Movie Review: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)—still referring to himself as "Star-Lord"—is joined by Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel). Together they are known across the galaxy as The Guardians of the Galaxy, and after saving the galaxy from Ronan the Accuser and his Kree army, The Guardians of the Galaxy now work for the Nova Corps. They now travel from planet to planet taking jobs, stopping monsters, and saving lives. They have been making quite a bit of money doing this, but they find their hands full when they upset the government of a planet, of whom they were hired to help.
On the run from this planet's government—known as The Sovereign—the Guardians of the Galaxy encounter an enormously powerful and mysterious man (Kurt Russell) who reveals himself to be Peter's father. Peter is now faced with the answers to all of the questions that have haunted him since he was a child, but will his father live up to Peter's fantasies or the legend that his mother always made him out to be? Peter needs and it at least seems seems like his father intends to reconnect with his son and answer those questions. However, the Sovereign will not quickly forget about what the Guardians of the Galaxy have done, and the Ravagers and Nebula (Karen Gillan) each still have a bone to pick with the team of galactic heroes as well.
The Pros & Cons
The Guardians (+10pts)
Father & Son (-3pts)
Sovereign & The Ravagers (-6pts)
Pro: The Guardians (+10pts)
This should be no surprise to anyone who saw the first movie, but the Guardians of the Galaxy were a lot of fun to watch in this second installment as well. The story centered around Peter Quill, but sprinkled in bits of character development for each member of the team. The filmmakers did a really great job of balancing each of these characters. They properly developed the main character, but each of the other characters got a decent amount of screen-time and growth.
I am sure it was tough to balance each of these characters, by making this movie feel like a sequel to each of their stories as well as their story as a group, but I thought the filmmakers pulled it off. Putting their story-lines aside, this was simply a fun team to watch together or individually. They each brought a different personality to the group, and it was a lot of fun watching them interact with one another. I liked their stories, sure, but their banter with one another and their various personalities provided a lot of comedic moments and made this a really entertaining group of misfit characters.
Con: Father & Son (-3pts)
I thought Ego (Kurt Russell) worked well in this movie, but I thought the father and son story-line fell flat around the halfway point. There was a fifteen to twenty minute section in which The Guardians were just kind of chilling with Ego on Ego's planet and it resulted in a really pointless section of the movie. It was not exactly "boring", but it was definite step down from how entertaining the rest of the movie was. Fortunately, the movie was a little over two hours and the rest of the movie more than made up for a twenty minute lull, but it was pointless enough to make it worth mentioning in this review.
Pro: Yondu (+6pts)
This was a pleasant surprise to me, but I really enjoyed Yondu's (Michael Rooker) story in this movie. His character development added a ton of layers to the character, and Michael Rooker made it really easy to connect with the character, which made his story really impactful by the movie's climax. I do not want to give away what happens involving Yondu in this movie, but I can tell you that the character worked really well. He had depth, I sympathized with him, and we even got to see what Yondu was capable of—do not mess with Yondu. The character had an emotional and impactful story, awesome action, and a very capable actor in the role. This all made Yondu easily one of the better parts of the movie.
Con: Nebula (-2pts)
I was honestly pretty disappointed with this, but I did not like Nebula's story in this movie. I have liked the character of Nebula and I think Karen Gillan has done a good job with the character, but I got the impression that the writers did not know what to do with her in this movie. I did not think she was a necessary part of this story, and in an already crowded cast, she did not get enough screen time for the writers to have been able to properly develop the character. The result was an interesting character that got a fairly one-note story-line, which felt forced into the movie just for the sake of having her in the movie. Again, I like the character, but I thought the filmmakers did a disservice to the character in this movie.
Pro: Comedy (+8pts)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 took the comedy that worked so well in the last movie and turned it up a notch. I understand the concern that the filmmakers may have focused too heavily on the comedy, and that the comedy would fall flat as a result, but I actually think it worked really well. Drax, Star-Lord, Rocket, and Baby Groot all had the comedic moments that audiences will want and expect, and most of it worked. Again, most of the comedy worked, but there were some moments that were just too ridiculous and ended up not really working.
This movie was very joke heavy. Whenever you have a movie with so much attempted humor, some of it is bound to fall short. I thought the majority of it worked, and I also did not get the feeling that the comedy really took away from the action or the suspense—except for a couple of moments. The last movie worked so well, because the comedy was unexpected. With this movie the filmmakers had to deliver more comedy, and I thought that they did a pretty good job with that.
Con: The Sovereign & The Ravagers (-6pts)
I did not think either of these groups worked at all. The Sovereign was more annoying than anything. They were a secondary storyline at best, they were too ridiculous, and were portrayed as a silly annoyance rather than actual threat. Then there were the Ravagers—specifically Tazerface's group—who were even worse. Once again, the movie portrayed a group of antagonists as silly instead of intimidating.
In a movie like this, the heroes can be silly or funny at times, but the antagonists cannot. Antagonists need to be taken seriously, otherwise the plot of the movie will not. Unfortunately, the filmmakers made a movie full of non-threatening antagonists. Fortunately, they had one antagonist that worked, but I thought the filmmakers could have done without one of these two groups—the Sovereign and the Ravagers.
Grade: B+ (88pts)
I really enjoyed this movie. It had a lot of laughs, fun main characters and side characters, but weak secondary antagonists. There was somewhat of a lull—involving Ego and the Guardians—a little before the halfway point of the movie, but this film more than made up for that. I had a lot of fun watching the Guardians of the Galaxy again. I also enjoyed the addition of Mantis and Ego, and the action was entertaining. I thought this movie lived up to its predecessor. It had a few issues, but still made for a pretty entertaining movie.