The long-awaited sequel to Marvel’s other dysfunctional family is back for Vol. 2 after a three year break. Star-lord, Gamora, and the rest of the gang are back to save the galaxy once again without many noticing this time around solidifying their superhero status and learning more about each other and themselves to be a better team.
The biggest story comes from Star-lord as he learns the identity of his long lost Father who has been closer than anyone thought. Through his discovery Star-Lord learns more about himself and his origin that will change him forever. Meanwhile, during a botched deal with the alien race The Sovereign, they are also on the run to stay alive from the vengeful leader Ayesha.
While Vol. 1 brought the laughs, silliness, and fun to audiences; Vol. 2 provided the tragic and somber side of the Guardians from space. Each character along with some new faces and recurring characters with more screen time had the opportunity to share more about themselves and heal from what was done in the first installment.
This is a different side from Marvel that I didn’t expect. By the end of the film I felt more sorrow than I did with joy and it’s not a bad thing. While being very entertained through the whole feature, the story lines carried out were mostly about forgiveness, redemption, and acceptance of themselves. The sibling rivalry of Gamora and Nebula in epic proportions we learn much more about Nebula and the complicated relationship between Gamora and Star-Lord with his Father Ego (Kurt Russell) a fitting name for his character are just some of the reasons this comes off as a tragedy than comedy.
In addition to the different tone is the uneven structure of the plot. For more than half the movie you don’t really know who the villain or the adversary is in the film. If anything the movie is a catalyst for their self growth rather than going against a formidable foe. So to some of you, the plot may seem a little flat in terms of just sitting back and getting caught up with what these characters are doing. There has always been talk about how the Marvel villains are just not as developed as they could be. This may be one of those cases where they could have done better in that category. While the threat was huge and global, it still didn’t project as a fearful foe much less than an annoying one to defeat.
Along with Ego is Mantis played by Pom Klementieff who I thought shined with the dialogue given to her. She was a delight to watch on screen. I really like her character and how she fit into the group. There is also an introduction to Stakor Ogord played by Sylvester Stallone who has a little history and resentment with Yondu (Michael Rooker).
Which brings me to the best parts of Vol. 2 is Yondu and Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). I’ll start with Baby Groot, the most adorable character in all of the MCU. Even more adorable than the beautiful face of Capt. America or even the innocent quality of Vision trying to act more human. We watch Baby Groot go through the adventure with such glee and fun that he barely notices the trouble he and his group are in throughout the whole film. He just wants to help and be there for his family. Men and Women will not be able to contain themselves but smile ear to ear every time he is on screen. The design of this little guy is amazing. His facial expressions captures what a child looks like every time they discover something new. Much of the comic relief is brought on by the character and even though he is small he makes a big impact.
MVP goes to Yondu for his immense growth in the film. Rooker brings one of the best performances I have seen him do. Especially with a character that I have already seen in the previous film. He elevated this character to new heights. Without giving away too much he sort of goes through a fall and rise in Vol. 2 and man does he come back with full force. The movie is called Guardians of the Galaxy and yet they decided to give a lot of screen time to a side character that again was unexpected but elevated this movie in positive ways.
Hopefully by the time you read this review that none of the movie was spoiled for you but I believe you will feel how I feel once you finish watching it. On that note, aside from seeing the drama side of the guardians, the movie had some great laughs and great action sequences. Each character got a chance to shine and show their strength as a team member. I recommend watching this on an IMAX screen. They utilized its features great in this one and took advantage of the full screen in most scenes. Great CGI scenic shots throughout the film also. I was really hoping for a moment between Stallone and Russell because they dynamic chemistry they had with Tango & Cash but they didn’t even share the screen together. The movie wraps up very nicely giving us more than enough reasons why we have not seen the last of the guardians and of course all tied up with a great soundtrack and more than a few cameos. Of course stay through the ENTIRE credits at the end as you will see not one but five shorts to tease us until we see them again. It looks like we may not see a solo Guardians movie until well into Phase 3 so hopefully this movie holds you off until Avengers: Infinity Wars.