What it's about:
The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid.
What we thought:
Guardians of the Galaxy never ceases to impress. Director and writer James Gunn is still at the helm of the franchise and I dread the day he decides he’s had enough of Star-Lord and his insane compatriots. Luckily for us, he’s still onboard for the third installment, though it would be interesting to see how the Russo Brothers will handle our favourite ragtag team in Infinity War.
Volume 2 gives us all the same wacky vibrant style and weird but wonderful characters from the first movie, alongside another detailed and rousing story filled with strong thematic and character development. It’s not a rehash at all, just a continuation of a well-planned out franchise that keeps the Marvel films lording over DC films (fingers crossed for Wonder Woman though…)
After the events of the first movie, the Guardians try to live up to their reputation by helping out a planet of stuck up assholes and protect their powerful batteries. However, Rocket has different ideas, stealing the batteries and causing a galaxy-wide manhunt for his team, which leads them to uncover Quill’s mysterious parentage.
Gunn is a master storyteller, able to weave some terribly ridiculous scenarios and oddball beings into a cognitive heartfelt story where nothing is forced from the characters. I still love the Avengers franchise, but a few times natural progression of character development can be hastily sped up for the sake of plot, but in Guardians it feels like Gunn allows these weirdos to organically find their own way through the plot without being rushed into revelations. The fact that you as an audience can deeply connect with something as silly as a talking raccoon wielding massive guns and coddling a baby sentient plant, really shows the skill of the writers. Of course, Guardians is a laugh-a-minute kind of film melted into explosive action, but what really makes it great is the attention to the emotion of the movie.
I’ve held it in long enough now, let me just say: BABY GROOT IS THE BEST THING OH MY WORD I CAN’T EVEN BUT ALSO HE WILL KILL YOU IN YOUR SLEEP FEELINGS ARE CONFLICTED WE ARE GROOT.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way, as you can see Groot is pretty much a scene stealer wherever he went, and though he never detracts you from the greatness of the other characters, he is still one of the best cinematic creations. Zoe Saldana as Gamora is, as always, my favourite lady crush and congrats on the filmmakers for passing the Bechdel test in a superhero movie. The filmmakers very smoothly inserted her sister Nebula and their violent relationship into the movie and it never felt like they were trying too hard to include woman representation, especially with awkward Mantis (Pom Klementief) and the anal Sovereign high-priestess (Elizabeth Debicki) who both were equally valid additions to the story.
Chris Pratt got to explore his emotional range a bit more as Star-Lord deals with his daddy issues, Rocket remains wise-cracking though you see his vulnerabilities and even the muscle-head Drax had moments of silent suffering in-between his oafish shenanigans. Basically the whole team experienced personal growth, and none of it felt forced or tacked on at the last minute.
As expected, the movie soundtrack was as lit as the first volume, and still remains an important part to Quill’s identity and his journey as Star-Lord. Though the music is still a link for him to his mother, it influences his relationships with others around him, from dancing with Gamora, to bonding with his father, to it culminating in an unexpected gift. This is just another reason why Guardians is such a great franchise, and though there are some well-known tracks, due to Gunn’s tenacity and love for forgotten bands many lesser-known tracks were of course included and is set to be another chart-topping soundtrack album like the first. Baby Groot dancing included.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a fantastic sequel and lives up to the awe of the first one. It makes great use of 3D if you are deciding which of the many cinematic formats to watch it in, especially any scene where Yondu (Michael Rooker) shows off his insane magic arrow and Ego’s (Kurt Russell) gorgeous planet.
As for the post-credit scenes (even the credits deserve to be a scene in itself), there are so many, so just stay until you are faced with a black screen and forced to rejoin the real world, without Baby Groot.