Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 Review

The sequel to Marvel’s surprise success Guardians of the Galaxy is finally here and reunites us with Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot for another intergalactic adventure. Considering I adore the first one so much I would call it my favourite Marvel movie, even over the first Avengers, my excitement for GotG2 was sky-high. 

The reason I love the first was down mainly to the chemistry between the whole team of guardians, and that is here in bucket loads in the sequel. The quips and jokes fired back and forth between them are mostly successful with some really funny moments sprinkled throughout the film and that comedic tone is something that is really evident throughout. This is the closest to a straight up comedy out of anything that Marvel has produced, with a joke being delivered in even the most emotional moments of the film.

The jokes pay off thanks to the great performances around the board whether its Dave Bautista’s Drax delivering a brutally honest assessment of Mantis’ looks to Rocket and Star Lord bickering over who has tape to stop Baby Groot (incredibly adorable) blowing people up, everything works thanks to the chemistry between them. Yondu and Nebula return from GotG 1 and both have a more involved role this time round, with both getting probably twice as much screen time but only Yondu is really given a real arc in the film. We do find out more about Nebula’s Daddy issues, but aside from that she’s the same grunting angry girl we saw before. In terms of new characters we have the introduction of Mantis to the team, who brings a different dynamic to the group as she connects with Drax to hilarious effect.

We also get Kurt Russell as Ego the Living Planet. I won’t say much about this character other than to praise Kurt Russell’s performance, he really does go all in despite the craziness of the character and it speaks volumes for where we are with Superhero films that an actor as iconic and legendary as him is willing to play a character that is so out there and obscure even to some comic book fans.

A big part of superhero movies is the action we get in them. There is a great space chase scene here which is like a more colourful version of a star wars scene and being a huge fan of that I loved it. In terms of normal action there is a scene featuring Yondu that stands out in my memory, but most of the action is pretty standard and never wowed me. It is rare to wow someone with action these days, but I was expecting a little more from this film here.

The main plot line is your standard superhero thing, someone wants to take over the Galaxy and it’s our heroes job to stop that, but the dynamic between the heroes and the villain strays from what we have come to expect. A lot of time is spent on this relationship and it makes up the bulk of the film. Whilst it may come at the expense of some other story arcs (I would have liked to have seen more of Gamora/Nebula) it did hook me throughout the film.

Guardians of the Galaxy had one of the best soundtracks in any movie ever, and I was all ears to find out what made it onto the Volume 2 soundtrack. Unfortunately I think it’s fair to say it doesn’t hit the same heights as the first,  as after a promising start the soundtrack largely fades into the background Having said that, it had an almost impossible task beating “Hooked on a Feeling” and “Come and Get Your Love” from the first Guardians soundtrack, so perhaps I’m being harsh here.

Verdict

This film has managed to deliver exactly what I was asking for before I went into it, but I think deep down I wanted it to be something more than that. The unspectacular action and basic story hold it back from being in the top echelon of Superhero films, even with the unique hero/villain dynamic. The Guardians themselves are the real draw to this film, and assuming you loved the first, you will find Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 to be a fun and entertaining film.

7.5/10 – Another solid entry in the MCU, just lacks that “wow” factor. 

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