I didn’t think it was possible to surpass the unexpected success and allure that the first Guardians of the Galaxy had but this sequel truly made its mark both on the MCU and as a standalone franchise as well. Despite being part of the bigger Marvel Cinematic Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has little to no connection to the rest of the Avengers or Spider-Man or even Doctor Strange, the only other hero we’ve been introduced to who would be capable of meeting the Guardians during one of their adventures. This actually makes the film better as a whole, allowing more time for character development, perfect pacing, and dramatic performances from more than just the main group of characters. Michael Rooker is the scene-stealer in this sequel, building upon his performance as Yondu Udonta from the first entry with not only some badass moments but also a few emotional moments sprinkled throughout the film. Kurt Russell, as expected, at least in my eyes was a perfect choice to play Peter Quill’s dad, the living planet known as Ego(if I’m spoiling that plot point, watch trailers more often :p) and he brought his own custom bravado to the role that he’s brought to pretty much every other role he’s taken. Think of both his characters in Tarantino films Death Proof and The Hateful Eight, and you’ll get a good sense of what to expect from his performance. All the Guardians, particularly Chris Pratt, nail their roles well and even get a chance to show off their dramatic chops a bit, with the exception of Dave Bautista as Drax. If there’s a negative to point out from this awesome sequel, it’s that for a guy who’s named Drax the Destroyer, he’s used more as comic relief than bad-ass warrior and hopefully they’ll correct that when it comes to joining forces with the Avengers. Maybe an encounter with the Hulk will bring out his dark side a bit? 🙂
The Soundtrack is just…perfect. Some classics mixed with obscure hits from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s just mesh so well with the way the film is shot as well as the context of the scenes in which they are used. For those who thought the intro to the first Guardians of the Galaxy couldn’t be surpassed, the beginning to the sequel makes for a better opening sequence than any of the MCU films before it. Sylvester Stallone has a memorable cameo close to the beginning of the film, and may actually entice you enough to wish that he’ll eventually become a more common character in the MCU. Mantis was an interesting character but they didn’t get to flesh her out as much as I had hoped for. I’m not sure if Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 finally fixes Marvel’s problem when it comes to writing and portraying their villains, but it comes pretty close and I feel that streak will be broken with Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok.
Overall, this movie is definitely a must-see and surpasses the original, a la “Empire Strikes Back” in terms of music, characters, acting, and progression of plot. Especially with a few dark moments here and there, Vol. 2 lives up to the expectations and goes beyond, making us even more excited for how they’ll eventually team up against Thanos with the Avengers. Stay for all 4 post-credits scenes, some are better than others but each will most certainly entertain you 😀
Guardians of the Galaxy is out in theaters now!! Go see it!!