Everyone’s favorite Guardians of the Galaxy are back in Volume Two – continuing the teams adventures as they travel the cosmos using their newly acquired fame to get lucrative mercenary work. In their travels The Guardians must fight to keep their family together while unraveling the mysteries that surround Peter Quill’s aka Star Lord’s father. Familiar characters return, old enemies become allies, and friends become foes.
Following 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy certainly applied a lot of pressure to returning director James Gunn as he worked to create a worthy follow-up. Characters that 95% of the movie going audience had never heard of quickly became the most loved within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). While this follow-up just crosses the threshold into entertaining, it is not on the same level as its predecessor.
This does not mean it’s a bad movie, in fact, as already stated, it is entertaining. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has a lot of comedy in it, even more than the first film did. The standout comedians being Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper). Both characters bring the same charm and wit to this film that made audiences fall in love with them in the first movie. Drax continues to have no idea how to act normal, and Rocket still trying to steal prosthetic body parts away from unfortunate victims. Baby Groot is also just as cute as expected and manages to bring the laughs every time he is on screen as well.
Comedy is not the only thing this movie excels at. Gun is able to take characters already known from the first movie, Yondu and Nebula, and expand their stories so as to better understand their backstories, and in turn, their motivations. There is a lot of heart and discussion of family within the movie, and these two characters really drive that point home. With all the flaws that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has (and there are flaws I will get to in a bit) these two characters help to keep the audience invested in the overall plot of the story.
Speaking of plot, let’s get to the negatives. If Yondu, Nebula, Drax, and to a smaller extent the newcomer Mantis, were not in the film to bring heart and laughter in every other scene then this film would have been a complete bomb. And that is mostly to blame on the plot. It’s a mess.
The real story, the actual conflict, is not introduced in the film until the third act. Almost everything leading up to this point is inconsequential and pointless – other than to pile backstory on top of backstory on top of backstory for seven different characters at a time. Within the first hour and a half the audience is given monologue after monologue, with the only thing tying the monologues together being Drax, Mantis, or Rocket saying something or doing something silly. There is not worthy a protagonist introduced until the movie is almost done, meaning the rest of the movie kind of sits in a lull until the big throw down at the end.
Sure, The Sovereign (the golden people) can be considered protagonists until we get to the main protagonist of the film in the third act, but they are terrible characters. After 10 minutes into the film I was really annoyed by them and was wondering why they were even there. I did get my answer, however. We finally understand their purpose in a post credit scene after the movie has wrapped up, but that’s it. And to the average movie-going audience member that is not neck-deep in comic book knowledge their purpose still won’t be clear. In short, they are nothing but setup characters, placeholders, characters not essential to the overall plot of this movie. It is very possible they play a bigger role later but I’d prefer they didn’t. The Sovereign were just as annoying as they were pointless.
In conclusion, I still do recommend people go see the film. While it does feel fluffy and underwritten due to mostly nothing happening, the comedy aspect is still worth the price of a movie ticket. I loved being able to see The Guardians again. I’d say the comedy and the characters are what save the movie for me.
I’m giving Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 an overall score of 3.5/5.
What do you think? Have you seen the new Guardians movie yet? If yes, what did you think? Leave a comment below. We can make a discussion out of it.