A part of the joy of seeing a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that the viewer never quite knows what he or she will get. From the conspiratorial heights of Captain America: The Winter Soldier to the wild thrill ride of Agents of SHIELD, the team over at Marvel has shown that they know how to craft entertaining stories that anyone can enjoy, even if there are a few missteps here and there. Does Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 add to this winning streak?
Absolutely. However, there are a few issues that can make it difficult to enjoy.
The Cast Knows What’s What.
One of the biggest bright spots of this movie has to be the all-star cast. Chris Pratt returns as Peter Quill, the lovable rogue that leads our merry band of misfits. As always, the Parks & Recreation alum brings his A-game, mixing a great sense of comedic timing with some of the most heartfelt moments that have ever been seen in a comic book movie.
Not to be outdone, Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan continue their charming feud as Gamora and Nebula. Their roles are somewhat confined to a side story in this movie, but their performances elevate what could be a slightly underwritten revenge story into something memorable. And since this movie is the perfect set-up for The Avengers: Infinity War, it will be very interesting to see how the Guardians will be drawn into the oncoming battle!
Michael Rooker does a nice job as Yondu, infusing the disgraced smuggler and thief with subtle touches of depth. Although he starts off on a quest for profit, he soon struggles with his fondness for Star Lord and the need to do something more with his life. It’s a wonderful thing to watch, especially since he is more important to the story than he was in the last movie.
Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel round out the main cast quite nicely as Drax, Mantis, Rocket and Groot, but it is important to note that this isn’t their movie. While these actors are good at what they do, the movie suffers a little bit because they don’t get that much character development. Granted, it may be next to impossible to develop someone like Groot, but the point still stands. We don’t know all that much about these characters, so it makes it a little hard to care.
Last but not least, Kurt Russell delivers an intriguing performance as Ego. He has been introduced in the trailers as Star Lord’s father, but there is an interesting twist that won’t be spoiled here.
The Plot Is Reasonably Thoughtful.
The theme of family has to be the most important part of this movie. Above all else, James Gunn and the writers force the viewer to consider what the bonds of family mean to them. How far would we go for our loved ones? What would we do if we were in Nebula’s shoes? Is there a line that no family member should cross?
I don’t know about you, but I think that it is nice to see a popcorn flick ask questions like that in an entertaining way. It adds to the staying power of the film, especially when the conclusion hits and all hell breaks loose.
Again, no spoilers here. If you haven’t seen the movie, you’ll have to experience it for yourself.
The Technicals Are Fantastic.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has always set an example for technical skill, but it is important to examine how James Gunn takes it to another level. The sci-fi CGI and practical effects only add to the atmosphere of the movie, especially since it helps to balance out the cheese with an honest attention to detail. For instance, the Sovereign may be nothing more than a race of golden humanoids, but the alien life in this movie is an interesting touch.
And can we talk about that soundtrack? A part of what sets this movie apart from all the rest is its’ devotion to classic rock from the 70s and 80s. This time around, Peter Quill has given his spaceship a shot in the arm with tunes from Fleetwood Mac, Electric Light Orchestra, Cheap Trick, and Looking Glass.
What’s not to love?
Um… A Few Things, Actually.
While this movie is a lot of fun to watch, it isn’t perfect. Apart from the already mentioned issues with character development, there is one big issue that comes from how it plays into the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The main plot is connected to Earth.
Marvel movies usually take place around the time of their release in the real world, but this movie is different because it is dated to 2014. Because of this, it is important to ask why the audience should get invested when we know that our world survives the whole ordeal. On top of that, why did no one notice the people, things, and events in this movie in the other pieces of material that make up this universe?
Of course, the real reason is that Marvel didn’t think of this movie back then, but that’s a little hard to swallow. One would think that it would grab a news headline at least.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a fun, but somewhat flawed comic book romp. While one may have some questions at the end of it all, this movie is a great example of how fun comic book movies can be. It’s not the best Marvel movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it is something that you won’t regret spending time on, no matter how you choose to watch it.
What do you think of the movie? Let us know in the comments!
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