‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Review: James Gunn Delivers Yet Again With A Good Sequel

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source: Disney

While not as fresh as the original, Vol. 2 surprises yet again with great banter and new characters

The first Guardians of the Galaxy surprised almost everybody watching. With a bunch of new characters, it shouldn’t have been that great but it was. Marvel found a way to make the viewers embark on a journey they had no idea where the destination would be. Let me tell you, they found gold. I fell in love with the ragtag team made up of a talking raccoon and a big tree that only knew three words. They didn’t pave an easy way for Vol. 2. Despite it not being as good as the original, the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is still loads of fun, packed with laughs and over abundantly cute.

As Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and the Guardians are hired to protect the batteries from a vicious monster, Rocket (Bradley Cooper) steals the valuable batteries and upsets the Sovereign. This powerful elite of aliens want to kill the Guardians. But before they can, Peter Quill meets his long lost father (Kurt Russell) and learns more about his mysterious heritage.

Adopting both shades of X-Men: Days of Future Past and Fast and the Furious, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is everything you expect it to be. It’s fun, funny, action-packed and oh so weird. James Gunn explores the idea of family in a much deeper sense of what Fate of the Furious tried so hard to do before it. On top of that, it’s visuals and its third act feels very much like Days of Future Past. However, it’s also able to transcend both movies and still very much feel like a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. It’s not as fresh as the original but it still manages to be consistent with what made the first so much fun.

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Chris Pratt’s charm continues to shine in Star-Lord – source: Disney

The whole cast’s charming performances continues to be a big part of the Guardians franchise much more than the first. Zoe Saldana is given a bigger part and rightfully so. This enables her to prove herself and in the process benefits her character greatly. Vin Diesel’s Baby Root stays surprisingly as cute as ever. He’s not overused nor is he annoying. However, James Gunn has decided to give every character some much-needed character development. Some of the ways he chose to introduce this development felt forced and arbitrary. A lot of it is explained by another character and it stalls the story.

Despite all the things Vol. 2 does right, it never achieves the charms or the wits of the first. The main culprit has to be the opening where it takes the time to fully commit to what’s to come. The 80s songs are quite frankly overused and the first act is put on seconds to the songs. It feels like a full blown jukebox bowling party finished with bright multicolor spotlights and glow in the dark sticks.

Shoehorned in are the Sovereign (or the gold people) as they never fully make an impact. When their presence are made apparent, it’s because the movie is in need of some action. There could have been something interesting here other than their looks.

However, as Vol. 2 progresses, it gets better and better. The end will sneak up on you in a way you didn’t expect it to. Even though, the character development is choppy it’s still proven effective in the end. If you can get through the rough start then I guarantee you will have a blast revisiting the characters you fell in love with in 2014.

GRADE: B+

Guardians of the Galaxy was released on May 5 and is now playing in theaters.

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