had the most development and it was refreshing to watch.  We got to experience a whole new side of him that made you love the character even more.

Honorable Mention, watch for Sean Gunn, James Gunn’s brother.  He had a minor role in Volume 1 as one of Yondu’s lackys.  In Volume 2, comes into his own and performs admirably with the all-star cast.

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Extra Scenes Progress the Story

It’s not a Marvel movie without an end-of-credits scene.  By now, you should know that there are 5 extra scenes at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy.  While all of them lightly progress the story, there is one that will largely impact that future of the MCU.  If you look it up, you’ll find it easily but I’d say wait until the big reveal to be surprised.  Then, if you don’t what it is, come on back and we’ll educate you.

Editor review

Overall rating 
 
4.4
Entertainment Value 
 
4.5
Story/Writing 
 
4.0
Performance (Acting) 
 
4.5
Direction 
 
4.5
Production 
 
4.5

A Volume Just As Good As the First

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is everything we could’ve hoped for out of a sequel. There are a few plot-hole moments in this one, but they are easily forgiven based on the finished product. We had further development from several beloved characters and we got some great action sequences. It’s a fun, fantastic flick that stands on its own as one of the few great sequel movies.

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