The Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

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Wow, just wow. You’re in for a treat Guardians of the Galaxy fans, because Vol 2 is even better than the first. Funny, emotional, witty, clever, fast paced, family feels. You name it.

Marvel are really churning out the good stuff – ironically when they move away from Iron Man, Captain America, etc etc. That gang has gotten a little stale. And hey, maybe they took this learning to Thor, who has now moved into another galaxy to take on The Hulk.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 takes place shortly after Vol 1, with the team seemingly a bit more settled and in the middle of the next assignment. Think Firefly but more Marvel. Then Peter Quill discovers his Father (Kurt Russell). At the same time Nebula and Gamora are battling it out, and Rocket and Yondu get captured. Plus Groot is cute. Then it gets intense.

The first scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 alone is something I have never quite seen before, and sums up the movie. It is cute, engaging, funny, musical, loaded with action and paired with a Guardians of the Galaxy family-orientated theme. The scene focuses on a dancing Groot (they really play on the cute factor throughout the movie), whilst the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy fight an inter-dimensional being. It’s hilarious and draws you right in.

This is the second movie in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, and James Gunn has returned to direct, which is great news for fans. He’s also doing the third, which is even greater news for fans.

Drax takes on an inter-dimensional being. Source: Marvel

I need to delve into the characters because so much development has gone into them since the first movie. They have been explored beautifully in Volume 2.

Dave Bautista was the most impressive for me, consistently nailing the punchlines again, and again. There’s a moment in the movie where he yells “watch out Mantis”, about two seconds after she has been knocked unconscious, and there were people almost rolling on the floor laughing around me. Not bad for a WWE wrestler who’s following in Dwayne Johnson’s footsteps and making a strong path into movies. He’s my favourite.

Groot, who apparently was still voice acted by Vin Diesel (perhaps on helium), was a different character altogether. And most of the audience members would want one around. Very cute, but it’s important to note just how subtle the animation on his character is to convey emotions and give a very accurate childlike vibe from the character. It’s very clever.

Groot is cute. Source: Marvel

Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana, had a similar solid presence to the first movie. There was the suggestion of romance between her and Star-Lord, but it didn’t really click. This is probably the only aspect of the movie I felt was crammed in. There wasn’t much chemistry there and the movie didn’t need it.

Nebula and Gamora had their standard family squabble throughout the movie. Nebula was fiercely acted by Karen Gillan, in a very psychotic way. It was glary. Full of glares. Glareful.

Star-Lord was a character seemingly made for Chris Pratt, in a similar way that Deadpool was almost made for Ryan Reynolds and Wolverine can in my opinion not be mastered better than Hugh Jackman. His natural wit and ability to convey emotion is superb.

Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Source: Marvel

Mantis, played by Pom Klementieff, is a newly introduced character, and there is real chemistry between her and Drax. In fact, some of the scenes are so funny and so brilliantly written and executed that I think they could have a comedy side series of there own to add to this series.

Sylvester Stallone plays Stakar Ogord / Starhawk, who is a high ranking officer in The Ravagers who has a history with Yondu. The Guardians of the Galaxy also quite obviously sets the scene for his own Marvel series.

Ego was played by Kurt Russell (I’m enjoying his career comeback started by Deepwater Horizon) who I am sure you know plays Peter Quill’s Father. It’s a solid performance but sometimes the scenes between the two dragged a little.

Yondu, or Mary Poppins as I will now call him, has a much greater presence in Volume 2, especially after being dismissed by Sly Stallone (Starhawk) early on in the movie.

And Rocket… well, he was Rocket, voice acted with style by Bradley Cooper. There’s a great little scene where Rocket takes on 50-100 men with joy and a sort of eloquence only Rocket can execute.

The theme throughout Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is family.

Some broken, some breaking, some being repaired and some rock solid. Each of the characters has their own family flaws and background, and this is explored wonderfully in the movie to a point where everyone watching could relate to someone. It’s highly possible you will cry in the movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy is about family. Source: Marvel

I wanted to take some summaries of the Guardians of the Galaxy family theme per character to really show what I mean.

Star-Lord

Obviously his mother died when he was very young and he has been looking for a father figure throughout his life. He finds one with Ego. So what happens when you find your long lost family? And how does it conflict with his current family and other potential father figures in his life?

Yondu and Rocket

Both are characters who push friends and family away. They are so scared of losing people they love they refuse to get close to them. There’s a great moment in the movie summing this up.

Nebula and Gamora

Sisters from an abusive father in Thanos. This looks at the competition between siblings, but also about the impact of having a sibling that’s better than you at everything.

Drax and Mantis

Drax has lost his family, but speaks about them often. His pain is explored through Mantis who hasn’t really had a family, and is more like a “pet” to Ego. They become friends. He has embraced his new Guardians of the Galaxy family.

Drax and Mantis form a side breakingly funny bond. Source: Marvel

Groot

Everyone takes turns in looking after Groot. In a way he becomes everyone’s child.

This Guardians of the Galaxy family theme has other connotations and connections too, which bring all of the characters together. Directors and people who know their movies well talk about themes a lot, and this is a great example of really exploring one throughout strongly rather than jumping between them.

The Guardians of the Galaxy music

And as for the music, it’s another great playlist choice and works in line with the movie perfectly. It’s comedically tied into various points and has a place throughout. There’s even some product placement for Zune. Gosh knows it needs it. Here’s the full playlist below:

  • “Mr Blue Sky” —  Electric Light Orchestra
  • “Fox on the Run” —  Sweet
  • “Lake Shore Drive” — Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah
  • “The Chain” — Fleetwood Mac
  • “Bring It On Home To Me” — Sam Cooke
  • “Southern Nights” — Glen Campbell
  • “My Sweet Lord” — George Harrison
  • “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” — Looking Glass
  • “Come A Little Bit Closer” — Jay and the Americans
  • “Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang” — Silver
  • “Surrender” — Cheap Trick
  • “Father and Son” — Cat Stevens
  • “Flash Light” — Parliament
  • “Guardians Inferno” — The Sheepers feat. David Hasselhoff
Groot dancing in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Source: Marvel

An extra cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

We also spotted a connection to Thor in this movie, which was Jeff Goldblum all dressed up as The Grandmaster in the credits scene. We published this to Facebook in haste which is where we were then told by our first commenter that it was pretty obvious. Mood slammed. Well, maybe it was, but let us know if you saw it or whether we are just a very easily pleased team.

Jeff Goldblum makes a sneaky appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Source: Marvel

The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is what a Marvel movie should be!

The beauty of The Guardians of the Galaxy is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, despite being able to see that there has been so much care and attention applied throughout this movie. I’ve seen a few other reviews giving this movie a 3/4 out of 5, but I can’t see why. You go into a Marvel Studios movie knowing exactly what you want from it. And you get that with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

It’s beautifully done.

Our Rating: 9/10

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